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PERTH HILLS PLANNING BILL REPORT ON MUNDARING, HERNE HILL AND ...
PERTH HILLS PLANNING BILL REPORT ON MUNDARING, HERNE HILL AND MUNDIJONG WORKSHOPS 22 FEBRUARY 2008 BACKGROUND At the request of Perth Hills residents, Greens MLC Giz Watson has developed a draft Perth Hills Planning Bill to better protect and plan for the future of the Perth Hills. To date, three workshops have been held to provide information to Perth Hills residents on the draft Bill, and seek their feedback. These workshops were held in Mundaring (9 February 2008), Herne Hill (10 February 2008) and Mundijong (13 February 2008). The workshops were facilitated by Giz Watson MLC and started with two presentations: one by a representative of the Save the Perth Hills group outlining the reasons why they wanted legislation to better protect and plan for the future of the Perth Hills, and one by Giz Watson's research officer providing some detail on the draft Bill. Participants were then divided into groups to answer the following questions: What is your vision for the Perth Hills? Are we heading towards this vision? If not, why not? After reporting back on these questions, the groups convened again to answer these questions: Could a Perth Hills Planning Bill have a role to play? What planning objectives should apply? What mechanisms should be used to achieve those objectives? In closing each workshop, Giz asked participants for a general indication as to whether they would like to see the draft Bill progressed. This report provides a summary of some of the main themes emerging from the workshops. An attachment to the report contains a verbatim transcript of the notes taken by workshop groups.1 While the text of the notes has not been changed, in some cases text has been 1 moved to group it under the focus questions. RESPONSES TO FOCUS QUESTIONS What is your vision for the Perth Hills? Workshop groups commonly referred to the natural, scenic and lifestyle values of the Hills. For example: - maintaining the Hills as "the primary green belt on the fringes of Perth" - "preservation of tree canopies" - "preserve the scarp as much as possible" - "preservation of biodiversity" - "treasure existing natural environment" - "recreational buffer" In terms of vision for future development, there was a consistent theme of wanting the Hills to be different from typical Perth suburbs: - "Perth Hills is not to be regarded as the metropolitan overspill for Perth" - "no high density suburbia" - "self-sufficient townships surrounded by bush" - "village style development and rural outskirts" - "avoid the 'dormer' suburbs" A number of groups wanted variety in development in the Hills to meet a variety of needs, including the needs of older residents who want to remain in the Hills. Some groups also highlighted better infrastructure and community services as part of their vision. Are we heading towards this vision? Most workshop participants did not think that we are heading towards their vision for the Perth Hills, although a number of participants in the Mundijong workshop thought that the Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale was heading in the right direction. If not, why not? A range of different reasons were given, including: - the lack of an underpinning plan for the Perth Hills to show where development can and can't occur - lack of protective legislation - the failure to make developers pay the full costs of development - WA Planning Commission policy to accommodate growth in all areas (Flats and Hills) Could a Perth Hills Planning Bill have a role to play? Most participants thought a Perth Planning Bill could have a role to play, although a number wanted to see changes made to the Bill. 2 What planning objectives should apply? While some participants supported the draft planning objectives in their current form, others suggested changes. These included: - recognition of buffer zones/greenbelts - recognition of existing land use and non-conforming use rights - removal of the reference to "restoration of the natural character of the area" as this could unduly restrict development - development a new objective concerning "fair natural justice, compensation" - developing a new objective concerning fire management in the Hills - including a new principle aimed at promoting the ability of Perth Hills communities and individuals to derive a living and create local employment from their properties - including just two objectives, built around the issues of water and flora/fauna What mechanisms should be used to achieve those objectives? A number of suggestions were made for possible changes to the mechanisms in the Act. Most of the discussion focused on the role of the Perth Hills Planning Committee and the need for an overall plan for the Perth Hills. Perth Hills Planning Committee A number of participants commented on the role of the proposed Perth Hills Planning Committee in reviewing and providing advice on development applications. Some participants thought that this represented an undesirable new layer of bureaucracy and red tape. On the other hand, others supported the review of development applications but thought that the Committee did not have enough "teeth" as its role was advisory. One group suggested that a Hills Planning Authority, similar to existing redevelopment authorities and reporting directly to the Minister for Planning, should be established. A number of participants suggested that the Bill should be changed to ensure strong local representation on the Perth Hills Planning Committee. One group suggested that everyone on the Committee "must be either residents or have a demonstrated connection (see Aboriginal Heritage Act)". Other participants suggested that the composition of the Committee should be reviewed to ensure that relevant statutory authorities are represented - such as possibly the Environmental Protection Authority or Swan River Trust. 3 A Plan for the Perth Hills A number of groups suggested that the Bill should provide more specific guidance for development in particular areas through either "sub-zones" or a requirement for a Perth Hills plan to be developed: - "the Bill needs to define sub-zones" - "there needs to be a statutory planning instrument that protects scarp values" - "overall plan for Perth Hills 'blueprint'" - "overall strategic plan … put moratorium on development until adopted" What boundaries should be used? A number of different comments were made on the indicative boundary in the draft Bill, including: - extend to Dwellingup - extend further south to the Metropolitan Region Scheme boundary - at least take in southern Serpentine-Jarrahdale boundary - south west highway is not a good boundary as it divides 3 towns - scarp zone that is visible from Perth needs protection, but current boundary goes too far east - agree that zone should extend east to boundaries of local government districts RESPONSE TO QUESTION AS TO WHETHER THE BILL SHOULD BE PROGRESSED As noted above, at each of the Mundaring, Herne Hill and Mundijong workshops participants were asked whether they would like to see the Bill progressed further. The total number of participants (excluding the presenters, facilitators and organisers) for the three workshops was 59. Of these, 3 people indicated that they did not want to see the Bill progressed. CONCLUSION The workshops offered strong support for continued work on the Perth Hills Planning Bill, and a number of ideas for ways in which the Bill could be improved. The workshop outcomes will be considered, alongside formal submissions on the draft Bill, in deciding whether the Bill should be progressed, and if so in what form. 4 ATTACHMENT Mundaring Group A Session 1 What is your vision for the Perth Hills? Lack of availability of planning/design/services for over 55 and older folk who want to remain in the Hills Maintain the Hills as the primary green belt on the fringes of Perth Prevent further development that is not supported by local services/infrastructure Preserve and environment that is unique, and ensure sustainable development that enhances this environment, not detract from it Landowners are personally responsible for the environmental health of their property Promote alternative and ecological development that meets environmental needs Meet the needs of landholders on different size blocks, so that rural holdings are not penalized financially as land zoning increases rates and taxes Allow for a blended community so that diversity of land use, demog., populat., is maintained, and different lifestyle choices offered. Infrastructure such as medical, public transport needs to be regionally co- ordinated Townships and nearby degraded farmland to be the focus for development which should not be allowed to encroach into quality bush habitat Landholders who maintain their natural bush should not be financially penalised by amended zoning, should be rewarded by rates for their conservation practices Maintain private land rights, but promote positive conservation practices Existing populations are underserviced by infrastructure and community services and this needs to be addressed before significant population expansion is allowed Are we heading towards this vision? If not, why not? 5 Unsustainable subdivisions which are subsidized by ratepayers in another locality, who then miss out on services Fragmented local councils with different priorities Local councillors who change every 4 years and have their personal preferences without appreciation for long term consequences Elected councillors, officers have their own agenda Not enough community opinion Session 2 Could a Perth Hills Planning Bill have a role to play? What planning objectives should apply? What mechanisms should be used to achieve those objectives? Not support another layer of bureaucracy, red tape. Yes Attractive is set of guidelines for overall vision of direction and future of the Hills - promote consistency A committee makes WAPC answerable. Taxpayer burden. Committee members to reside in the area. Regional planning design - committee to have influence. The Bill needs to define subzones. The Bills need definitions to be refined and made more specific. Define an appeals process. The Bill to demonstrate accountability for decisions Lack of community input into the Committee Bill continues through changes of Councils The Bill does not compensate for lack of strong community representation. Define delegated authority to avoid Committee perusing applications for garden and chook shed size applications No power to prevent a WWTP, govts will still do as they wish. 6 What boundaries should be used? South west highway is not a good boundary as it divides 3 towns Both sides of Gt E Hwy perhaps to York Not to include Avon Valley Region because of separate identity Scarp zone that is visible from Perth needs protection Bill goes too far east and econmpasses too many diverse area identities, land use zones, enviro zones Easier if Bill extends to Shire boundaries to make administration simpler Still need zonal definition Why not to southern boundary of Serpentine 7 Mundaring Group B Session 1 What is your vision for the Perth Hills? 1. Maintain/enhance/treasure existing natural environment and cultural and historical heritage of the area for future generations. 2. # 8 of Bill's objectives. 3. Perth Hills is not to be regarded as the metropolitan overspill for Perth. Are we heading towards this vision? Not heading to this vision. If not, why not? Economic interests supercede environment Local government does not represent local interests Lack of knowledge and awareness Session 2 Could a Perth Hills Planning Bill have a role to play? Adequate provisions for enforcement, effectiveness and monitoring. Recognition of existing environmental policies and law e.g. Swan Valley and Canning River Protective Policy Appears to be a toothless tiger Ensure that individual Shires work together for a coordinated and consistent approach to planning What planning objectives should apply? Clause 6(c) - Conflict of Interest Shire representation But see clause 15(2) - Disclosure of Interests - would knock out President of Committee? 8 What mechanisms should be used to achieve those objectives? 10.4 - What if local Council refuses to accept advice of Committee? Provisions to rectify injustice/appeal/final say Review composition of Committee ie EPA? Swan River Trust? Policy? Yes Shires Admin? No - Shires What boundaries should be used? Existing boundaries - We agree East - Shire boundaries West - where 'Green Belt' starts (trees vs dense housing) 9 Mundaring Group C Session 1 What is your vision for the Perth Hills? More community input Preserve clean water No high density suburbia Preservation of tree canopies The Hills are the "lungs of Perth" Development of eco-tourism Maintain village style development and rural outskirts Maintain the semi-rural nature of the Perth Hills Are we heading towards this vision? The Hills are at the crossroads…development or environment? If not, why not? More people = more rates but extra infrastructure costs Lack of community input / State government not listening Session 2 Could a Perth Hills Planning Bill have a role to play? Yes The Bill needs to be "watertight" - it’s a large area It would help to stop "ad hoc" developments What planning objectives should apply? As mentioned in Perth Hills Planning Bill brochure (8 points) Any residential developments must be environmentally friendly and sustainable 10 What mechanisms should be used to achieve those objectives? Government legislation What boundaries should be used? Historical land use capabilities Look to go further south to Dwellingup in line with Mandurah Perth Hills PC would address development on a case-by-case basis (National parks, regional parks, state forest, hobby farms, vineyards, orchards, farms, village) 11 Mundaring Group D Session 1 What is your vision for the Perth Hills? Maintain values Environmental Lifestyle - interest groups - zoning Beauty and amenity Not too many restrictions on individual Appropriate assessment/research Environmental concerns - water - trees/improving cover Recreations Appropriate development, partic. Aged Holistic overview No dense development in environmentally fragile areas or bites into social fabric Are we heading towards this vision? No - fragmented planning Maybe - community aspiration/input Concerns re layering of admin/councils/…/bureaucracy Closer than 12 months ago If not, why not? Need Save Perth Hills political party Lack of overarching planning structures All 3 levels of government are developer-driven 12 People are greedy, including decision-makers Consultation with Noongars Appropriate Land Use - maintain and plan for - needs zones within Zone Session 2 Could a Perth Hills Planning Bill have a role to play? Yes with provisos. What planning objectives should apply? 1. + air quality, + enviro health of Perth 2. Yes 3. + waterways 4. Yes 5. Yes 6. Yes + non-aboriginal 7. "+enhance and complement the environment and amenity of the area" 8. + enhance + do not detract 9. To promote the ability of P.H. communities and individuals to derive a living and create local employment from their properties that is consistent with the other planning objectives of the Act. What mechanisms should be used to achieve those objectives? Act is mechanism State with overall plan for Perth Hills 'blueprint' (d) everyone must be residents or demonstrated connection (see Aboriginal Heritage Act) What boundaries should be used? [no comment] 13 Herne Hill Group A Session 1 What is your vision for the Perth Hills? A balance - identify areas that are 'developable' without spoiling the present amenity - development must go hand in hand with infrastructure (schools, police, water, power) prior to development A "sensible" expansion of Perth Identify 'zones' of development within shire/city through cooperation of all relevant authorities (i.e. where development can and can't occur). Base these on existing 'village' centres. Consider the need for commercial/light industrial development as well as/to complement areas. These will sustain the residential communities and means that people can live and work within the Hills. Avoid the 'dormer' suburbs. Consider an alternative Power - self-sufficiency of homes - technologically possible (almost) Water - Enhance the existing amenity, flora and fauna - open access without fencing to allow free movement of fauna, wildlife corridors (legal liability) Are we heading towards this vision? Are we getting there? No/maybe, but if the Bill has bite If not, why not? There needs to be an underpinning PLAN which shows where development can/can't occur Session 2 Could a Perth Hills Planning Bill have a role to play? Yes, with more "bite" Overall plan for development zones, green zones etc If this plan is arrived at via consensus between local government authorities then it would give them clarity 14 Work hand in hand with Federal Government's 'peri-urban' studies (could give this Bill more impetus) Must not be seen as 'regressive' - must not paint what is there as 'bad' but that this Bill is looking to the future Issue of compensation may need to be addressed, where landowner is dispossessed of some of the intended use of the land What planning objectives should apply? Objective 1 (Water) - self-sufficiency - treatment plants - grey water - use it - set aside areas; catchments for future dams - development has minimal impact on watercourses etc Objective 2 (Flora and Fauna) - extensive audit of flora and fauna - look to UNESCO?? - Set aside 'bushland forever' areas - Extend national park? - Limited housing within national parks! - USA/Canada? - Controlled development - Best management practices for fire management when development occurs (volume of fuel…) What mechanisms should be used to achieve those objectives? Big issue with clause 10(4) and the requirement "to have due regard" - does this statement effectively give the Perth Hills Planning Committee real power? Does it give the Bill the 'bite' needed? What boundaries should be used? [No comment on this issue] 15 Herne Hill Group B Session 1 What is your vision for the Perth Hills? Cadastral boundary No - site plan to broad - (breakups) Vision statements - Subzones - set zones - mechanisms across shires Hubs - greenery Controlled development Specific rules: Eastern edge of shires Right to farm Farm zone Preserve Bonds on development on environmental land Vision statements theme - unite 7 Shires Recreational buffer Shire - international … - not over private land NO - Narrow - Water Catchment - Perth Hills Vision - water catchments - protection of water - policy (State) - Water Reform Act - locks up development Greenbelt Are we heading towards this vision? Intent Take out restoration Writing is not the same of vision of Bill Concept - agreed S Firests, reserves - reserve Council/State - knock out If not, why not? Bill not to be used as compensation for failure of developments. 16 Session 2 Could a Perth Hills Planning Bill have a role to play? Yes, not in the current form Special Policy Area Works against objectives Cannot blanket Bill in each zone (locality) Yes - mechanism, consider development, framework. Inappropriate development - such as Landcorp as example Impact private landowners "What are we doing here" Used to lock up land Is the Bill there just for the sale of a Bill - or is it a Bill for protecting the vision (impact on one person - and not on another group)? What planning objectives should apply? Remove reference to registration Colours of area - definition Fair natural justice, compensation Intent looks like an environmental Bill, not a development Bill Overriding legislation - Act degrees of intent Limit - conservation value 5.8 to be rewritten common sense in planning - current land use - non-conforming use rights' vision - question: what are conservation values definition of development - in summary of Act What mechanisms should be used to achieve those objectives? Bill - way of incorporating with local government legislation No! Shire - has a … if Town Planning Scheme 17 Special Planning Policy over 7 Shire against objectives of the Bill Flexible…objectives of Bill Planning committee - not local people - ANYONE experienced in those fields Q Is the Committee be independent excluding Councillors Review 5 years - another government entity A lot of ground work Declare no pecuniary interest in draft Who is writing regulations? What Department - planning SP or Department of Environment and Conservation? Rewrite $10,000 fine to low and do not have to get off committee Accountable - responsible - no responsibility to community What boundaries should be used? [No comment on this issue] 18 Mundijong Workshop Group A Session 1 What is your vision for the Perth Hills? Preserve scarp as much as possible - no scarring Committee to plan scarp values: - biodiversity - scenic values - water catchment - pollution - limit development Incentives to preserve vision Make this a model that can be applied elsewhere Are we heading towards this vision? Workshop is heading in right direction If not, why not? [No comment on this issue] Session 2 Could a Perth Hills Planning Bill have a role to play? Yes Additional body - delays. Some LGA's - no transparency - proposal creates transparency Protecting Hills with legislation is necessity What planning objectives should apply? Benefits for environment, for inhabitants, animals… Control of design and development Need to prioritise objectives to reflect vision e.g. create subzones, limit population, policies to protect flora, fauna, biodiversity 19 What mechanisms should be used to achieve those objectives? Need to have a look at various redevelopment authorities to develop a short term Authority to … reporting directly to the Minister … - possibly called Hills Planning Authority - recognise that it is not possible to initiate a Bill that involves a budget item in the Upper House What boundaries should be used? Probably be restricted to Perth Metro region at this stage but we recognise this will leave south west … at risk. 20 Mundijong Group B Session 1 What is your vision for the Perth Hills? Protection - Biodiversity - Water… - Scenic/amenity - Recreation (passive) - Clean air - Ag and Horticulture Promotion - Tourism - Recreation - Management - Responsibilities Collaboration Inclusion Bushforever ORV's Amenity Heritage Forest and PHZ values (start pint) Are we heading towards this vision? YES (Maybe) (No) No landscape protection in plans Lack of planning uniformity/purpose LGs and DPI-WAPC to be bound by common/agreed values Uphold local government sensitivities and values - recognise difference If not, why not? Development costs (all) to be borne by developer DPI-WAPC - policy/purpose not strong enough Department culture not conducive to PHZ philosophy … acceptance of values/future competing dept aims - purpose - Acts plans in conflict PHZ - FMP - W+R - CALM Danger - Bill could 'water' dpwn LG plans and may offer development outcomes by default Departmental decision-makers making decisions that are at odds to agreed planning ideals/values 21 And the SAT Session 2 Could a Perth Hills Planning Bill have a role to play? Yes - but is adding extra time to assessment - can this be … Is it going to have enough teeth ie advisory or deliberative preferable Must be aware of diluting a local government's (eg SJ) strong protection ie l. governments to have discretion to have scarp protection provisions in excess of statutory provision but not create provisions which fall below the (statutory) level of protection. What planning objectives should apply? Agree with 8 in Bill. What mechanisms should be used to achieve those objectives? Bill raises values but there needs to be a statutory planning instrument that protects scarp values - mandatory Role of a landscape protection zone in the MRS What boundaries should be used? Boundaries - extend to Dwellingup, at least to MRS boundary (and therefore SJ boundary). 22 Mundijong Group C Session 1 What is your vision for the Perth Hills? Part of the SJ Vision - tourism - SJ Strategic Plan Buffer zone to climate change Trails - separate Off road vehicles - management - find a location Land for wildlife Climate change Fire planning (high fire risk) Are we heading towards this vision? SJ Landscape Protection (Zone, Policy). Since 2002, statutory force. SJ Rural Strategy - Agriculture Protection Local Government opposition (many not all Councils) Village focus - Mundaring towns, SJ Green Town Study (with buffers) If not, why not? Blanket Policy over large areas Sub Zones - local consideration/factors WAPC Policy - accommodate growth in all areas (Flats and Hills) Developer driver - land speculation Session 2 Could a Perth Hills Planning Bill have a role to play? Yes 23 Proper community consultation and feedback Address compensation (if necessary) Collaborative planning/share knowledge Regional grouping LG and State … in between (SE District Planning Committee) Perth Hills Planning Committee What planning objectives should apply? Buffer zones/greenbelts Biodiversity buffer in climate change Fire management across the hills - co-ordinated planning - frequency of fires - timing Cluster developments - share a common - cattle and kangaroos graze off green belts What mechanisms should be used to achieve those objectives? Policies and strategic plans - develop policy Implement these policies Overall strategic plan (10 years) - put moratorium on development until adopted What boundaries should be used? Chittering to Dwellingup Adopt this and keep following scarp At least take in shire boundaries southern SJ shire boundary Albany Highway in SJ East Boundary … Boundary East 24 Mundijong Group D Session 1 What is your vision for the Perth Hills? Self-sufficient townships surrounded by bush. Slef-sufficiency includes water, sewerage, with adequate access. Preservation of biodiversity Prevent subdivision of rural land/orchards Are we heading towards this vision? Some are: some aren't. If not, why not? But developers putting pressure. Lack of protective legislation Session 2 Could a Perth Hills Planning Bill have a role to play? Yes? Advice? Status Can a committee dampen developer influence? Does it address lack of 3 rd party appeal and SAT Will 7 Shires agree? Will it be in place to save Gidgie? Too much red tape? Extra red tape is a further protection. What planning objectives should apply? What mechanisms should be used to achieve those objectives? Perhaps: A broad, overarching Bill that can be defended. Guidelines/details in "sub-zones" What boundaries should be used? Perhaps: Take boundaries to Dwellingup 25
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