DAP Affected: Karrinyup

Address: 27 Prisk Street, Karrinyup

Letter to the Editor:

Further to the article which was published in The Stirling Times on the 12th July 2016 from the Carine Action Group regarding the development by Opal Aged Care in Carine, and how the City of Stirling are not listening to the residents, we the Karrinyup Action Group, would like to advise you of our plight.
You previously published two articles regarding the proposed development in Prisk Street/Gladman Way, Karrinyup, one 19th May 2015 and another on 4th August 2015 when we consequently won the fight, with both the City of Stirling and the Metro North West JDAP both UNANIMOUSLY REJECTING this proposal due to the four storey height, bulk, scale and not suiting the amenity, therefore not blending with the surrounding area which is mainly zoned R20 and with single and double storey properties in a quiet suburban street. (Gladman Way)

Since then, in August 2015, The Uniting Church applied to the State Administrative Tribunal to have this decision mediated on. We the residents were not informed of this as once an application goes to the State Administrative Tribunal we are no longer an interested party. We were warned to watch out for this as this appears to be the process on which developers get things passed. After trolling through the State Administrative Tribunals webpage every day, we found that yes, as warned, the Uniting Church had applied to SAT. We contacted SAT and requested to be involved at the mediations. Two members were allowed to attend to state our case, but not be at the actual discussions or receive information or outcomes. The Mediator of SAT several times mentioned to the Uniting Church requesting them to consider a three storey building as a compromise, especially when he viewed the site as we had requested. We the residents were happy to compromise but unfortunately The Uniting Church were not, even though they have a large Lot that they can build on. We suggested they build over the car park which would give them the same amount of bedrooms etc but that is apparently not in their plans. They stated several times that they can build four storeys so they will.

The State Administrative Tribunal then by “Order” advised them to draw up amended plans which would make this development suitable to the LPP. 4.5 Private Institution Guidelines and Objectives and to have these amended plans into the City of Stirling no later than the 29th February 2016. They did not submit their plans to the Council until the 9th March, (even though the report from the Uniting Church is dated the 14th March 2016? ) The City of Stirling should therefore have not done a second Responsible Authority Report on the 16th March 2015, and should have instead supported their ratepayers and stood by their first Responsible Authority Report of 2015 rejecting this proposal, as the Order by SAT was not met by The Uniting Church. But no, the City of Stirling carried out the Responsible Authority Report, after receiving numerous submissions from residents “again” objecting to this development due to the size, bulk, scale and amenity. There was also a petition from 98.5% of surrounding and affected residents (228 signatures) but this was of no consequence and was not mentioned in the report as we were no longer interested parties as the matter was now with SAT to decide on.

This matter then went to the Metro North West JDAP on the 22nd March 2016, we were given less than 48 hours to put our presentations in to them and advise our attendance. At this meeting, we were not listened to, it was obvious the decision was already made. Our questions were not answered, we were not allowed to object when incorrect information was stated by members of the JDAP, and therefore this development was this time passed by the three JDAP members and rejected by the two City of Stirling members who were on the Board, therefore Carried.

We have since been trying to get our questions answered as to how two Responsible Authority Reports done on the same development, in the same area, by the same department, can differ so much. The building is the same size, bulk and scale, they have just turned it 90 degrees. We cannot understand how this changes anything. It still does not adhere to the guidelines and objectives or suit the amenity of the area in any way or form.

As this application was now passed by JDAP, The Uniting Church subsequently withdrew its application from the State Administrative Tribunal on the 6th March 2016 without SAT actually making a decision, which was meant to be on the 8th March 2016. Therefore, if the matter was withdrawn, surely we should be allowed to be an interested party? We are confident that SAT would have made a decision declining this development due to the bulk, scale, size and amenity and the fact that The Uniting Church did not compromise as requested, or even abide by SAT’s Order. We feel that this is what is done to cut the community out of any chance of appeal and to silence our rights as a democratic society.

We have requested assistance and answers to our questions from The City of Stirling, JDAP, The Uniting Church and many Ministers but we are still being fobbed off and all of our questions are not being answered or explained properly to our satisfaction. Our local member, Ms Liza Harvey has also recently contacted the Planning Minister but as yet no response has been received.

The Planning Minister advised our Action Group in earlier correspondence that “the planning legislation allows me very limited opportunity to intervene in such matters.” The Governor of WA has in a letter to us advised that “she does not have the constitutional authority or jurisdiction to enable her to intervene in this matter unless advised to do so in Executive Council by the responsible Minister”.  Therefore surely the Planning Minister should be able to ask her to intervene and put a hold on this development? We want to know who can intervene, nobody seems to accept responsibility for this development being rejected one year, and accepted the next when it is the same. Nobody is assisting us with this matter, they just hope we will go away. We have been told that the only step we have left to go is to the Supreme Court, but of course, who can possibly afford to go there. This is how these developments are being passed……The people with lawyers and money win.

We believe (and have heard) that this is the whole plan, to go through this process whereby when the developer goes to the State Administrative Tribunal, then we, the community lose our right to appeal unless we have money to fight them in the Supreme Court. We have heard that the Council’s cannot afford to fight these applications in the courts, therefore that is why they just “roll over” and let these developments go ahead.

We have sent so many letters, emails, submissions and petitions but nobody is paying attention – NOBODY IS LISTENING. We have even been on Today Tonight explaining how we are happy for this aged care facility to be redeveloped, but just keep it to the guidelines as we the people have to, and ensure that it suits the amenity as the guidelines state. This system is rotten to the core and the community needs to start being listened to before it is too late and we are all stuck with monoliths in our quiet suburban areas. This approved monolith is approximately 16 metres high, 120 bedrooms and overlooks many properties in the area as it is right on top of a hill. From my perspective alone, it overlooks all of our front garden and back garden with their viewing decks and windows, we will have to hide in the house. It is approximately 28 metres from our property with the ground floor pad being the same height as our single storey house gutter line – how can this possibly suit the amenity? Someone please tell me – nobody in the Government or “supposed” authority can! Ours and many neighbours properties are being looked over, shadows cast and privacy completely extinguished.

We would just like some honest answers as to how this has been allowed to go ahead and why the community are being totally ignored and ridden roughshod over. What happened to democracy?
We would like this development looked into and put on hold until honest answers are received. And by the way, as many local residents properties have been devalued considerably, I wonder if we will receive a rate reduction as the GRV will go down dramatically? I don’t suppose we will…

Alison Gibbons

On behalf of the Karrinyup Action Group