About Save Rokeby South
The Save Rokeby South campaign has come to life as a people's movement to preserve and enhance this precious neighbourhood in the face of greed, poor planning decisions and the voice of residents being ignored by developers.
But no more. We are here, ready to work with Council, to help shape a positive and vibrant future for this area, through fair and sensible development that works for the good of ALL.
We are here to inform, we are here to engage and we are here to hold Council to account. If you are sick and tired of watching developers wreak a path of destruction through cities and suburbs with horrendous, soul-less developments promising to bring 'vibrancy' yet delivering the opposite, with Councils' assistance, well you've come to the right place, because we're sick of it as well.
We're doing something about it because these ad-hoc planning decisions have to stop. And they have to stop before this end of Rokeby Road is turned into a ghost town as well.
"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything."
About Scheme Amendment 35
This is our first challenge. We're facing an experienced and well connected developer with very deep pockets, but we're ready. We've fought him before and won, and we'll do it again. Learn about our 2016 victory below.
Our First Victory
In 2016, developer Greg Pearce teamed up with Kim Chipper of Chippers Funerals to propose a development/Scheme Amendment on the old Chippers site on the corner of Rokeby Road and Duke Street (No. 385).
The proposal was to build an 18m building with 2 storey underground carpark with luxurious penthouses on the top floor, in which Kim Chipper would reside in one, overlooking his single storey neighbours to the west. On the ground floor would feature a 24/7 "Boatshed" style supermarket, which would enable the Mr Chipper to do his food shopping without having to go anywhere. How lovely for him!
Back then, Council gave the residents who would be most affected by the development, prior notification of the proposed development. That gave us the chance to prepare and present to Council before their deliberation on whether or not to initiate the site for public comment. A number of residents worked hard to oppose the development, and with the help of their Council Ward members, achieved a unanimous vote (11/0) against the developers proposal. Happy days!
The developer, undeterred, sought approval from the State Government instead. However, then Planning Minister, Donna Faragher saw no merit in the idea either. Well done Donna!
So the residents had a year's breathing space but we always knew... he'd be back.
The New Proposal
Predictably, shortly after the new Councillors and Mayor of Subiaco were elected, Mr Pearce came back to Council with a new, you-beaut Scheme Amendment.
But this was not just any Scheme Amendment. This one was TALLER than the last one and was for the WHOLE western side of Rokeby Road, stretching from Nicholson down to Hamersley Road. Plus, it had an INCREASED plot ratio than the previous proposal and INADEQUATE setbacks to the west interface with adjacent single storey housing. Apparently, he'd gotten the big boys in town planning, TPG + Place Match to discuss a more "acceptable" type of amendment with the City's planners, which took the form of a wider area.
What are they thinking? Is it that amending planning regulations over a wider area will help disguise the buildings' height and bulk somehow? Because you're building that height over a greater area or something? So maybe you won't notice the Chippers development so much then? Maybe if you stand on the other side of the road, squint in the dark, spin around twice real quickly and sort of tilt your head 46 degrees to the left or something? Or is it because the Planning Dept had their own plans for a similar fate for the area under their soon to be advertised new Town Planning Scheme No. 5?
Hard to say really, but Mr Pearce and TPG + Place Match thought it the ticket, so they went and prepared this proposal for submission to Council.
So Just How Tall & Bulky is the Proposal?
Take a look through this slideshow and see for yourself.
All this for supposedly the same amount of storeys that you can already do. Huh?
You can imagine the residents' sheer delight this time when we were informed of the new amendment AFTER Council voted 9/2 in favour of initiating it. We found a small ad in the local paper in mid January telling residents that here was "their chance" to have a say. When we asked why there was no notice provided to us prior to the vote, we were told that Council were following "due process".
Thanks Council! So you mean that 2 years ago, when you did actually consult with the most affected residents and listened to what we thought before making a decision on the Amendment, that you weren't following due process?
Or were you?
So we set about learning all about this new proposal, quickly realising that we were going to have to deal with this baby on a whole other level than we did in 2016.
With one of the first decisions of the new Council being to abolish 2 oversight committees in the name of achieving "greater efficiency", and the absence of proper process in advertising the amendment carried out by Council, our task to represent the views of the residents, rapidly became one of informing the residents first, and in some cases, even our elected reps, as to what the Scheme was about.
Since mid January, we've worked tirelessly to help the residents of Subiaco become informed about the issue and the vast majority of people we speak to are all in agreeance - this proposal is crazy! It's not going to bring about 'vibrancy' and 'growth'. But it will likely drive people away, and make people just drive past instead of stopping and engaging with the area, because there will be far better places they'll be able to go - that will have adequate parking as well! Nearby Leederville doesn't need 5 or 6 storeys on its main street to get vibrancy - does it?
The developer is Greg Pearce? Name sounds familiar...
Greg Pearce owns the development firm Windsor Knight. He was the developer behind the replacement of the much loved Station St Markets with the new $96 million development, housing Coles, Target and 10 specialty shops. In a Business News article in 2014, in the midst of controversy about the new plans, the article states
"The developer behind an $80 million shopping centre proposal at Subiaco's Station Street Markets has responded to outcry over the loss of the markets by saying such facilities are the responsibility of local government, rather than the private sector."
Remember how much of a destination the Station Street markets were in Subi? Especially after the Pavillion Markets closed? People would travel from the other side of Perth to shop there, it was a hive of activity and vibrancy all weekend, every weekend. Sure, it needed a spruce up, but we're not sure what's been put in its place is, ahh... well, let's just say it's different.
Anyway, we went around there early afternoon last Saturday, in picture perfect weather, to check out all the activity around the 3 month old centre. We figured it must be buzzing! See the pics from our visit below...
What Save Rokeby South has achieved so far
Since mid January 2018, we have
- Held an informative Residents Information Session in early February which was attended by nearly 100 people
- Letterbox dropped 3000 leaflets throughout the streets of Subiaco, bringing the issue to residents' attention
- Collected nearly 2000 signatures in our written and online petitions, mostly from locals
- Spread the word and helped explain what the Scheme Amendment is all about to most people who didn't know it was being advertised and were suitably alarmed!
- Had significant coverage in the Post newspaper
- Responded to resident's calls and emails expressing concern on this issue
- Formed a working group of wonderful folk all dedicated to seeing this end of Rokeby Road saved from the death knoll of sterile development.
- Developed the Save Rokeby South E-newsletter which is now sent out to a mailing list of hundreds. (If you're not on the mailing list yet, simply scroll down and subscribe below).
View our first edition here
View our second edition here
- Held meetings with planning staff and some councillors
- Prepared images to help the public understand the true nature of the bulk and scale of this proposed development, instead of the low res line drawings provided in the proposal
- And last but not least, we built this website! Designed to inform and assist people in learning more about the issue and doing something about it.
What we want
We're motivated, energetic and passionate about our neighbourhood. We want to see it preserved for future generations to enjoy. We want to see it enhanced in an equitable way for the benefit of all, not just for a wealthy few.
We are FOR vibrancy, character, soul and a village feel
We are FOR development, we’re simply asking for it to be of a type and scale that isn’t detrimental to the area’s existing and emerging character and to residents’ lives!
We welcome appropriate and accurately justified density, planned in the right way, and in the right areas
We believe the existing planning scheme that already allows 4 storeys is far more compatible with the environs.
We want fair and sensible development that works for the good of ALL.
So who's with us? It seems most people are!
Here's What You Can Do
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