A popular community park in a Perth south-eastern suburb is to be sold off for residential housing, despite overwhelming opposition from local residents.
Dubbed a “rare” pocket of green space, Miller’s Crossing in Carlisle – about 11km south of Perth city – is used by nearby residents and home to wildlife, including the endangered Carnaby’s Cockatoo.
After 11 years of opposition from the Town of Victoria Park and opposition from local residents, the Crown land is being sold off by the WA Planning Commission to make way for high-density housing.
Former Victoria Park councillor Rowena Skinner said that council had lobbied government and maintained the space because it was a “perfect spot for a green corridor.”
“It [Miller’s Crossing] was in the vicinity of a couple of million dollars to buy the land, so the council didn’t support it in majority.”
Development of the site will result in the loss of at least 40 mature trees that provide shelter and food for the cockatoos, and it is in conflict with the Town of Victoria Park’s canopy target of 20 per cent, according to council minutes.
“For over a decade council has been trying to get the landowner, the WA Government, to agree to rezone it [Miller’s Crossing] from R30 [residential] to public open space,” Victoria Park Mayor Karen Vernon said.
“Every attempt has failed.”
In the most recent Town consulting period, 60 residents voiced opinions about the park’s future and 53 people opposed the development project.
Residents raised concerns about the loss of open green space, which they say serves the needs of multiple users, including mothers, small children and elderly residents. Concerns about an increase in traffic on already congested local roads were also highlighted.
The development also raises concerns of decreasing walkability by privatising the thoroughfare, according to locals.
Residents were also opposed to the loss of more mature trees after approximately 600 trees were lost with the development of nearby Mineral Resources Park in Lathlain in 2019 to make way for a football training field for the West Coast Eagles.
Council says the number of dwellings that could be built on the lots would be subject to detailed consideration at development application stage in the event a development was proposed.
The Western Australian Planning Commission refused to comment on the issue, citing staff illness.