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2.1 PROPOSED DISPOSAL OF PORTION OF RESERVE 30059 ASTROLOMA/WANGALLA PLACES, KOONGAMIA

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Cr Haynes disclosed an interest affecting impartiality in Item 2.1 by virtue of her employment with the Minister for Housing and Works. Cr Haynes left the Chamber at 6.17pm and was absent during the whole of the debate on Item 2.1 and did not speak or otherwise participate in the decision making process.

2.1 PROPOSED DISPOSAL OF PORTION OF RESERVE 30059 ASTROLOMA/WANGALLA PLACES, KOONGAMIA

(Midland) (Community Facilities Planning)

KEY ISSUES

• Reserve 30059 is comprised of Lots 8456 (Astroloma Place Park) and 8457 (Wangalla Place POS).

• Lots 8457 and 8456 are "C" class reserves for the purposes of "Public Recreation", created pursuant to Section 20A of the Town Planning and Development Act with a management order in favour of the City of Swan.

• The Eastern Horizons Stage 2 Master Plan (Koongamia) identifies the Astroloma Place Park as having subdivision potential.

• At the OCM held on 10 December 2003, Council considered the options for disposal or retention of Lot 8456 and generally resolved to postpone the decision until the public consultation, negotiations with DPI and Midland Project Management's financial assessment were finalised and available for consideration.

• Public consultation was undertaken to gauge the community's support for the sale or retention of Lot 8456 (Astroloma Place Park). Based on this consultation, the community showed little objection to the sale and potential for a residential development occurring on the site.

• The Department of Planning and Infrastructure (Statutory Planning Division) has no objection to the divesting and subsequent sale of Lot 8456, Astroloma Place, Koongamia.

It is recommended that the City of Swan proceed with the acquisition and subsequent disposal of Lot 8456 Astroloma Place and, in doing so, seek a current valuation of the said lot.

BACKGROUND

The Ministry for Housing and Works engaged Midland Project Management (MPM) to develop proposals for the revitalisation for parts of the Midland/Midvale/Koongamia/

Swan View areas, known as the 'Eastern Horizons' project. This project is drawing to conclusion.

On 17 April 2002, Council resolved to:

"Approve the Master plan for Koongamia Stage 2 of the Eastern Horizons project as a guide to the redevelopment of Koongamia".

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The Master Plan identified the Astroloma Place Park as a subdivision opportunity. In a letter to the City dated 9 July 2003, MPM advised that the Eastern Horizons Task Force has the view that the park should be rezoned and disposed of, with the funds generated to be utilised for capital works on other recreation reserves in the vicinity.

At the Ordinary Meeting of Council held on 10 December 2003, a report was presented to Council outlining the request from MPM for Council to initiate the disposal of Astroloma Place Park (Lot 8456, Astroloma Place, Koongamia). At this meeting Council resolved to:

(1) Request the Department for Planning and Infrastructure to support the initiation process

(2) Request Midland Project Management, following the results of the financial assessment, to carry out a public consultation exercise for the purposes of gauging Koongamia's community support for the sale or retention of Astroloma Reserve

(3) Consider the options for the sale or retention of the reserve, following the outcomes of the public consultation period, giving due regard to the financial assessment, the environmental and social values and the views of the community on the sale of Astroloma Reserve

REPORT

Astroloma Place Park (Lot 8456) is approximately 6000m2 of natural bushland. It provides a link between the suburb of Koongamia and the Old Railway Reserve Heritage Trail that runs from Bellevue through to Darlington and onwards to Mundaring. The site is degraded as it has been invaded by Watsonia and has not been maintained to a high level. The weed invasion could be overcome at minimal cost to the Council under the normal reserve maintenance program.

The suburb of Koongamia is well provided for in regard to Public Open Space (POS), with in excess of the required 10%. Koongamia Oval provides suitable active space for the area and the Wangalla Place POS and Lloyd Penn Park meet the passive recreation needs of the community. Lloyd Penn Park was upgraded in line with the Eastern Horizons Master Plan in 2005 and is now a well appointed community space.

Wangalla Place POS currently serves primarily a drainage function, however the Master Plan provides direction for an upgrade of this site.

The disposal of Astroloma Place Park would provide funds specifically for upgrading the Wangalla Place POS. The financial feasibility undertaken by MPM indicates that if they were to undertake the subdivision, they estimate a profit of approximately $49,125 (based on an 8 lot residential subdivision and figures as at 10 May 2004).

The Master Plan identifies Astroloma Place Park as having subdivision potential. The Master Plan suggests that an 'increased residential population helps improve the viability of community facilities. It creates an opportunity to integrate new residential development with the existing community'. Earlier correspondence notes the ability to include a pedestrian connection to the Old Railway Reserve Heritage Walk Trail from the residential subdivision.

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In March 2003, MPM undertook community consultation to gauge community support for the proposed sale and potential development of the site. This consultation was consistent with Policy 4.1.5 of the Government Land Policy Manual - Section 20A Public Recreation Reserves and consisted of signage on the site, newspaper notices and letters mailed directly to residents within 400m of the site.

Seven telephone responses were received, with five being supportive of the proposed disposal and two not supporting the proposed disposal for the following reasons:

(a) They were not supportive of funds being used on Lloyd Penn Park, and wanted the funds to be used on the creek reserve along Astroloma Place (b) They were not supportive of the subdivision going ahead, if the

developers were to be the Department of Housing and Works No written responses were received.

In April 2006 the City presented a submission to the Department for Planning and Infrastructure (DPI) seeking their support for the disposal of Lot 8456 (Astroloma Place Park). DPI investigations highlighted that Lloyd Penn Park (Lot 8054, Banjine Road) is currently zoned Civic and Cultural, despite this being a passive recreation area, thus reducing the total percentage of land zoned POS within the area. Under the draft Town Planning Scheme No. 17 the zoning for this site is to be changed to Recreation.

Subsequently, in a letter dated 17 July 2006, the Department for Planning and Infrastructure advised that:

'there is no objection to the divesting of Lot 8456 and its subsequent sale, subject to the vesting of Lot 8054 being changed from Civic and Cultural to Recreation consistent with the proposals contained in draft Town Planning Scheme No. 17.'

The Eastern Horizons Task Force recommends disposal and sale of Lot 8456 for residential housing. Whilst the task force did not determine a preferred zoning, Residential R30 or R40 was considered appropriate. Midland Project Management, responsible for preparing the Master Plan, recommends that the City acquire the subject site for the purposes of sale and subsequent subdivision of the land.

At the OCM held on 10 December 2003, the officer's report discussed the option of the City purchasing Lot 8456 and undertaking the subdivision internally. This course of action would prolong the time taken to obtain the net return and thus also prolong the Open Space upgrade of Wangalla Place POS as outlined in the masterplan.

Additionally, it must also be noted that any funds received as a result of the sale, must be expended on public open space in the area.

Options for Council

The following is a brief analysis of the options available to Council regarding the future of Astroloma Place Park.

Option 1 - Proceed with the process for the purchase and disposal of Lot 8456 Astroloma Place, Koongamia

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As proposed within the Master Plan for Koongamia Stage 2, the land be purchased by the City of Swan for the purposes of sale or subdivision and/or sale. The proceeds of the sale are required to be utilised toward capital improvements on reserves within Koongamia.

If Council is to consider this option, the following will need to be undertaken:

(a) obtain a current valuation of the lot from the Department for Planning and Infrastructure - State Land Services for its purchase

(b) consider the options for disposal as Council has the option to dispose of the land via private treaty, tender or auction

Implications

The Department for Planning and Infrastructure (Land Asset Management Services) Guidelines allow a local authority to acquire the freehold of a reserve from the Crown at 5% of its value subject to:

• The Department of Planning and Infrastructure (Statutory Planning Division) granting its approval to the proposal.

• The proceeds from the on sale of the land being expended on the enhancement of other POS in the area, or acquisition of alternative land in the area for recreation purposes.

Sale of the land via tender or auction would not guarantee the Department of Housing and Works success in obtaining the land. This could only be done in the case of sale via private treaty.

There would be an improved outcome in terms of POS quality in the Koongamia area, as under the Planning and Development Act and DPI - State Land Services Guidelines state any funds resulting from the sale are required to be spent within the immediate vicinity on the enhancement of existing POS facilities in the area or the acquisition of other land for POS.

The sale would reduce the amount of POS in the area and would result in the loss of a natural asset.

The City would ultimately be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of any improvements to POS within Koongamia.

Option 2 - Retention

The retention of the Astroloma Reserve for public purposes, based on the premise that the site is considered valuable from both social and environmental perspectives. This option is consistent with the Perth Biodiversity Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that the City is a signatory to.

Implications

• Retention of a local natural asset, consistent with the Perth Biodiversity MoU and the preservation of a reserve that contributes towards regional biodiversity conservation.

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• Support (provided by the City through the Swan Grants program or Eastern Hills Catchment Management Program) for the development “Friends of” or community group establishment and for ongoing ground works. Benefits include the development of community capacity caring for local assets and increasing awareness of the social values surrounding POS and local biodiversity.

• Retention of POS in the Koongamia area, above the 10% minimum.

• Council expenditure on the initial rehabilitation and then ongoing maintenance of a bushland reserve.

• If retained, the reserve would obviously not yield any additional financial capacity to improve other recreation spaces in the area.

ATTACHMENTS

Nil

STRATEGIC IMPLICATIONS

KRA 2.1 - Develop self-contained, sustainable communities with access to suitable located facilities for working, living, recreation and social interaction through the lifecycle of the communities.

KRA 2.2 - Ensure competitive cost effective and environmentally sustainable infrastructure and facilities that support business, industry and the community.

KRA 4.2 - Develop an integrated approach to environmental management to conserve and enhance the natural environment

STATUTORY ENVIRONMENT

Sale of the land will require a Town Planning Scheme rezoning process to change the zoning of Swan Location 8456 from “Recreation” to “Residential” and its subdivision will require the approval of the Western Australian Planning Commission.

The sale of the land must comply with the statutory requirement of a minimum of 10% POS being retained in the area.

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FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

• Council may be required to meet the Department of Planning and Infrastructure - State Land Services cost of obtaining a current valuation for Lot 8456 Astroloma Place

• An ongoing financial allocation will be required in the Operational Services budget if Astroloma Place Park is kept for rehabilitation and maintenance.

Figures have not been accurately costed at this stage. Current costs for basic maintenance of the area are in the order of $2,000 per annum.

• There will be an ongoing cost to the City for any improvement or additions that would be undertaken as a result of the sale of the reserve.

RECOMMENDATION

That the Council resolve to:

1) Approach Department for Planning and Infrastructure - State Land Services to obtain a current valuation for the purchase of Lot 8456, Astroloma Place

2) Proceed with the sale of Lot 8456, Astroloma Place, Koongamia by private treaty to the Department of Housing and Works, based upon an agreed sale price.

3) Upon the completion of recommendations 1 and 2 the matter be referred back to Council for approval and acceptance of the purchase price

MOTION that the Recommendation be adopted.

(Cr Congerton - Cr Holmes) RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY TO:

1) Approach Department for Planning and Infrastructure - State Land Services to obtain a current valuation for the purchase of Lot 8456, Astroloma Place.

2) Proceed with the sale of Lot 8456, Astroloma Place, Koongamia by private treaty to the Department of Housing and Works, based upon an agreed sale price.

3) Upon the completion of recommendations 1 and 2 the matter be referred back to Council for approval and acceptance of the purchase price.

References

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