On 25 February 2022, the Town of Cambridge in a unanimous 8-0 vote, rejected Christ Church Grammar School’s scheme amendment application to have the Mount Claremont playing fields rezoned. The school is seeking a $75m plus windfall gain from the rezoning of land that was sold to it by the City of Perth at a fraction of its market value for the stated purpose of playing fields.
The Town of Cambridge set out 10 reasons why the application was rejected:
The current designations of the land, as a reserve for “Parks and recreation” under the Local Planning Scheme No1, and as “Sport Space” under the Local Planning Strategy adopted by the Council and endorsed by the WA Planning Commission, are consistent with the existing use and appropriate for the future use of the land.
The proposed zoning and development are not consistent with either the Local Planning Scheme or the Local Planning Strategy and hence would be contrary to orderly planning.
The proposed zoning and development would be inconsistent with the purpose intended by the City of Perth when it sold the land to CCGS on extremely favourable terms, and there has been no change in the circumstances sufficient to change that purpose.
There is no planning reason, and none has been proposed, why the existing use of the land should not continue, under its current or any other ownership.
The proposed zoning and development would result in a significant loss of amenity, physically and socially, to the local community. This would be contrary to proper planning.
It is apparent, from submissions and other communications from the local community, that the proposed zoning and development is overwhelmingly opposed by the local community. Additionally, no expressions of support, even in part, from the general public have been demonstrated.
There is no case to be made, nor has one been proposed, to provide for any need for additional housing in the locality, or the municipality as a whole. The need for residential development has been adequately dealt with in the approved Local Planning Strategy.
Changing the use of the land from open space would create an intrusive anomaly in the landscape character of the precinct west of McClemans Road and north of Fortview Road, with a resultant loss of public amenity.
The proposed zoning and development are not supported by the EPA report Land Use Strategy for Bold Park and Environs and its Recommendation 2, to the contrary the report opposes such development in that location.
The proposed zoning and development would create an undesirable precedent in terms of both orderly planning process and the conversion of reserved land to urban development.
Watch Town of Cambridge councillor’s Timmermanis and Haddon-Casey explain why they voted NO.