18/03/2010 - 00:00

Commercial hub near Canning Bridge

18/03/2010 - 00:00

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PLANS for a commercial hub at Canning Bridge include proposals for up to 10 storeys along Canning Highway in Applecross and Como.

Commercial hub near Canning Bridge

PLANS for a commercial hub at Canning Bridge include proposals for up to 10 storeys along Canning Highway in Applecross and Como.

The draft vision, which was released for public comment last month, is a design concept for the future development of the Canning Bridge precinct, and was prepared through a partnership between the cities of Melville and South Perth, the Department of Planning, and the Western Australian Planning Commission.

City of Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey said the vision for a substantial, transport-integrated commercial hub was needed for an area tipped to experience significant population growth.

Key elements of the plan include: an increase in residential densities and building heights; creation of a town square and community hub in Applecross; commercial developments adjacent to the freeway in Como; an improved bus-rail interchange; allowance for a ferry station; and installation of a pedestrian-cyclist traffic bridge across the river.

Mr Aubrey said the vision did not provide for maximum or minimum heights at this stage, but recommended a concentration of activity along Canning Highway in Applecross and Mount Pleasant.

“There are proposals to allow up to 10 storeys adjoining this zone and along the freeway in Como,” he said.

“There is also a proposal for a transition zone of up to five storeys on the Melville side of the river and up to six storeys on the South Perth side of the river.

“There is a lot more work proposed to prepare design guidelines that will assist in determining how these zones are implemented.”

Mr Aubrey said a key focus of the vision was improving transport links to the precinct to allow future development, and to encourage the private development of land through existing landowners and the formation of syndicates.

The plans have been released as the precinct’s largest employer, engineering firm Monadelphous, is seeking to consolidate its operations away from Canning Bridge.

Monadelphous currently houses 400 of its 4,500-strong workforce in three office locations at Canning Bridge, but will be moving its operations to Victoria Park in July this year.

Dermot Boyle, director of civil engineering company Bocol Constructions, said there was a need for more commercial infrastructure in the precinct.

Bocol Constructions has been based at Kintail Road near Canning Bridge for more than two decades, employing between four and 15 workers at its premises during that time.

“We’re right in the middle of the precinct, we’ve been here for 20 years and we’ve found it very useful for its access to the city and down to Fremantle and so forth,” Mr Boyle said.

“We’ve got an industrial facility in Myaree as well, which we service from here. We like the area.

“Our response is that we’re obviously in favour of the vision, and we see it as an opportunity for future development and progress, and the sorts of things that happen when you start increasing infrastructure in the area.”

International civil engineering contractor McConnell Dowell’s WA office is also based at Canning Bridge.

McConnell Dowell western region administration and accounting manager, Ian Simpson, said the company had recently evaluated its leasing options, with its current lease at Kishorn Road scheduled to expire in July this year.

Mr Simpson said the company was looking for extra space to consolidate its operations and had considered taking up leases in office developments in Belmont and Herdsman.

“We prefer this area because we’ve been here five years and most of the staff has settled around the area, so that was a big factor, that we didn’t have to go far for all of our people,” he said.

“It’s an easy place to get to, because of its proximity to the freeway; it’s close to the railway station, albeit it’s not a particularly good railway station in terms of parking, or even a drop-off and pickup zone, but we’re quite happy here, it really has all the facilities that we require.”

 

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