THE rural townsite of Gidgegannup to the north east of Perth is perched for significant expansion if the master plan from property developer, Port Bouvard, lodged last week with the City of Swan and the Western Australian Planning Commission, receives approval. Port Bouvard is confident of receiving approval after purchasing the 483 hectares of land in June 2007, undertaking an extensive consultation program and conducting 18 months worth of environmental and planning studies before finalising the townsite plan. The area was identified as a future town site under the state government's North Eastern Hills Settlement Pattern Plan (NEHSPP) and State Planning Strategy. And the master plan acts as a submission to the Western Australian Planning Commission and the Council to initiate rezoning amendments to the Metropolitan Region Scheme and City of Swan Town Planning Scheme. Plans include a mixture of rural lots and townsite lots, with new commercial opportunities proposed to support the NEHSPP population estimates of four to five thousand people. There will also be two schools, a village centre, a grey water reuse system and 23 per cent of the townsite will be allocated to public open space to help retain the rural feel of the area. City of Swan chief executive Mike Foley said there is still a lot of work to be done. "It's the first time the plans have been submitted for council review and we haven't had the opportunity to review the plans in any meaningful way as yet, so it may take a while," Mr Foley told WA Business News. "The matter will be considered on the merits of the case itself, and there is likely to be rezoning due to the NEHSPP and that needs to take place at a state level. "I understand it is also up for consultation with local residents on the 2nd and 3rd of May," said Mr Foley. Port Bouvard joint chief executive John Wroth said the State Planning Strategy stated that a structure plan should be created for the Gidgegannup townsite by the year 2000. "Port Bouvard has now completed this task some nine years later and as a result we are seeking expediency from the relevant planning agencies to allow the development to proceed," Mr Wroth said. The company is well aware of the role government will play, indicating that anything the local and state governments could do to move the process along would be appreciated. This follows the company's announcement last week that its land holdings at Point Grey, near Mandurah had received urban zoning approval which will accommodate approximately 3,000 homes centred around a regional marina facility.
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