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Public space wanted in plan

GIVE us more public open space in the Northbridge Urban Renewal area.

That is council’s message to the East Perth Redevelopment Authority in its comments on the April-launched concept plan for the project.

The EPRA is managing the redevelopment of the 27 hectares over the Northbridge Tunnel.

In the latest concept plan, just 1 per cent of the project area has been given to public open space.

The 1 per cent includes Weld Square and a piazza planned for Lake Street.

A 1995 concept plan for the area gave 10 per cent of the area over to public open space.

The extra open space came through the inclusion of pocket parks throughout the area.

However, councillors objected to that proposal because they felt the parks would foster antisocial behaviour.

Most suburban subdivisions give 20 per cent for public open space.

Lord Mayor Peter Nattrass said he had been concerned about the lack of public open space in the area since day one.

“It would be a shame to spoil the development for the want of some public open space in a prime location,” Dr Nattrass said.

Councillor Janet Davidson said 1 per cent of public open space over the Northbridge Tunnel would not be enough to make the area nice to live in.

Councillor Laurance Goodman said the EPRA would largely concern itself with getting the most money for the development it could.

“I think all other aspects will come secondary to getting the money,” Mr Goodman said.

The EPRA expects its plans for the tunnel land will bring an extra 460 houses into Northbridge and an additional residential population of between 1,000 and 1,250 people.

An extra 3,000 to 3,500 new employees are expected to work in the 70,000 square metres of commercial and office space allowed.

New off-street parking of up to 600 bays is expected to be created.

The EPRA anticipates spending $30 million on the project. It expects the private sector to spend $200 million on new development.

Councillor Judy McEvoy said heritage issues still threatened the project.

“Heritage is going to affect the viability of the whole thing,” Mrs McEvoy said.

Control of the Northbridge Urban Renewal area will be handed back to council when the project is finished.

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