04/02/2009 - 22:00

Rail development thrown a lifeline

04/02/2009 - 22:00

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IT might be just a small tweak to the left, but the state government's decision to go ahead with an extension to the northern rail line is likely to change the face of future suburbs all the way to Two Rocks.

Rail development thrown a lifeline

IT might be just a small tweak to the left, but the state government's decision to go ahead with an extension to the northern rail line is likely to change the face of future suburbs all the way to Two Rocks.

This week, the Barnett government committed to adding two new stations to the northern line, those of Butler and Brighton, taking the public transport link to the southern boundary of the Alkimos area.

But the element that has got aficionados of transport orientated developments (TODs) excited is that the commitment - albeit without a timetable - is thought to be the first proper divergence of the rail line and the Mitchell Freeway, after a small deviation at Joondalup.

While the new Butler station is understood to be situated next the freeway at Lukin Drive, the next stop will be in the heart of the Brighton joint venture between property group Satterley and the Department of Housing, a kilometre left, or west, of the freeway.

Urban Development Institute of Australia WA chief executive Debra Goostrey said there had been a lot of doubt about whether the extension would occur before development took place.

"What we needed was confirmation that the railway station was going to be built," said Ms Goostrey, who hoped it would be completed by 2012.

Ms Goostrey said without the public transport link, land would have been developed at lower density, something that is almost impossible to change in the future due to the cost and complexity of buying back property and rezoning it.

Satterley chief executive Nigel Satterley confirmed the state had acquired the land for the proposed rail corridors and had done much of the site preparations last year, allowing the possibility of completion as early as 2010.

Mr Satterley envisaged developments of four to six storeys could be built around the station, which would be a hub to a village-style centre.

He said that his company and the City of Wanneroo would be jointly submitting for federal infrastructure funding.

"It is the only Perth project that meets the federal infrastructure funding requirements that is ready to go today," Mr Satterley said.

The state agency LandCorp, as well as Peet and LWP, have interests in Alkimos, an area expected to house 50,000 people, while Tokyu and its partners have big plans for 5,000 hectares of land around Yanchep and Two Rocks.

Interestingly, a successful TOD cited by supporters of this concept is that of the Wellard joint venture between Peet and DoH on the southern railway, after it deviates from the Kwinana Freeway en route to Mandurah.

Another TOD mentioned in dispatches is that of Subi Centro, the reclamation of industrial land in Subiaco which provided for higher density residential and mixed use development in combination with the sinking of the Fremantle railway line and Subiaco Station.

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