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Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Block sizes to halve under Salisbury Heights and Gulfview Heights rezoning plan

Block sizes to halve under Salisbury Heights and Gulfview Heights rezoning plan SARAH ROHWEDER NORTHERN MESSENGER MARCH 04, 2015 3:20PM SHARE 0 SALISBURY Council has approved a contentious plan to rezone parts of Salisbury Heights and Gulfview Heights to cut back the minimum block size by more than half. Under the plan, the minimum block size would be reduced from 1800sq m to 650sq m. If it is signed off by Planning Minister John Rau, the change will make way for up to 150 extra houses in Salisbury Heights and Gulfview Heights. The area to be rezoned falls between the Salisbury and Tea Tree Gully Council boundary, Little Para River, Green Valley Drive, Annesley Close and Target Hill Rd and blocks to the east of Anzac St and Arunta Drive. The approval has been postponed numerous times since the change was proposed in 2007, after councillors called for further information about its traffic, flooding and environmental impacts. Mayor Gillian Aldridge said the rezoning would give residents the opportunity to subdivide their blocks if they chose to do so, reaping a number of benefits for the area. “It will give people who live in the area an opportunity to change their house style and give future residents a variety of house blocks to choose from,” Ms Aldridge said. “I think it’s really important to understand that this is an opportunity for that area to have their roads and drains thoroughly looked at and improved, and to have the open spaces managed.” Ms Aldridge said elected members and staff had conducted thorough investigations into the plan. This included multiple reports, formal discussions, public consultation and taking a “bus ride” to one of the most affected areas — Coomurra Drive in Salisbury Heights. Some residents have lobbied against the plan, arguing it will create traffic congestion, change the area’s character and increase bushfire and flooding risks. Real estate agents have previously said house prices were likely to rise under the changes. They have said 650 sq m blocks in the two suburbs could sell for up to $250,000 if the rezoning was approved. A council spokesman said it was too early to say when development works could begin. About 510 people wrote to the council in support of the proposal during consultation from July 31 — September 30, and 141 people signed petitions against it. The council also received 49 extra submissions, which highlighted both positive and negative opinions about the rezoning. If the change is approved, properties in the affected area, now classified as semirural, will be rezoned as residential. The rezoning area will not affect Castieau housing estate, which will maintain the status quo.

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