Where is the Miller’s Crossing open space?
The Miller’s Crossing open space is located on the border of Carlisle and Lathlain on Raleigh Street and Bishopsgate Street. The specific details of each lot that makes up Miller’s Crossing are:
- Lot 1003 (No. 7) Raleigh Street, Carlisle – 2,081m2;
- Lot 1004 (No. 6) Raleigh Street, Carlisle – 1,343m2; and
- Lot 1005 (No. 45) Bishopsgate Street, Carlisle – 1,157m2.
Who owns this land?
The land is owned by the Western Australian Planning Commission.
What is the history of how this land has been used?
The land was originally developed in the same way that all land in Carlisle was. In the 1950’s to 1960’s houses were built on quarter acre blocks and were home to several families. The Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) acquired the land to make room for the Millers Crossing railway bridge which was ultimately constructed in 2004. When the WAPC acquired the land, they rezoned large portions of it as ‘Other Regional Roads’ so that it could be used for any road widenings needed as part of the bridge construction.
After the bridge was constructed, the Town decided to maintain the land as open space and it has been used as parkland ever since. The Town did not take ownership of the land.
Why has the Town been maintaining this land as public open space and how much has that cost?
In 2004 the Town started to maintain Millers Crossing open space as parkland for community use. This was likely to make sure that land did not become derelict and an eyesore whilst it sat unused. On average, it has cost the Town $28,000 a year to maintain this land.
Why has the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) given the Town the opportunity to purchase the land now?
The Town originally approached the WAPC in 2011 about the future of the land known as Miller’s Crossing open space. As part of the project known as Amendment 56 the Town asked the WAPC to reserve the land as Parks and Recreation. The WAPC did not feel that this was the best use of the land and wanted to rezone it for Residential R30. It was during the negotiations for this project that the WAPC offered the Town the opportunity to purchase the land and therefore have more control over its future.
What is Amendment 56?
Amendment 56 was a project initiated by the Town in 2011 to see the land known as Millers Crossing open space reserved as ‘Parks and Recreation’ under the Town Planning Scheme. This would have ensured that the land could continue to be used as open space. The Western Australian Planning Commission is yet to make a decision on Amendment 56.
Why have we waited for the Public Open Space Strategy to be prepared before making a decision?
At the Ordinary Council Meeting in 2018 Councillors decided to delay their decision on the possible purchase of the land until the Towns Public Open Space Strategy (POSS) was completed. The POSS is a strategic document that looks at all of the Towns public open space and guides how it should be managed in the future. Importantly, it looks at what gaps the Town has in supply of open space and how we can prioritise improvements we make to them. This is critical information in considering if the Millers Crossing open space is truly needed and if not, why.
The POSS did not recommended to purchase or not purchase the land, but simply provided detailed analysis to assist decision making.
What does the Public Open Space say about Millers Crossing open space?
You are able to read the Towns Public Open Space Strategy (POSS) in full here:https://www.victoriapark.wa.gov.au/About-Council/Council-documents?dlv_OC%20CL%20Public%20DocLib%20Relative=(pageindex=2)
In general, the strategy makes the following conclusions:
- The land known as Miller’s Crossing is currently used as a ‘local park’, being a small space that provides for the day to day recreation of the immediate residential population.
- The land known as Miller’s Crossing also functions as passive open space with a traditional setting. This means that it is open space without organised sporting facilities but has areas of open turf, trees, and places for respite.
- That Carlisle as a whole suburb has gaps in the supply of accessible public open space (within a 400m walkable catchment) for its residents. The gaps in supply do not exist around Millers Crossing and gaps and would not be created in that area by removing the open space provided by Millers Crossing. Section 3.0 and 4.5 of Appendix A of the Public Open Space Strategy outlines the current supply gaps.
- Carlisle is currently undersupplied with public open space having 2ha of public open space per 1000 persons in lieu of the recommended 3.36ha per 1000 persons. It is forecast that this shortfall will increase to 0.5ha of public open space per 1000 persons by 2036.
- The focus of recommendations of the Public Open Space Strategy is to increase the supply of public open space appropriately, improve access to public open space and to improve the quality of the Towns public open space.
- In relation to increasing supply, the strategy focuses on addressing the gaps in supply in identified gaps, where residents currently have no accessible public open space. This can be achieved via the purchase of new land, transforming drainage infrastructure, creating new public open space as part of future development and advocating for the sinking of the railway line. The area in which the subject land sits does not have a gap in supply.
- Appendix C of the Public Open Space Strategy provides a specific recommendations for the land at Millers Crossing. It states:
With the development of Tom Wright Park (Zone 2X) the community will continue to have pedestrian access to local parks, i.e. no additional gaps will occur. It is noted that utilising a population calculation Carlisle is undersupplied by POS.
Millers Crossing has some significant trees, circled on map adjacent, both native and exotic species, and a good quality embankment vegetation to the north of the space. Other than bench seats there is no significant infrastructure on site. It is strongly recommended that the Town work with the State Government to advocate for the requirement to retain all mature trees on this lot should it be developed into the future.
To date Millers Crossing has been considered Public Open Space by the community and maintained as such by the council. It should be noted that the community may oppose the development of this site.”
Why are administration staff recommending that the Town does not purchase the land when community consultation favoured purchasing the land for public open space?
The key reasons that administration has recommended not to purchase the land are as follows:
- Whilst it is identified that Carlisle has an overall shortfall in the provision of public open space the subject site is located in an area of Carlisle that is very well serviced by public open space. The Town has recently invested a large amount of funding into public open space in this immediate area with the delivery of the Lathlain Park Redevelopment Project.
- Based on the findings of the Public Open Space Strategy, the significant funds that would be required to purchase the subject land, would likely be better invested in addressing the gaps in supply in those areas of Carlisle where residents have no access to public open space (within a 400m walkable catchment).
- The community expressed very little desire to acquire the lots for redevelopment and sale (being Options 4 and 5). As a result, administration feels that these options should not be further pursued.
- The land is not currently zoned for open space and there has always been an expectation that it would not remain accessible as such in the long term.
Who makes the decision on whether to purchase the land or not?
The Towns elected members will make the decision on whether to purchase the land. Past community consultation outcomes and the advice of the Public Open Space Strategy, and administrations will be presented to assist Council’s determination. Council may choose not to follow administrations recommendation.
How much will the land cost the Town to purchase?
The Western Australian Planning Commission has indicated that they are seeking a purchase price of approximately $2.7 – $2.9 million. This price is based on the highest and best use of the land, being zoned as Residential R30. The price is broken down into each lot as follows:
Is it possible for the Town to negotiate a better price for the purchase of the land?
If the Town decides to purchase the land, it will enter into negotiations with the Western Australian Planning Commission. It may be possible for the Town to negotiate for a lower price to purchase the land.
Has the Town got budget available to purchase the land is Councillors decide to do so?
The Town does not have budget set aside to purchase
this land. The report to Council outlines that there are several options to
raise budget to purchase the land. Each
option would need to be rigorously considered as there would potentially be
significant impact on the operations of the Town.
Has the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) told the Town what they intend on doing with the land if the Town does not purchase it?
There is no certainty as to the next steps that the WAPC may take. It is possible that they may:
- Decide not to sell the land for the foreseeable future, in which case the current arrangement where the Town maintains the land as open space will continue.
- Sell the land to a private developer to develop as residential housing.
- Allow state government to develop the land for housing (such as through the Department of Housing).
If the land is developed for housing, what will happen to the trees on site?
The Public Open Space Strategy advocates for retaining the significant trees if the land is sold. This is in keeping with the Towns Urban Forest Strategy.
To ensure the trees are retained as much as possible, the Town can consider requiring a Local Development Plan to guide future development on site. A Local Development Plan (LDP) is a planning tool used to coordinate and facilitate the design of development on difficult lots. Given the subject site abuts an ‘Other Regional Road’ and there is a strong desire to ensure the retention of significant trees onsite the preparation of an LDP is well justified in this instance. Decision makers are to give ‘due regard’ to an approved LDP when making decisions in respect to the development of land. Once approved, an LDP is valid for a duration of ten (10) years.