From The West:
More than 1500 property owners along Stirling Highway, including Premier Colin Barnett, could have sections of their land resumed under plans to upgrade the road over the next 20 years.
Planning Minister John Day will today release for public comment plans to facilitate an “ultimate highway design” for a 10km stretch of the highway between Queen Victoria Street in North Fremantle and Broadway- Hampden Road in Nedlands.
The design shows the highway remaining at two lanes each way but with dedicated cycle lanes, right-turn lanes, bus queue jump lanes at traffic lights and wider verges and median strips.
Mr Day said, historically, Stirling Highway had an 80m-wide road reserve, though the current road layout was generally about 20m wide. The proposed design would be 32.7m wide.
He said under the plan more than 25ha of land, mostly north of Jarrad Street in Cottesloe, would no longer be in the road reserve and restrictions would be removed on future development.
“This will provide a lot more certainty to property owners and local governments along Stirling Highway,” he said.
But with no timeframe for the work or funds committed, Mr Day could not say when resumptions would be needed.
He said 1500 property owners, including Mr Barnett, whose Claremont home backs on to the highway, would all receive letters about the proposed changes.
He confirmed the Claremont War Memorial was a well-known landmark that would need to move to facilitate the upgrade.
His department, which spent $4.2 million buying Richard’s Electrical in Claremont in 2010, would continue to buy properties when opportunities arose, while landowners would be compensated when resumptions occurred.
Claremont mayor Jock Barker, who has been critical of the Government’s handling of highway plans, which at one stage was speculated to be widened to six-lanes, panned the latest concept.
He said it was “pie-in-the-sky rubbish”, claiming the Government would have to buy properties at an “astronomical cost”.
Public comment on the plan, which is an amendment to the Metropolitan Region Scheme, closes on July 27.