public+housing2Straws in the wind – three sites that will carry West End’s future

From the middle of last century, West End has welcomed successive waves of migrants. The latest wave of change, however, has been economic.

Within the peninsula there are sites that have the potential to either advance the suburb or, equally, to undermine its future. Proponents carry a very real responsibility.

North by North West

City Council has recently declared the process for master planning the 26 hectares of riverfront from the milk factory down to the concrete plant in Montague Road. The sheer scale of this land so close to our river and city underscores its significance. It lies in the middle of flood prone lands, thus demanding a responsible and sensitive response.

Smack bang in the middle

The second site on our watch list is the current ABSOE location on Boundary Street. This collection of industrial and heritage buildings will be an attractive canvas to the creative developer, with imagination enough to embrace the values and spirit of West End. The project will also fundamentally shift the centre of gravity on our main street.

Central Park

The third site, although not large in square metres, is equally as significant. The small lot at 68 Vulture Street was declared public open space by City Council in 2011. It was just one of three new parks identified by council (See councillor Abraham’s story – this page) to meet the extra 25,000 residents projected for growth in the neighbourhood. The Lord Mayor deserves credit and support for delivering on the legal planning scheme, notwithstanding 11th hour lobbying from the owners of the longstanding dirt car park.

As the increased density of extra residents is approved by Council, the pressure on urban social infrastructure increases. Parks, even small urban open spaces, are essential. Lord Mayor Quirk deserves our support in his efforts to deliver this one small space.

These three developments are illustrative and emblematic of the urban development of our exciting suburb. They deserve your attention, ideas and comment.