City strong-armed over health campus zoning

The City of Karratha has been forced by the WA Planning Commission to overturn a zoning recommendation which would provide flexibility to Western Australian Country Health Service (WACHS) for future development opportunities and activities at the Karratha Health Campus site.

The City has been advised by the Minister for Planning that it must rezone the site in a manner that is restrictive, only allowing the development of the new hospital and potentially some associated health related uses.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said that while Council supports the CBD location of the campus, it has been disappointed by lack of consultation and is concerned that this latest decision is short sighted and not the best outcome for both the site and Karratha City Centre.

“This is yet another example of the State Government bypassing the City in planning for the design and development of the Karratha Health Campus,” Cr Long said.

“We have previously expressed concerns that the proposed hospital design does not meet the State’s own vision and the City’s objectives, particularly in regards to connecting with the city centre.”

“Rezoning this site for health purposes only will limit the ability to achieve any development on the site other than the new hospital which we feel is unnecessary and restrictive given the size of the site and its proximity to the City Centre.”

“While the City supports the location of the new hospital and understands the need for certainty of use there needs to be sufficient flexibility for future development decisions that would get the most out of this prime location and further activate our city centre,” he added.

The City of Karratha has written to the Minister for Planning, Minister for Health and Minister for Regional Development expressing its concerns and objection to the rezoning decision.