Spencer Park’s transformation into a vibrant neighbourhood centre could start early next year according to Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington.
Mr Wellington’s comments come after the release of the Department of Communities’ proposed local development plan for the suburb for public comment last Wednesday.
The plan marks a big step in the State and local government’s vision to grow Spencer Park, a project which has been in the works since 2016 and forms part of the WA Housing Strategy 2020-2030.
The local development plan, devised after a year of public consultation, provides a guide for how land and spaces can be developed in line with the long-term vision to stimulate investment in the area.
According to the plan, the Spencer Park Neighbourhood Centre development would include “employment, housing, community facilities and a high quality network of streets”.
It incorporates priorities identified by the community, including the need to encourage walking and cycling, providing a broader mix of businesses and universally accessible streets.
Under the plan, Hardie Road would be activated as the “main street”’ of the neighbourhood.
A key priority is to create an entrance to the Spencer Park Shopping Centre from Hardie Road, surrounded by cafes or alfresco dining.
Revamping the western area of Mokare Park with nature-based play equipment was also a priority, as well as improving pedestrian access between the park and the Spencer Park Primary School.
Activating the buildings on Nind Street to frame the entrance to the central precinct via street trees, street furniture and footpaths was also a focus.
Mr Wellington said he hoped the plan’s vision, coupled with the WA Government’s push for COVID-19 recovery projects, would act as the catalyst needed to kick off Spencer Park’s growth.
“The rules of the game have changed quite a bit and there is a lot more development coming out that was going to be held up previously,” he said.
“The land is there and ready to go, so the sooner, the better. I think early in the new year, it would be nice if we could get some development there, but it’s all about the timing in terms of when it is economically feasible.”
To view the plan or submit a comment, visit the City of Albany website.