‘Beware of change’

The proposed new Two Wells housing development will challenge infrastructure and remove the country ambience, warns an Angle Vale resident, disillusioned by earlier developments there. WIll Thornton contacted The Echo with these views, published here as one man’s opinion …

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Two Wells plan ‘looks exciting’ but Will claims country aura will be lost

All is not as it seems with the proposed new Two Wells development, according to one Angle Vale resident, who believes the project is just another way the State government is forcing primary producers off their land and pushing ahead to build more homes, no matter what local communities think.

In an emailed letter to the Echo, Mr Thornton, who moved to Angle Vale to retire eight years ago, said he was disillusioned with the development process following a scenario in his home town when the new Northern Expressway was built, where he felt the community’s voice was not taken into account and planning workshops were only a token effort on the part of developers.

Mr Thornton said he felt the same process was happening in Two Wells with the new development.

“What bothers me is this: We here in Angle Vale were invited to a workshop just like the people in Two Wells and Lewiston were, where it was pretended that we were all going to have input on how we envisaged our country township in 30 years from that date (six years ago),” he said.

“Within days our input and concerns were all in the bin, the plans for Angle Vale were well under way and re-zoning was just about done, we had been had just like the people in and around Two Wells.

“When we wanted to retire we wanted to settle down in a country township away from suburbia and this is not going to happen if they build another 5000 plus homes.

“Everything in the way of farming and horticulture is being pushed out and the new homes brought in.

“The chicken farmers, the piggery, gone, cows, it’s all going to be gone.

“We’re no longer a country township, apparently we’re a suburb of Playford.

Mr Thornton said the Two Wells development, while appearing exciting on paper, would mean more stress on already strained infrastructure, like roads, and country towns should be left as just that – a country town.

“It sure as hell looks exciting with all its walking tracks parks and wetlands, but what about major infrastructure like roads to the city and other places,” he commented.

“When and where is the new hospital going to be built?

“When I look at the number of people who are going to live in Two Wells (3000 homes, around 12,000 people; mum, dad and two kids, and 6000 cars, two per house) and have to use the Port Wakefield Road, which it is said will get them to the city in 45 minutes, it bothers me, as they will be on the road with 10,000 cars from Angle Vale with its 20,000 people from 5000 thousand new homes, 48,000 thousand people from Buckland Park with its 12,000 new homes and 24,000 thousand cars and 10,000 cars and 20,000 thousand people from Virginia from 5000 new homes.

“I feel it will take a lot longer than 45 minutes.”

Mr Thornton said he was disappointed to see more land being gobbled up by houses, with the horticulture industry being pushed further north.

“Why are we hell-bent on joining the dots,” he said. “And the dots are the country towns.

“The government is intent on making them bigger and joining them up. Two-hundred-and-sixty-thousand people are to be housed into our north and homes built mostly on market gardens in our food bowl.”

Mr Thornton felt State government was overriding councils and developers only were intent on making a profit and the community voice was being lost in the process.

“I’m not opposed to development as such,” he said. “I’m opposed to developers dictatoring to State government who in turn are tying the hands of councils.

State Member for Taylor, Leesa Vlahos, whose electorate currently includes Two Wells, disagrees, saying the new development will bring with it new infrastructure, services, employment and growth to the north.

Mrs Vlahos said discussions with developers Hickinbotham had been two-way and the “placemaking” workshops constructive, with the subsequent plan of the development connecting to the existing township.

“I have attended one of the developer’s public consultation meetings and found the dialogue to be constructive and genuine,” Mrs Vlahos said.

“The plans presented from Hickinbotham have considered the growing infrastructure needs that will have to be addressed.

“For example, the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure has agreed with the council, Hickinbotham and the Commissioner of Highways to sign an infrastructure deed.

“This will create certainty and define roles and contributions to the local road infrastructure.

“A new road network will be created to accommodate the new houses being built.”

Mrs Vlahos said considering the electorate of Taylor was one of the fastest growing areas in the state and would continue to be so, she has advocated for more police, emergency services resources, facilities, and better public transport.

The construction of a birth to Year 12 school, and the potential to create more than 3000 jobs in retail, commercial activities and light industry in the next 20 years as a result of the development, were also positives for the local community and the region, she said.

The final word from Mr Thornton: “Leave things as they are. They (Two Wells) are going to lose that country township that’s for sure.”

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