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From NIMBY to OKIMBY

A recent event held by AAA unpacked the topical issue of the NIMBY movement and residents’ perceptions both pre and post construction.


Undertaking research around the controversial Evans St development, where the NIMBY movement went as far as placing flyers in the bags of school kids at Rosalie Park Primary School claiming paedophiles would be overlooking the neighbouring kindy, as well as Vic Quarter, the results were consistent regardless of the location or demographic.


While both project sites initially had a degree of opposition (Shenton Park 51% and Vic Park 26%), once the projects were completed, this swung to a greater degree of acceptance with 48% in Vic Park and 38% in Shenton Park. In particular only 22% of Shenton Park residents could find nothing positive about the MJA designed and Fabric built project.


CEO Samantha Reece said that fearmongering by NIMBYs often caused a degree of suspicion towards developers which was unfounded.


“Street parking, traffic and overlooking were the number one concern for both these communities but post construction residents realised that there were benefits, especially in Vic Park where the Vic Quarter development and Boston Brewery were preferred additions, over the previous use which was a car yard,” Ms Reece said.


“But what needs to be noted, is that despite this experience being a positive one, their default when asked about future developments was to revert to opposition.


“As Penny Taylor, one of our panel experts pointed out, you can bend over backwards to accommodate the NIMBY movement but that will not appease them, in fact it fuels their belligerency and then the Council is on the back foot and on a hiding to nowhere.”


Research conducted by Dr Paul Hooper of AUDRC of 260 residents in the Claremont Oval Precinct also mirrored the AAA research findings.


The survey, which also encompassed residents who had moved to the area to reside in apartments, showed that 51% of the new residents had moved from the Claremont area. Looking at a 5km radius this jumped to 75%.


The research also showed that post development 75% were happy with the outcome.

Samantha concluded by saying that a precinct approach to apartment development and upfront dialogue was important in combatting opposition.


“We are seeing the NIMBY movement now mobilising across Perth and they are working as a collective,” Ms Reece said.


“People are turning up to public and council meetings who aren’t even residents in the area, but are seeking to add their weight to the NIMBY argument.


“Furthermore, while Councils are being blindsided by these minority voices, there are Members of Parliament who are also actively working against their own party to undermine infill and this needs to be called out, especially if the target is to reach 47%.


“Apartment living is part of our future and there needs to be a concerted education campaign by the State Government as to the benefits of infill and the need for housing choice.


“Until the State Government leads this dialogue, developers will continue to have to fight opposition on a project-by-project basis and that is both time consuming and demoralising and quite frankly unnecessary.”


To read the article published by WA Business News about the event click here.


Rhys Kelly (Fabric Property), Dr Paula Hooper (AUDRC), Richard Pappas (Celsius Property), Samantha Reece (AAA) and Penny Taylor (former Subiaco Mayor) spoke at the recent NIMBY to YIMBY event.

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