The site is zoned rural under the MRS and Rural Agriculture under the City’s Local Planning Scheme No. 3 (LPS3). The Site covers an area of approximately 90 hectares comprising 37 land parcels bound by Weston Road, Pickering Brook Road, Carinyah Road, Davey Road, Isaacs Road, McCorkill Road and Repatriation Road.
The City’s Local Planning Strategy (LPS), endorsed by the WAPC in 2013, identifies the Pickering Brook Townsite Expansion as an urban investigation area. The strategy of the LPS is to ‘review the Pickering Brook Townsite with the intention of consolidating the uses and giving it a focus.’ To achieve this, the LPS will ‘undertake comprehensive planning analysis of the Pickering Brook Townsite and surrounds to investigate potential for the creation of new lots.’ The Hills Rural Study 2014 was also adopted by the Council in March 2015.
In 2015 The Planning Group (TPG) was appointed to conduct preliminary investigations into the area and liaise with State Government stakeholders. The City worked in conjunction with TPG to identify constraints and opportunities and conduct technical studies in the area. These technical studies included:
In March OCM 2016 Council moved to request that the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) initiate an amendment to the MRS, rezoning Pickering Brook Town Site Expansion Area from Rural to Urban, from Rural Agriculture to Urban Development under LPS3.
The Pickering Brook Townsite Expansion Area MRS request went to the Meeting of the WAPC on 25 October 2017. The WAPC resolved to refuse to initiate the proposal for the following reasons:
The North East Sub-Regional Planning Framework was adopted by the State Government in March 2018 and identified the Pickering Brook Townsite as a ‘Planning Investigation Area’.
Table 3 of the Framework identified the key considerations as:
In October 2018 the City received a letter from the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH) announcing the formation of a working group to support a taskforce to develop a sustainability and tourism strategy for Pickering Brook and the surrounding area. The letter included the taskforce terms of reference and identified two objectives:
The City has since been working closely with DPLH and other members of the working group to prepare technical studies and engage with the local residents in the area. It is likely the outcomes of the Taskforce investigation will be announced in mid-late 2020.