Group of Bakers Hill residents oppose new street

A group of Bakers Hill residents have accused the Northam Shire of starting ground work for a new road on the side of Hooper Park to replace Yates Street, without consulting with the public first. 

However, the Northam Shire said it had conducted extensive consultation with the public and key stakeholders, in conjunction with Main Roads over the past two years.  

The park is valued by the community as the original primary school site and location of local Australia Day and Remembrance Day services.

It was also landscaped by community volunteers during the 1990s and early 2000s. 

Northam Shire acting chief executive officer Clinton Kleynhans said public submissions were still open for the closure of Yates Street. 

“Local stakeholders and groups in the community have been consulted,” he said.

“Businesses and residents were given a survey and proposed plans of the works at least 12 months ago.

“Responses from the public were received, collated and sent to Main Roads.”

Mr Kleynhans said the advertised proposed closure of Yates Street would close on August 2 and any submissions would then be presented to Council for consideration, prior to making a determination if the street was to remain open.

A Bakers Hill resident, who has lived in the town for 20 years and prefers not to be named, said a group of locals were outraged. 

“Nobody was consulted about plants and trees they have ripped out at Hooper Park,” the Bakers Hill resident said. 

“Part of the plants and trees they have ripped out were chosen by old students from the original Bakers Hill Primary School.

“It is a bit of heritage for the town and a memory of their lives.

The resident said it was very poor management from the Shire.

“It is not good enough,” they said.

Mr Kleynhans said the new road being constructed will provide a safer alternative access from Great Eastern Highway to Newman Street which is governed by a separate process.

“The works currently under construction on Newman Street and Bedford Street had prior consultation and support with key landowners before works commencing,” he said.

“Once the project is complete there will be a significant improvement in the streetscape and road safety with the town site.”