When Jan Honter decided to sell up in suburban Canning Vale a decade ago and move his family further south to semi-rural Cardup, living close to nature was the number one drawcard.
“This is a real little pocket of serenity that you can come back to after a day of work and forget about the pressures of life,” he said.
But Mr Honter and his neighbours are now fighting a grassroots battle to try to preserve that way of life that they claim is under threat from plans to open a plastics factory right on their doorsteps.
Almost 100 residents attended a protest meeting on Thursday and called on the Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale to knock back the plan for the factory to be built just 250m from houses.
The company behind the plan, Smartstream Technology, produces large scale plastic fittings for sewage and drainage projects and currently operates out of a factory in Kewdale.
In its application to the shire for development approval, it claims any potential health risks to residents from emissions such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were negligible, as were any issues related to noise, traffic and dust.
The risk of chemical spills would also be mitigated by appropriate design that would capture contaminants on site and prevent them entering the groundwater system and nearby Cardup creek.
Locals rely on the ground water for drinking as their homes are not connected to scheme water.
Cardup resident Karina Baker said any risk to the community, no matter how small, was not worth gambling with.
“We don’t ask for much, just to stay the green and beautiful little area that we are and always have been,” she said. “We don’t need to be smelling plastics and listening to machines going.”
The land Smartstream wants to build on falls within the Cardup Business Park, which was created in 2012 after the land was rezoned from rural to urban.
Urban zoning does permit industrial activity, including various types of manufacturing.
But according to the shire’s website, the types of industrial uses that had been intended for the park were “warehousing, transport and logistics businesses, and showroom type commercial facilities”.
Mr Honter urged the shire to follow its own guidelines when it came time to vote on the proposal later this year.
“It is not Nimby-ism. We are not against development and opportunities for people to get work,” he said. “All we ask is that any development should be in line with community expectations.”
The deadline for community members to lodge submissions with the Shire on the proposal is 5pm today.