City of South Perth planning practices

Media Response 2 June 2015
South Perth Station Precinct
Please attribute the following comments to City of South Perth CEO Cliff Frewing

What is your response to the claim by Steve Irons that officers from South Perth have not showed consideration towards the wishes of residents?

I do not agree with the Member for Swan’s claims that the planning practices at the City of South Perth are flawed and have been hijacked by the CEO and Planning Officers for the following reasons.

Mr Irons has made a number of inaccurate claims to Parliament including various references to the application of the Town’s Planning Scheme, lack of community consultation and that the development of 74 Mill Point Road, South Perth which Mr Irons states, “completely contradicts the City’s Town Planning Scheme”.

The amendment to the City’s Town Planning Scheme in January 2013, creating the South Perth Station Precinct (Town Planning Scheme Amendment No. 25) took place following seven years of extensive community consultation, during which Mr Irons as a resident of South Perth could have lodged a submission if he disagreed with any of the proposals.

Mr Irons refers to the role of the CEO and the City’s Planning Officers in the application of the Scheme. It is not the CEO’s or the Planning Officers Scheme, it is the Council’s Scheme. The City’s Planning Officers put forward their recommendation for the scheme amendment following community consultation, to which both Council and the Minister for Planning endorsed.

The Town Planning Scheme, which allows for this type of development, was adopted by Council in 2012.

The roles of the City’s Planning Officers and CEO are to interpret and apply legislation in-line with the City’s Town Planning Scheme and City Policies. 

The Town Planning Scheme provides for building height to exceed the Building Height Limit if all applicable Performance Criteria are met to the Council’s (or DAP’s) satisfaction.

It is worth noting the City has received nine development applications within this precinct to date. Only one project, 74 Mill Point Road, has received substantial objection from neighbours.  The other projects attracted negligible response during community consultation. 

Does the DAP approval for 74 Mill Point Road contradict the City’s town planning scheme?
No it does not. When a development application is consistent with the statutory requirements of the City’s Town Planning Scheme it will be supported by the City’s administration.

This is why the City’s Planning Officers recommended approval of the development at 74 Mill Point Road, South Perth.

Is Mr Irons correct in saying that offices from South Perth will use traffic jams from residential developments to generate the need for a train station?
The City is aware that traffic in the precinct will increase. A transport and access strategy was completed for the area in 2012 and will need to be reviewed. Once completed, any agreed recommendations will be incrementally implemented over time. This precinct is planned around excellent public transport links, however the increase in population requires bold new transport options which obviously will not be met in the long term by more cars and buses on more congested roads. 

The State Government has recognised for some time that a train station at South Perth is needed. When the Perth to Mandurah railway was approved some ten years ago, the Kwinana Freeway was straightened at a cost of $3M at Richardson Street to accommodate the station. Despite architects being appointed to progress the design of the station, it was not built. The State has subsequently contributed to planning studies within the precinct.

In view of this and in light of the precinct’s ‘District Centre’ status under the State Government’s policy, the City still expects that the station will be constructed, even though the State Government has not yet determined a specific time frame for commencement.

He also claims people who do not live in an area should not be allowed to overrule the wishes of residents and that developers should not be allowed to overrule the wishes of residents. What affect would this have on infill targets?

The public may not be aware that it is State Government policy to increase population density in South Perth - in particular in this area. The State Government policy will change the look of some parts of the City, such as the peninsula, and the City’s task is to try to retain amenity for residents in this process. The City’s action is therefore consistent with the State Governments vision and future Directions 2031 plan.

The DAP is a statutory board empowered to make decisions in place of local government Council. 

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