Lots 81 & 82, No 31 Labouchere Road & Lot 12, 24 Lyall Street, South Perth

Media Response 5 December 2018

Journalist’s enquiry: As you know the Metro Central JDAP knocked back Sirona Capital’s Lyall Street Residences because it said there was in adequate guidance about how it should use its discretion in the town planning scheme. The developer says that means the planning scheme does not work and that the City of South Perth should get its planning house in order.

My questions for publication are:

  • When does the City of South Perth envisage it will have a planning scheme that spells out the level of discretion that a JDAP can apply (and specifically what sort of bonuses apply to what sort of community bonuses)?
  • Does this mean that there can be no big planning decisions taken on the South Perth peninsula?
  • Given the City of South Perth councillors voted  to postpone advertising its activity centre plan, is this uncertainty of the councillors’ making?
  • In general given that the City’s design advisory committee said the project was “exemplary” what objections does the city have to the  Lyall Street Residences proposal?
  • Is there a danger that the City of South Perth will end up with shorter, fatter buildings that cast shadows for longer periods of time?

Please attribute the following statement to the City of South Perth Mayor Sue Doherty.

The City of South Perth Council supports the decision of the Metro Central Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP) to refuse the development application for a 44 storey plus basement building on Lots 81 & 82, No 31 Labouchere Road & Lot 12, 24 Lyall Street, South Perth.

This decision is a good outcome for the City of South Perth and our community. A building of this size is not appropriate for this location, it is completely out of scale with the surrounding and adjacent buildings and out of step with the City and community’s expectations.

The City’s Responsible Authority Report (RAR) recommended refusal of this application and Council unanimously endorsed the recommendation for refusal at the Council Meeting held on Tuesday 27 November 2018.

The RAR’s reasons for refusal include the scale of the proposed development not considered compatible with the current setting as the overall height being significantly greater than the established height pattern in the immediate locality. The RAR also cited the lack of certainty that the development will be compatible with the desired future setting of the precinct as a reason for refusal.

The proposed development sought a significant discretion and variation to the height limit. Put simply, the proposed development is over five times greater than the building height limit for this location under the City’s Town Planning Scheme, and double the size of the tallest buildings in the South Perth Station Precinct. The applicant was therefore asking JDAP to consider more than 500% discretion to the building height limit to support this proposal. 

Where additional height is sought, the expectation is for an overwhelming community benefit case.  Discretion is not an entitlement, it must be earned. This proposed development offered very little in the way of community benefit compared to a massive increase in height.

The focus on the aspect of “amenity” is critical to any development application. The sheer scale of the proposed development would have created a major impact on access to sunlight for a number of properties surrounding the development. Additionally, at 44 storeys this proposed development would have overlooked the Perth Zoo and had a major visual impact on this significant State and City of South Perth tourist attraction which last year drew 750,000 visitors. The building would be seen from all angle points from the Zoo and the scale is overpowering.

The City is currently preparing a South Perth Activity Centre Plan for the South Perth Peninsula and immediate surrounding area. This will set out the long term strategic vision and the statutory planning requirements for development in the area over the next 10 years.

The Council considered the Draft South Perth Activity Centre Plan for public advertising at the November Council meeting. The Council resolved to defer consideration of the plan until April 2019 to allow a reasonable period for elected members and planning officers to build on the current work, explore a variety of built form options that will meet the Council’s vision for the area, address the diverse views of the community, and align with the State Government’s overarching Strategic Planning Framework. 

This Council decision will ensure an optimal outcome for the City, Council, community and stakeholders. It is essential to ensure that new development better relates to its context, complements local character and minimises impacts on existing buildings.

Media contact

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