Civic Heart conditions

Media Response 9 July 2019

Enquiry from Property and Urban Planning Editor, The West Australian 

Hello, I was wondering if I could get some of the council’s 109 conditions put on the Civic Heart proposal.

In particular, I am keen to know how much public space the council is requesting in the development. Is it just seeking one floor as a community space? 

Does the current proposal offer any public space within the tower? 

Does the council feel that it has erred by not previously requesting for public amenity for the tower as a trade off for height?

What is the council demanding by way of public art?

What is it asking for in terms of car parking?

What is it demanding by way of trees?

This is the most important question: This is an extensive list of conditions. Can all proposals now expect to be subject to a greater list of public benefits in return for height allowances or general approvals?

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

Could I get some of the council’s 109 conditions put on the Civic Heart proposal?

The report to the Metro Central Joint Development Assessment Panel, which contains the full list of suggested conditions, can be found here: https://www.dplh.wa.gov.au/departmentofplanninglandsheritage/media/daps/metro%20central%20jdap/agenda/2019/july/20190703%20-%20agenda%20-%20no%20352%20-%20city%20of%20south%20perth.pdf

How much public space is the council requesting in the development - is it just seeking one floor as a community space?

Civic Heart is the most significant and iconic site at the gateway of the City and has its own planning scheme provisions, which require the provision of the following public spaces:

  • At least one facility available for use by external parties such as a meeting room, boardroom, lecture theatre, presentation space or function room; and
  • Public access in the form of two ground floor tenancies that are either a café, cinema, educational establishment, indoor sporting facilities, day care centre or consulting rooms.

The proposed development meets these requirements.

Does the current proposal offer any public space within the tower? 

There are no public spaces within the tower. However, plazas and laneways will be provided within the site, together with landscaping and public art, and these will be publicly accessible.

Does the council feel that it has erred by not previously requesting for public amenity for the tower as a trade off for height?

The previous development application on this site offered various forms of public benefit through contributions to the upgrade of Mends Street, plazas at ground level, public art and publicly accessible connections through the site. 

What is the council demanding by way of public art?

The provision of public art required on this site is as per the scheme requirement. The scheme requires the provision of onsite public art to a value of one per cent of the estimated construction cost. This is consistent with the City’s adopted policy on public art contributions.

What is it asking for in terms of car parking?

The report details that 559 car bays are proposed at basement and podium levels with bicycle parking and end-of-trip facilities. This is consistent with the scheme requirements for this site.

What is it demanding by way of trees?

The mature tree adjacent to the police station has been retained. A 40 per cent landscaping requirement comprising plantings is applied to the site, which has been met through the assessment and forms part of the officer’s report. 

This is an extensive list of conditions. Can all proposals now expect to be subject to a greater list of public benefits in return for height allowances or general approvals?

The conditions are specific to this complex and unique site and application.

Currently, other applications seeking additional height within this area are required to provide community benefits in accordance with the requirements of the scheme (Element 8 of Schedule 9A). These include:

  • One or more facilities such as a meeting room, boardroom, lecture theatre or function room for use by external parties;
  • Public access to the building, terraces or gardens at ground level or on the roof for leisure, recreational or cultural activities through a café, cinema, gymnasium, community exhibition gallery or an outdoor area designed for public entertainment performances;
  • A commercial use with wider community benefits such as a daycare centre, consulting rooms or educational establishment; and
  • End of trip facilities for cyclists.

The City is currently advertising a draft Activity Centre Plan and associated scheme amendment for the area. These documents propose a tiered system of building height and plot ratio.

This system works on the principle that the taller the building is, the more stringent the design criteria and public benefit contributions become.

Importantly this public benefit contribution will only be considered where a development has passed the prerequisite amenity test and met the applicable design criteria (design excellence or exemplary design depending on the amount of additional height being sought).

The City is proposing an innovative and unique way of quantifying the amount of public benefit required, which is clearly linked to the value of the additional floor space the development is seeking.

Media contact

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