Height limits in the City of South Perth
Enquiry from Today Tonight journalist
Below is one of the letters we were sent, which outlines the impact of the changes for residents in the 3 apartment blocks.
We would possibly like to have someone on camera, just working on a few things. The residents are going to speak to us about their individual stories of loss of life savings etc
1. Why has the council decided to lower the height restrictions in some areas, to protect residents views, but increase it in others? This seems to be unfair and discriminate against some, while benefitting others.
2. In the case of Aurelia, does the council realise this decision will cost people, many retirees, hundreds of thousands of dollars due to disrupted views and decreased values?
3. Is this decision driven by wealthy developers, lining their pockets while causing financial ruin for families who bought their apartment based on a marketing campaign by developers?
4. Will this decision pave the way for developments of 2 sites in the area between fraser lane and mends street, that has had heights increased?
5. Does the councillor who brought this motion, have any links with developers?
Urgent Message - Act Now to Protect Your Investment
Draft South Perth Activity Centre Plan – PROPOSED NEW INCREASED BUILDING HEIGHTS FOR FORESHORE - Prepared by: Nominees for the Owners of Aurelia Apartments
Are you aware that the City of South Perth Councillors have approved a plan to increase building heights on the foreshore from the existing 25m level to 37.5m from Fraser Lane to Mend Street? Originally the height limit was 17.5m but amended to 25m and now proposed at 37.5m!
This will mean newly completed apartments such as REVA and QUEST will be overshadowed and buried some 12.5m below any high-rise developments that are certain to occur on the foreshore. With the recent demolition of a residence on the NE corner of Harper Terrace and a derelict home on the NW corner of Harper Terrace and older units next to it, it is obvious high-rise developments will occur on these parcels of land. Even without development occurring, the zoning height change alone will dramatically affect your capital values. Any development will also have a downward impact on rental returns for Aurelia, REVA and QUEST, if views are affected.
Both REVA and QUEST will lose the winter thermal benefits of the Northern sunshine which greatly contributes to minimal use of air conditioning and in REVA’s situation, the solar heated swimming pool will be shadowed, rendering the pool’s solar heating equipment less effective. AURELIA will also suffer some degree of winter thermal heating loss, resulting in higher use of air conditioning.
In the case of AURELIA many North facing apartment owners, mainly retirees paid FINBAR a premium of up to $250k EXTRA for their views beyond the 25m “Clear View Line" which was heavily promoted by FINBAR and it’s selling agents. Many AURELIA residents will not only lose their clear views but will suffer substantial financial losses of up to $350k when stamp duty and commissions are factored in. Demonstrate your anger and dismay at this proposal.
Interesting to note is that on the 6/3/19, the City of South Perth held a Special Meeting where the Councillors unanimously approved a scaling back of building heights along the Esplanade from 24.3m to 17.5m from the Narrows Bridge up to Fraser Lane but unfairly ignored the impact of higher levels from Fraser Lane to Mend Street where 37.5m proposed!
The rationale for Council scaling back the heights was “that the Esplanade heights should be preserved with a low typology to provide a better interface to the foreshore and an appropriate transition to the higher buildings along Mill Point Road that enjoyed existing views.” Surely the above same criteria should also have been applied further along the foreshore east of Fraser Lane to Mends St for owners of AURELIA, REVA and QUEST apartments, if an EQUITABLE outcome is to be achieved. You may wish to highlight in your submission where is the fairness and equity. The height limit should revert to the original 17.5m in uniform with all the land fronting the Esplanade.
Please attribute the following statement to City of South Perth Mayor, Sue Doherty.
On Monday 22 July 2019 the public consultation period for the draft South Perth Activity Centre Plan (ACP) and associated town planning Scheme Amendment No. 61 closed.
The ACP relates to the area that stretches from the tip of the South Perth Peninsula to Richardson Park and the Perth Zoo. It has been developed to manage growth and set the guiding framework for future development in this unique area of South Perth.
The current population of this area is 2,675 people; this is forecast to grow to 4,750 people by the year 2031, and 7,500 people by 2041.
The ACP includes design components that provide maximum limits on building height and size, also ensuring impacts including overshadowing, access to light and ventilation, access to views, high quality design outcomes, space between buildings and public benefits are carefully considered.
State Government policy and legislation and City of South Perth Council decisions have been taken into account when preparing these documents.
Why has the council decided to lower the height restrictions in some areas, to protect residents’ views, but increase it in others? This seems to be unfair and discriminate against some, while benefitting others.
When the draft ACP was initially presented to Council, an alternative motion was raised and endorsed to reduce the additional height potential for the majority of the Esplanade from 24.3m to 17.5m.
The Council determined that lower heights along the Esplanade should be preserved, with an appropriate transition to the higher buildings along Mill Point Road that enjoy existing views.
The proposed height for the area between Mends Street and Frasers Lane is 24.3m, with
further potential for height up to a maximum of 37.5m (to the highest point of wall or roof), only if the building meets a number of conditions. The building must be more slender, meet amenity and design quality criteria, and provide a public benefit contribution.
Currently the existing height limit in this area is 25 metres (to the finished floor level of the upper-most storey). The difference in height is approximately two storeys. The design requirements are substantially different to what is in place now.
The Council looked holistically at the area in making its decision. It was envisaged that, as development neared the Mends Street Jetty and centre of activity, greater height in the vicinity was acceptable.
In the case of Aurelia, does the council realise this decision will cost people, many retirees, hundreds of thousands of dollars due to disrupted views and decreased values?
The Council’s role is to responsibly plan for future growth and protect amenity as much as possible for existing residents.
It may be a perception that Council is responsible for views; this is untrue. Views are not guaranteed with the sale of a property, other than those on the South Perth Esplanade, where views will permanently remain for all land owners.
Is this decision driven by wealthy developers, lining their pockets while causing financial ruin for families who bought their apartment based on a marketing campaign by developers?
Council is not responsible for any marketing campaigns in relation to the sale of properties.
Will this decision pave the way for developments of 2 sites in the area between Fraser Lane and Mends Street, that has had heights increased?
Currently in this particular area, sites most likely to be developed are not large enough to meet the conditions for the additional height (to 37.5m).
In order to meet the conditions, sites would need to be amalgamated.
Does the councillor who brought this motion, have any links with developers?
ADDITIONAL QUESTION: When is a decision on heights for this area expected?
The City is currently reviewing all feedback received relating to the draft South Perth Activity Centre Plan (ACP).
The draft ACP, proposed Amendment No. 61 and Policy P321 will be modified as required based on the feedback. It is anticipated that they will be presented to Council for approval later in the year.
Since the public comment period on the ACP closed on Monday 22 July 2019, the City has held one community panel, and will hold one other on Saturday 3 August, to gain further feedback.
These panels include a broad cross-section of the community with diverse opinions. Participants were chosen randomly and independently. Feedback from these panels will also be incorporated into the revised document presented to Council.
Once endorsed by Council, the ACP and amendment will be referred to the Western Australian Planning Commission for approval. The amendment also requires Minister for Planning approval before it becomes part of the City’s Town Planning scheme.
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