28th November 2018.
The City of South Perth has recommended rejecting a 42-level $110 million apartment development opposite Perth Zoo because it is too high.
The proposal, which the City acknowledges “demonstrates compliance” with its planning provisions and is “eligible for a building height variation to be granted”, also had an “exemplary, sensitive and sophisticated” design, it said.
“The City considers that the architectural design of the proposed building …is contributing to the high quality of the inner-urban environment being promoted within the precinct,” the City’s report, to be considered by the Metropolitan Central Joint Development Assessment Panel next Wednesday, says.
Further muddying the waters, City of South Perth councillors recently voted to delay public advertising of a proposed activity centre plan, which may have provided further clarity to residents and developers about appropriate heights for development in the area.
Sirona Capital, with Singapore’s Chip Eng Seng Corp, wants to build the 42-level Lyall Street Residences, a 113-apartment development, with commercial space, cafe/ restaurant, medical centre, co-working office space, a public gallery/display area, community meeting rooms and educational establishment.
It would also have two basement levels. The tower, designed by Bates Smart, was tall and skinny to reduce the impact of overshadowing that would have lingered longer over neighbours if the tower were wider.
The council report notes the current City of South Perth framework “provides no guidance as to ultimately how tall buildings should be and there is no endorsed plan in the area to guide what future growth should look like”.
“There is however, evidence ... to suggest through the development of the draft South Perth Activity Centre Plan that greater density and taller buildings will be required in this precinct in order to accommodate the future population growth,” the report said.
The Lyall Street Residences include one, two, three and four-bedroom dwellings.
Perth Zoo has objected to the proposal because shadowing from the tower would reduce power generation from its solar array by 5.5 per cent a year.
South Perth Peninsula Action Group spokeswoman Vicki Reddan said the group opposes the tower because it is in an “eight-storey area” and “there are no proportional community benefits”.
Ms Reddan conceded the current planning scheme “lacks specific detail in areas such as height”, which she said was “because towers of this size were never considered by the original plan”.
Sirona Capital managing director Matthew McNeilly, however, has urged the State Government to regain “control” over planning on the peninsula. He said people should remember the 39-storey Glass House had previously been approved but this had been allowed to lapse last year. “If the doctor doesn’t step in, the council will keep catching the same cold it’s been catching for the last five years,” Mr McNeilly said.
One South Perth resident and the owner of a business in Hardy Street, contacted WestBusiness to say he thought the proposal was well-designed. He was tired of the South Perth development stalemate, he said.