BAYSWATER council has voiced concerns over proposed changes to the six-storey Heir apartments on King William Street, with one councillor using “concrete jungle” to criticise the development.
At the February 6 committee meeting, council provided additional comments to Yolk Property Group’s amended proposal for 27 apartments and two shops for 9 and 11 King William Street to the Metro Central Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP).
Mayor Dan Bull’s comments about the proposal not meeting height, heritage, setbacks, visual privacy and parking requirements and the scale and external finishes being inconsistent with neighbouring buildings, were supported 10-1, with Councillor Brent Fleeton voting against.
Additional comments included the proposal having an undue impact on the amenity in the area due to its “bulk and scale” and being inconsistent with planning.
The JDAP was ordered by the State Administrative Tribunal to reconsider its September 2017 refusal of amended plans and a two-year extension of the 2016 approval by February 16, following a SAT mediation session on December 11.
City of Bayswater officers have recommended approval of the amended plans and a one-year extension, subject to conditions, ahead of the February 15 JDAP meeting.
Changes include a reduction from seven to six storeys with the height remaining at 20m, increased setback the upper floors further from the King William Street frontage from 3.2m to 5m, second to fourth floor side boundary setbacks reduced to 3m and two ground floor shops instead of restaurants.
The material of the setback building from storeys four to six have been revised to an architectural cladding system to soften the building.
Cr Lorna Clarke said developments like the Heir proposal could be done better at a “human scale”.
“Everyone is talking about density and vibrancy – I then need to see developments which actually focus on quality, that actually have enough parking, that actually represent heritage rather than the facades that are here,” she said.
“Actually have some landscape, greenery and proper setbacks so we don’t feel like we are living in a complete concrete jungle or in a crowded, tiny box, concrete building.”
Yolk Property Group director Pete Adams said issues with the 2017 revised plans, including the vehicle entry at the rear laneway and lack of detail for the heritage facade, had been resolved.
“We have indicated greater detail as to how we are going to articulate the two-stage heritage facade with greater expression of the pier and dado elements, embossed heritage signage, referencing the heritage elements to local cues, revising colours to provide greater differentiation between the 9 and 11 King William Street facades,” he said.
“We have worked hand in hand with the officers at the City to get an outcome that meets all of the requirements of the Special Control Area 12 and all other provisions.
“The design meets the height, heritage, setbacks, visual privacy and parking requirements otherwise the officers would not have recommended it for approval.”
Bayswater Deserves Better chair Keith Clements said the group hoped to see JDAP reject the latest proposal, following four “substandard” proposals by Yolk.
“None of Yolk’s proposals, including this latest one, have been architecturally sympathetic to the heritage character of King William Street and Whatley Crescent,” he said.
“The community is tired and angered by Yolk’s relentless push to plonk an ugly, inappropriate building in what is the ‘beating heart’ of our town centre.
“Until the state’s planning regime – including the DAP’s – is reformed, industry will continue to alienate local communities like ours.”
The JDAP sits on February 15.