Bayswater Council hosted a special electors’ meeting where ratepayers passed motions to be discussed by the Council early this year.
The meeting came about after a proposal to build 27 apartments at 9-11 King William Street was refused by the Metro Central Joint Development Assessment Panel, a decision that is currently being fought by developers Yolk Property Group at the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT).
The Town Planning Scheme currently allows buildings up to five storeys and 20m high, while the proposal was seven storeys and 21m.
Mayor Barry McKenna said the height and bulk of the proposed structure concerned some Bayswater residents.
“There were two sides put forward – one was the side wanting to take much more account of heritage values, but there’s also the other side, those who want to see a lot more development take place in King William Street,” Cr McKenna said.
“It would be the first significant development in King William Street whatever height SAT determines.”
Cr McKenna said many residents did not realise that building heights allowed in Special Control Area 12, which incorporated King William Street, had increased from two to five storeys, despite widespread community consultation and advertising.
“Residents don’t understand town planning schemes when they go out for consultation until a development takes place, then they don’t realise you could do this,” he said.
“Council have to make a greater effort in getting across to the general ratepayer ‘this is significant’ – if you remain quiet then council may make a decision that will affect you in the future.”
Motions passed by ratepayers at the meeting last month include that council change maximum building heights in Special Control Area 12 from five to three storeys and overall height from 20m to 12m.
Ratepayers who attended wanted to see pictures and graphics of future structure plans and special control area amendments.
They also called on council to carry out heritage assessments on buildings on the heritage list set for demolition and an updated local heritage list.