STAGE two of the University of Western Australia’s (UWA) Forrest Hall in Crawley has been given the green light by the Local Development Assessment Panel (LDAP).
The decision on the $35m UWA project was reached unanimously at a meeting last week.
Perth chair commissioner Eric Lumsden said ‘the horse had bolted’ for the Forrest Hall site when it came to concerns raised by locals.
“This development is on a specific reservation, designated for a certain use,” he said.
“I understand the residents’ point of view, but that doesn’t mean I can’t consider all other elements.
“I strongly support the recommendation as is, it’s one of the best outcomes we could get.”
Mr Lumsden said it was a pity UWA had not consulted more extensively on either Forrest Hall stage.
This was echoed by fellow commissioner Andrew Hammond.
“UWA needs to have a good look at its community consultation,” he said.
City of Perth Western Residents Association president Anna Vanderbom and fellow resident Brian Langenberg both presented deputations against the development.
Ms Vanderbom said the association was disappointed with the decision but determined to continue their work.
“We do not agree with the assessment that ‘the horse had bolted’,” she said.
“While we have had to accept that stage one is an unsuitable fait accompli, this does not mean that Forrest Hall Stage 2 cannot be stopped, changed to a more acceptable design or relocated.”
A UWA spokeswoman said the university was pleased to receive approval.
“This project will further support our ongoing work to attract world-class researchers for the betterment of the community,” she said.
“UWA has a history of engaging with a wide range of stakeholders on projects important to the community, and is committed to doing so at key stages of the Forrest Hall stage two project.”
Preliminary works are anticipated to start in early 2019 with a projected completion date of 2021.