Perth: 39-storey student accommodation tower approved for Wellington Street

A proposed 39-storey student housing development on Wellington Street, Perth. Pictures: MJA Architects.
A proposed 39-storey student housing development on Wellington Street, Perth. Pictures: MJA Architects.

A 39-storey, $38m student housing development has been approved on Wellington Street.

The site, adjacent to Raine Square, is currently a backpackers hostel.

The planned development for 553-561 Wellington Street will include 433 beds across 258 units and commercial tenancies on the ground floor, and was passed unanimously at today’s Local Development Assessment Panel meeting in Perth.

MJA Architects’ Christopher Dwyer said the heritage exteriors would be maintained at street level.

A proposed 39-storey student housing development on Wellington Street, Perth. Pictures: MJA Architects.

The Wellington Street exterior was first built around 1897 while the Queen Street exterior dates to 1887.

Seven submissions were received from nearby owners and occupants, with concerns raised over the height, design and potential overshadowing of the building.

City of Perth officer Margaret Smith said compared to everything else in the area it was “quite a tall building”, but officers felt more comfortable once setback variations were imposed and heritage exteriors retained.

“This tower doesn’t add to the overshadowing on public open spaces,” she said, pointing out neighbouring buildings.

City architect Craig Smith said the building was a contribution worth having to the city skyline.

“It’s the changing nature of the city, and you have to allow for it,” he said.

Chair commissioner Eric Lumsden said the development would be a worthwhile addition and moved the motion to accept the proposal.