Proposed $122m Elizabeth Quay busport redevelopment delayed over “uninspiring” design

An artist's impression of the Elizabeth Quay bus station redevelopment.
An artist's impression of the Elizabeth Quay bus station redevelopment.

A DECISION on an “uninspiring” $122m Elizabeth Quay busport redevelopment has been pushed back amidst debate over its design.

Labelled by the Office of the Government Architect (OGA) as “uninspiring”, the City of Perth Local Development Assessment Panel (DAP) voted unanimously today to defer the matter.

The redevelopment proposes an eight-storey office building above a refurbished busport.

The OGA said in its submission to the panel that the built form of the commercial component was “lacking the distinction warranted by the proximity to the State’s major convention facilities”.

The agency also said the transit hall renders indicated an “unremarkable space”, and that it was overall “below current standards for retail development and public spaces within major transport facilities”.

DAP presiding member Ray Haeren asked associate principal Andrew Tang-Smith from Woods Bagot about the comments from the OGA.

“All the structural moves we’ve made have been necessary from constraints put on us by the PTA – we decided to express them as part of the architectural elements,” Mr Tang-Smith said.

He said the final treatment would produce a “very good” outcome for the city.

PTS Town Planning’s Peter Simpson said the project had been in the pipeline for at least five or six years, and that he was not sure some of the numerous agencies involved had appreciated the complexity of the area.

“A briefing last week may have addressed some of their commentary,” he said.

The project will be fully funded by Brookfield, which holds a lease over the area until 2103.

City of Perth Chair Commissioner Eric Lumsden recommended a deferral to allow discussion about the site.

“I understand all the site limitations, but I am not satisfied when there’s issues with design that they’re postponed or made with conditions,” he said.

“I’m not comfortable in the current situation that we know exactly what we’re approving.”

This was seconded by fellow Commissioner Andrew Hammond.

City of Perth officer Margaret Smith said many issues had been addressed through the amended plans, but a deferral would be beneficial for more time to get the agencies in the same room.

Officer Craig Smith said there were refinements that could occur in the design.

“I think this building has escaped the kind of interrogation that produces a better outcome,” he said.

The panel is set to reconvene in four weeks.

The plan previously came under criticism for inadequate cover from the sun on the roof of the development.