14-unit apartment complex in Edgewater refused

An artist's impressions of the proposed 14-unit apartment complex across 1 and 3 Chipala Court in Edgewater.
An artist's impressions of the proposed 14-unit apartment complex across 1 and 3 Chipala Court in Edgewater.

AN apartment complex proposed for a suburban street in Edgewater has been refused.

The 14-unit development across 1 and 3 Chipala Court, valued at $2.01 million, was described at today’s Metro North-West Joint Development Assessment Panel meeting as an over-development of the site and not in keeping with the area.

In September, the Joondalup council deferred its decision on a previous proposal to allow the applicant to address concerns raised.

The applicant appealed the decision at the State Administrative Tribunal but also submitted a revised application to be determined by the panel.

This proposed eight two-bedroom and six one-bedroom dwellings with 14 on-site car parking bays for residents and two for visitors and another seven for visitors within the verge.

The amendments included changing from a pitched to a flat roof design, relocating two units from the west to the east side, additional landscaping and trees in the street setback area and an upper floor communal open space area and removal of two on-site visitor bays.

1 and 3 Chipala Court, Edgewater. Picture: Martin Kennealey

At the meeting, Edgewater Community Residents’ Association secretary Beth Hewitt said the size and scale of the proposal was still too big, it was too high and “pushed against the boundaries”.

She said it would make the street unsafe with poor sightlines and large retaining walls, parking was insufficient and it would “detract from the surrounding area of landscaping and gardens”.

“It is too large for the space it’s being squashed in to,” she said.

“It is out of character, over-developed and a poor design overall and it will affect all residents of Edgewater, not just those in Chipala Court.

“It will be a big thing in the middle of a very quiet street.”

An artist’s impressions of the proposed 14-unit apartment complex across 1 and 3 Chipala Court in Edgewater.

However, speaking on behalf of the landowners, CF Town Planning and Development director Carlo Famiano said the site was in a housing opportunity area, with a residential coding of R20/R40.

The City of Joondalup has 10 of these areas that aim to increase density in areas near train stations, public transport and shopping centres to meet State Government infill targets.

Mr Famiano said the landowners bought the land “based on the ability to build at a higher density to capitalise on the housing opportunity area”.

He said the new proposal was a “totally different design” with dwellings removed from the rear boundary and now all fronting the street and a reduced height.

An artist’s impressions of the proposed 14-unit apartment complex across 1 and 3 Chipala Court in Edgewater.“We are now cutting into the site, not filling it, to reduce the impact on the streetscape and the adjoining properties,” he said.

“The adjoining properties will actually sit higher than the development.”

He added that any development in the area would be out of character because the higher density was still new and there had not been an opportunity for these types of developments.

“The area still has a lot of the old housing stock,” he said.

“This would be the first in the area.

“If the application was five years from now, it would be more consistent.”

Joondalup planning services manager Chris Leigh said the discretions being sought were “more than what the site should accommodate”.

An artist’s impressions of the proposed 14-unit apartment complex across 1 and 3 Chipala Court in Edgewater.Another sticking point came when panel specialist member Fred Zuideveld asked if the developer had considered “stepping down” the units on Chipala Court to reduce the height.

Mr Famiano said they had tried to avoid this to “get some units to have disabled access”.

Mr Zuideveld said disabled access should be provided in all ground level units.

Joondalup Cr Christine Hamilton-Prime said it was “disgraceful” the development failed to provide access and inclusion equity.

She added the development was clearly a case of “quantity over quality”.

Panel presiding member Karen Hyde also questioned the accuracy of some information with “no evidence of a licensed surveyor”, an amended waste management plan the City had not yet been provided and landscaping details provided by the draftsman and not a landscape architect.

“It seems the applicant was in a rush and a hurry to come before another decision-making body – us – with a lack of supporting information,” she said.

Mr Famiano said a landscape plan would be provided to the City but the applicant was reluctant before approval was granted.

An artist’s impressions of the proposed 14-unit apartment complex across 1 and 3 Chipala Court in Edgewater.

Ms Hyde also raised privacy concerns with stairs, communal open space and barbecue areas in front of bedrooms.

Panel deputy presiding member Sheryl Chaffer also asked if the applicant had considered basement parking and Mr Famiano said the cost constraints would be an issue.

“They’ve got to make some money out of this,” he said.

In moving to refuse the application, Cr Philippa Taylor said it was a “greedy development” that showed a “basic lack of regard for the amenity of the area”.

It was unanimously refused.

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