Apartments approved for Trailwood Drive in Woodvale

Artist impressions of the proposed 12 units across 80 and 82 Trailwood Drive, Woodvale.
Artist impressions of the proposed 12 units across 80 and 82 Trailwood Drive, Woodvale.

REVISED plans for a $2.2 million apartment building on Trailwood Drive in Woodvale have been conditionally approved.

The Metro North-West Joint Development Assessment Panel unanimously approved the two-storey proposal for 12 units across 80 and 82 Trailwood Drive at its meeting on Monday.

The decision followed a 968-signature petition tabled at last week’s Joondalup council meeting requesting the refusal of the proposed development, which the panel unanimously deferred in January to allow the applicant to address several issues.

Residents again attended Monday’s panel meeting to raise concerns including road safety, Trailwood Drive’s accident history, sightline and parking issues, and the lack of traffic lights and peak time congestion at the junction of Whitfords Avenue and Timbercrest Rise, which is the access to Trailwood Drive.

However, Joondalup planning services manager Chris Leigh said City officers had reviewed the applicant’s traffic statement and was comfortable the surrounding network had the capacity to handle the additional traffic the development would generate and the Whitfords Avenue and Timbercrest Rise junction was “operating within acceptable levels”.

Artist impressions of the proposed 12 units across 80 and 82 Trailwood Drive, Woodvale.

Other issues residents raised were the potential for sunlight to reflect off the white walls and into neighbouring properties, air conditioning units creating noise and hot air outside a neighbours’ kitchen window, overlooking, privacy and waste management concerns, the development “dominating the existing properties” which are mainly single-storey houses, and a lack of green open space and setbacks.

Mr Leigh said the revised plans had relocated the bin store “more centrally so it would no longer affect adjoining properties” and the air conditioning units would be “contained in an enclosed bike store so noise and hot air should not be an issue”.

He also said the rear setback did not comply in a few areas but the deviation was minor and officers believed it would not impact adjoining residents, and obscure glazing had been installed to protect privacy.

To try address the issue of glare, Cr Philippa Taylor moved to add a condition to ensure the applicant would work with the City to use appropriate colours and materials.

She also suggested the applicant look at using “warmer creams and browns” rather than “whites, greys and blacks”, to try fit in with the existing houses.

The issue of setting a precedent was also raised, with one resident saying the development would “set the standard for mediocre development”.

“It does not fit the aesthetics of the area,” she said.

“We are not against infill if it is of a reasonable design.”

She said there were “good examples” of this on Trailwood Drive with the recent development of “neat, tidy and interesting” triplexes.

CF Town Planning and Development director Carlo Famiano said the applicant welcomed the City’s recommendation to approve the proposed apartments.

He said the key changes in the revised plans were the addition of landscape in the front setback and shade trees in the carpark, an increase and size and number of windows where possible to utilise cross ventilation and natural light, the relocation of the bin store and the provision of a waste management plan and traffic impact statement.

He said the design was “not typical” for land with a residential density of R60, with a more townhouse appearance with the development in four separated buildings across the two lots rather than a solid mass.

Artist impressions of the proposed 12 units across 80 and 82 Trailwood Drive, Woodvale.

He also said the development had a plot ratio less than what was allowed and was only two storeys instead of the allowed three in a bid to “keep the bulk and scale down to lessen the impact on adjoining properties”.

“Any R60 development will be out of character with the existing R20 area that was mainly built in the 1980s,” Mr Famiano said.

“The housing stock will eventually change.”

Panel acting deputy presiding member Chris Antill said he supported the City’s “reason and logic” to recommend the development for approval.

He said this type of development has been allowed for more than three years and two-storey was not out of scale because anyone could build at two storeys.

He also praised the “significantly improved” design that would have the development “broken down to four pods to more closely resemble the character of the area as it stands”.

He agreed the setback variations were minor and “largely a result of the shape of the lot” and he was not convinced the traffic concerns were substantial.

“There are insufficient reasons for refusal,” Mr Antill said.

The panel also accepted an extra condition from panel specialist member Fred Zuideveld to submit an alternative waste management plan to consider collecting the rubbish from within the site rather than from the kerb.