Apartments approved to replace Mullaloo Squash Centre

An artist impression of the proposed apartments to replace the Mullaloo Squash Centre.
An artist impression of the proposed apartments to replace the Mullaloo Squash Centre.

A FOUR-storey $5.75 million apartment building has been approved to replace the Mullaloo Squash Centre.

The application from Helm Living proposed 23 units comprising of eight three-bedroom, 11 two-bedroom and four one-bedroom apartments at 25 Koorana Road, next to the Mullaloo Plaza Shopping Centre.

SEE ALSO: Apartments proposed for Mullaloo Squash Centre site

At Monday’s Metro North-West Joint Development Assessment Panel meeting, MJA Studio’s Sarah Asher, representing the applicant, said the apartments were designed to optimise the views of Charonia Park and “glimpses of the ocean”, and reflect the “coastal setting”.

“We have removed the mass from the south to reduce overshadowing of neighbours,” she said.

She said cross ventilation of all apartments has been prioritised and the design incorporated different materials and extensive landscaping to break up the bulk and scale.

She said a feature of the building would be the inclusion of a workshop to bring a “sense of community” and they had added “casual seating areas to introduce more communal open space”.

Helm Living co-owner Jarrad Sizer said Mullaloo was “95 per cent single, detached, two-storey homes” and their aim was to “diversify the suburb” and provide housing for downsizers wishing to remain in the area.

He added that with a plot ratio or 0.7 they had “not attempted to over-develop the site”.

An artist impression of the proposed apartments to replace the Mullaloo Squash Centre.

Rowe Group town planning manager Sean Fairfoul, representing Mullaloo Plaza Shopping Centre, said while the centre did not object to residential and high density development, it was concerned with the closeness of some of the units to their shared boundary.

He said the centre was recently approved for a renovation that would include two commercial tenancies, probably for restaurants operating outside normal business hours, that could cause a “potential conflict given the reduced setbacks” proposed for the apartments.

He requested the panel consider deferring its decision for more discussion between the centre and the applicant and for more acoustic studies.

Joondalup planning services manager Chris Leigh said there were parts of the proposal that did not comply with the setback requirements because of the way the site “jagged back in”.

He said at this point, landscaping was proposed and where it met the proposed two commercial tenancies, which have a nil setback on the centre side instead of the required 3m, the setback was proposed at 5.6m – more than the required 4m.

“I don’t believe it will result in a noise impact,” Mr Leigh said.

He said an acoustic assessment submitted by the shopping centre when applying for its redevelopment showed there were some potential areas where the noise might exceed what is allowed but it could be managed with screening and restricting operating times.

Planning Solutions director Ben Doyle, representing the applicant, said they were also required to “achieve a level of noise reduction” for the apartments, which included the use of “high performance glazing” on the western side.

Cr Christine Hamilton-Prime asked Mr Fairfoul why the centre did not lodge a submission during the consultation and he said he said he was unsure and believed the centre “missed it”.

The City did however receive 13 submissions during this time, of which four were objections with concerns of height, insufficient parking, increased traffic, waste collection, too many units for the size of the block and the development having a negative impact on the surrounding area.

Mr Sizer said during the design phase, they had meetings with the surrounding operators, including the church, shopping centre and school, and neighbouring residents on Dampier Avenue and Koorana Road, and the feedback had been “overwhelmingly positive”.

He said the shopping centre owners and architect for the centre redevelopment never raised any issues with the apartment proposal, and their proposal had been designed inline with the centre’s upgrade.

Cr Philippa Taylor did raise a concern with the use of tandem parking and while Mr Doyle said it was their preference not to have it, the alternative would be to lose some of its landscaping.

Mr Leigh added there was a condition to ensure each pair of tandem resident parking bays would be allocated to the one unit “to avoid obstruction and conflicts”.

In moving to approve the proposal, Cr Taylor said change was important to the suburb and it would “create a vibrant hub”.

Cr Hamilton-Prime agreed saying it was an example of how high density developments could be “done properly in a high quality manner”.

Panel members Karen Hyde and Clayton Higham also commended the applicant for a “good looking development in an ideal location” and a “well thought through design”, as well as their extensive “consultation efforts to minimise objections”.

The proposal was unanimously approved.

At the meeting, Ms Hyde advised an appeal of the panel’s decision on November 9 to refuse a 14-unit development across 7 and 56 Tuart Trail, valued at $2 million, has been dropped.

The State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) advised on April 24 that Jonescorp had withdrawn its application.

However, the panel will meet again on Monday to consider revised plans for Iluka Plaza following the SAT process.

Ms Hyde also advised their decision to refuse 13 apartments across 9 and 11 Davallia Road in Duncraig had also been appealed at SAT.

 

Mullaloo Squash Centre owners did everything they could

WHILE some residents would like to see the Mullaloo Squash Centre remain, the owners have said it is no longer feasible.

Dean Brown said he and his wife had owned the centre for 22 years and in that time they had gone from having more than 200 members including 50 pennant teams (five players per team) and 70 juniors to now having four pennant teams and nine juniors.

“We used to be busy from 9am to 10pm Mondays to Thursdays and all weekend and now we don’t open until 3pm and have many vacancies,” he said.

“From a business point-of-view, it doesn’t stack up anymore.

“We have been throwing money into it for years and it’s just not working.”

Picture: Bruce Hunt

Mr Brown said they had “tried everything”, including all different formats of playing, but squash was a “minority sport” and it was hard to get support.

“We have done our absolute best,” he said.

“Squash has got to be in multi-purpose centres now – times are changing.”

He said he was very supportive of the proposed apartments, which he said would turn the area from “an eyesore space to something cutting edge”.

He said it would also help to reduce the antisocial behaviour in the area.

Mr Brown said the courts would continue to operate as normal until the apartments reach 70 per cent of their pre-sale targets.