Decision on apartments proposed for Woodvale deferred

An artist's impression of the proposed 12 units across 80 and 82 Trailwood Drive, Woodvale.
An artist's impression of the proposed 12 units across 80 and 82 Trailwood Drive, Woodvale.

A DECISION on a proposed apartment building for Woodvale has been deferred for eight weeks for more information and modifications.

The two-storey proposal for 12 units across 80 and 82 Trailwood Drive was presented to the Metro North-West Joint Development Assessment Panel on Thursday, which voted unanimously to defer the item as per the City of Joondalup’s recommendation.

About 50 residents filled the meeting room, with several making presentations against the proposal.

Suzanne Apps, speaking on behalf of Peter Grigor who lives directly behind the proposed development, said the building would have an “overbearing bulk and scale” with the southern boundary setback at 1.1m at one point, and it did not fit with the “current landscape of the area”.

She raised concerns of a lack of privacy of Mr Grigor’s garden, pool and bathroom windows, and an increase of between 6 to 32 people causing an increase in noise.

She also questioned the developer’s estimated building cost of $2.2 million, which makes it eligible to be assessed by the panel.

She believed it compared with others valued about $1.7 million and should be assessed by the council instead.

However, Joondalup planning services manager Chris Leigh said the City was comfortable the cost was a “reasonable estimate”.

He also said while the developer was seeking some minor discretions, the proposal was “largely complaint” with the height and plot ratio meeting the requirements and the setbacks considered appropriate.

Graham Short, who lives 40m from the back fence of the site, raised traffic and safety concerns.

He said the current traffic conditions were “appalling” and the road was a “steep gradient and bend” creating a “major traffic hazard”.

He also highlighted the City’s parking permit system for Trailwood Drive, which provides residents with permits to park on the street to stop commuters illegally parking to get to the train station.

He also questioned the City’s “very poor” consultation process, which was conducted over the Christmas period when many are away.

However, he said despite this there were 98 objections sent to the City and about 200 residents attended a site meeting to express their opposition.

Mr Leigh said the City was bound by statutory timeframes, which meant it had to consult during the festive period but it had extended the feedback time by seven days to acknowledge this.

He said the City also initially had parking and safety concerns, particularly given the permit restrictions, and so the developer had removed the visitor parking bays proposed in the street verge and included them on site.

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

Paul Barfoot, speaking on behalf of neighbouring landowner Ashley Walsh, raised health and noise concerns about waste management, with a bin store less than 2m from the neighbouring bedroom window.

He said this could also cause an increase in pests and rodents, which were common in the area.

He also raised concerns of the neighbouring kitchen window being shaded in the afternoon, which could also affect solar panels.

Mr Leigh said the City also had waste concerns and despite receiving more information the day before the meeting, it was still not “comfortable or satisfied” the concerns had been addressed.

He said the overshadowing had been assessed and was compliant.

Teresa Ritchie also raised concerns of four mature trees needing to be removed and the landscaping not meeting the 50 per cent requirement in the front verge.

Mr Leigh said this was because the visitor parking had been moved on-site but landscaping was still a concern for the City and more work needed to be done.

Ventura Group’s Peter Grickage said while the development complied with the R Codes, the City’s biggest concerns seemed to be with landscaping and waste, which only recently changed with the introduction of a greens waste bin.

He said the development included brick bin stores with concrete floors and wash down bays and it would be the caretaker’s job to maintain cleanliness and bring the bins out for collection.

He also said the landscaping would meet the requirement if it weren’t for having to move the visitor bays, and they had also proposed to plant “six to seven 4m canopy trees, which is more than what is currently there”.

He said the R Codes only required three visitor bays but the City required six, so to meet this, the landscaping was being affected.

Addressing bulk and scale, Mr Grickage said they had looked at three or four-storey developments, which would be allowed in the area, but they kept it at two storeys to reflect the surrounding area.

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

Moving to defer, Cr Philippa Taylor said it was a good design but it still needed modifications.

“This is the ideal location for higher density housing – it is one house from the path to the train station,” she said.

“Woodvale is full of two-storey houses that are 1.5m from the fence.

“But the landscaping needs improving and the colour design needs to be in keeping with the area.”

Cr Christine Hamilton-Prime said the current proposal was a missed opportunity to provide an attractive development.

Panel specialist member Fred Zuideveld said it was not a “high quality development for the area” and also raised concerns of some bedroom windows relying too heavily on highlight windows.

He requested the developer redesign some of the dwellings to allow better use of natural light and cross ventilation, as well as the inclusion of a traffic impact assessment.

Presiding member Karen Hyde also requested more detailed information regarding landscaping, waste management, proposed external materials and how the development is placed with adjoining properties, to reconsider the location of the bin stores and to provide plans that clearly define the lot and verge boundaries.

Alternate deputy presiding member Chris Antill agreed there were “not enough grounds to refuse” but there were “design and layout issues” and this was an opportunity to make the development “more acceptable to residents”.

The decision follows the panel’s approval on Tuesday of 12 units across two lots in Edgewater.

The proposal for a 14-unit development across 7 and 56 Tuart Trail in Edgewater is currently going through mediation with the State Administrative Tribunal.