Joondalup MLA Jan Norberger said he was stunned to see the three-storey tower being built on the front lawn of a Coliban Grove property.
He said he spoke to other residents in the street and they were also “totally shocked and very upset that such a development would get council approval”.
“Residents told me their inquiries with the City of Joondalup had indicated that the structure met planning guidelines,” he said.
Mr Norberger raised a grievance with Planning Minister John Day after he was told that under current planning guidelines, the development had to be approved.
Joondalup Mayor Troy Pickard said the City had little option but to approve the structure because it complied with the City’s building height policy and the State Government’s residential design codes (R-codes).
Mr Day said the development reminded him of “something from the East European bloc in the 1960s or 1970s” and he was amazed it was being built in a suburban cul-de-sac. He said under the State’s R-codes, the site would be limited to developments that are 7m high and a minimum of 6m from the property boundary; therefore it would not have been approved.
However, he said the City of Joondalup had adopted a local planning policy to allow a minimum 3m setback and a maximum height of 8.5m.
Mr Day said there were other planning provisions in place that would have given the City the power to reject the development.
“I would like to see local governments generally, when necessary, give greater consideration to scheme requirements, building design aspects and local amenity impacts in assessing development applications,” he said.
“Some local governments and councillors complain when we shift planning control to the State and away from local government but this sort of example demonstrates why in some cases, the State needs to play the bigger role.”
Under the City of Joondalup’s new residential development policy, a development that detracts from the local streetscape can now be rejected.