New policies protect amenity

At a recent council meeting, councillors voted to adopt two policies to provide clarity to owners and residents of developments they could expect near their property and requirements for developing at a higher density.

One of the policies was the Residential Development Local Planning Policy.

Joondalup is the first local government in Perth to introduce provisions in a policy that require a residential development that is visible from the street to be consistent in style with any existing development on site, to maintain and enhance the character of the area and be compatible with the existing and desired streetscape.

This can include scale, material and colours, roof design, detailing and window size.

The policy also includes provisions for carports, garages, sheds and granny flats, which are required to match the dwelling’s materials, colour and roof design and pitch, allows for additional height for aged persons accommodation and land with a density of R60 or higher and encourages environmentally sustainable designs.

In October, Planning Minister John Day said in State Parliament he would like to see local governments give greater consideration to building designs and their effect on the local amenity when assessing development applications.

He was referring to a contentious development in Joondalup that satisfied the requirements of the State Government’s residential design codes (R-codes), which apply to the majority of residential development in the City, so it was exempt from needing development approval.

Mayor Troy Pickard said the City was committed to ensuring its residential areas were filled with quality buildings and appealing streetscapes.

He said the new policy addressed the “inability of the state’s R-codes to adequately control the quality of new buildings”.

“This policy will ensure all new development is assessed for compatibility with development on the lot or in the street before it is built,” he said.

“Where a development is considered not to meet this provision, it will then need to be the subject of a development application.

“The design of the development and impact on the streetscape would then be assessed on a case-by-case basis.”

Mr Pickard said he was confident the City’s officers would “administer the policy with appropriate judgement”.

“I expect it will be used in limited cases but in cases that to date, we’ve been unable to reject,” he said.

“Now we have an important tool to reject to ensure quality development in the City of Joondalup, which I’m sure the lion’s share of our residents will be delighted to hear.

“I suspect other local governments throughout Perth are likely to follow Joondalup’s lead in this area by adopting similar policies to protect their residential areas from structures of inadequate appearance.”

The second policy adopted was the Height of Non-Residential Buildings Local Planning Policy.

These two policies will replace the City’s Height and Scale of Buildings in Residential Areas and Height of Buildings in the Coast Area (Non-Residential Zones) policies, which councillors voted to revoke at the same meeting.

Residents want to keep height rules

SOME residents at the council meeting raised concerns of potential development heights if Joondalup councillors voted to revoke the City’s height policies.

Sorrento resident Stephen Kobelke said the decision to implement the Height of Buildings within the Coast Area (Non-Residential Zones) Policy 10 years ago, which limited development to 10m within 300m of the coastline, would protect the “future of Joondalup”.

“At the time, a number of councils around Australia, including Noosa, had made these decisions to protect the coastline, particularly in residential areas,” he said.

He said he did not like the recommendation to revoke the policy because it did not give enough clarity and developments would be open to structure plans.

Fellow Sorrento resident Stuart Hawkins supported the 9m height limit for non-residential coastal sites, particularly in the Sorrento area.

“We certainly don’t want to see our community become like Scarborough, which does have high rise,” he said.

However, he noted the new policy did allow for variations to height limits because a developer could apply for a concession through a structure plan.

Cr Mike Norman reinforced non-residential coastal developments would still need to be compatible with the surrounding area.

Also read:

The contentious development in Joondalup described as something out of Lord of the Rings.

City of Joondalup’s local housing strategy comes in to effect.