Planning Minister asks City of Joondalup to clarify infill position

Rita Saffioti. Picture: David Baylis
Rita Saffioti. Picture: David Baylis

PLANNING Minister Rita Saffioti has asked the City of Joondalup to determine its position on infill development.

On Tuesday, the council was to consider the request from Ms Saffioti to clarify if it supports the residential densities in its draft Local Planning Scheme (LPS3), which is before her for a final decision before it can be implemented, or the densities being requested in amendments 88 and 90 to the City’s current planning scheme.

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These amendments seek to reduce the density in part of Duncraig from R20/40 and R20/60 as stated in the draft LPS3 to R20/30.

If the amendments are not finalised before LPS3 is put in place, they will “fall over”.

“This puts the minister in a very difficult position,” planning and community development director Dale Page said.

“She can either approve the new scheme and cause the two amendments to fall over or refuse the new scheme while the council finalises its position on the amendments.

“Our planning scheme is a critically important strategic document that has been in development for many years and deals with much more than density codes.

“It’s our key planning instrument which applies zoning and density to all land and outlines how land can be used and developed.

“Our current scheme is 18 years old and is outdated.”

She said development of LPS3 started in 2009 but delays included changes in State Government legislation and the need to finalise the City’s Local Housing Strategy.

“More changes could be introduced which could de-rail our new scheme again if we don’t finalise it as soon as possible,” she said.

She said the City’s activity centre plan for the city centre was also on hold until LPS3 was finalised.

“Because of these reasons, the City can’t afford any further delays,” she said.

She said there would be no benefit in refusing or delaying LPS3 for those seeking a reduction in density because the density codes were already in place under the current planning scheme.

“Delaying isn’t going to change the density in housing opportunity areas but the City will be left without two critically important strategic documents,” she said.

Ms Page said if the amendments did fall over with the finalisation of LPS3, the City could initiate a new amendment to the new scheme that “captures the intent of amendments 88 and 90”.

“Yes, this will cause delays for residents that are seeking a solution in the quickest time possible but the council can request the WAPC… that the process be expedited and consultation requirements be waived given we’ve just consulted the community in this regard,” she said.

Councillors were recommended to advise Ms Saffioti that LPS3 was a priority for the City and should be considered as soon as possible and that amendments 88 and 90 should “follow due process and be given due consideration”.

At the council briefing, concerned residents asked if the item could be deferred until the results of the community consultation on amendments 88 and 90 had been presented to the council, which is expected next month.

This would allow the council to see the community’s feedback and make a decision on whether to progress them or not.

Councillors unanimously agreed to defer.

The next council briefing will be held on June 12 with the meeting on June 26.

Perth’s infill development

THE State Government is still committed to infill development to manage growth in the outer suburbs of Perth.

The 2010 infill target for the City of Joondalup to 2031 was 12,700, which equates to about 605 new dwellings per year

The new target to 2050 is 20,670, which equates to about 646 new dwellings per year.

So far, the City has approved 432 additional dwellings, which equates to about 216 dwellings per year.

However, not all of these approvals have translated into actual dwellings and many may not.

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