Sorrento Plaza: opposition to six storey development


An artist’s impression of the proposed Sorrento Plaza.
An artist’s impression of the proposed Sorrento Plaza.

A PROPOSED $75 million development for Sorrento was also a hot topic at Tuesday night’s Joondalup council briefing.

Sorrento Plaza will consist of apartments, restaurants and retail stores on West Coast Drive, ranging from three to six storeys.

Representing residents opposed to the development, Stuart Hawkins said six storeys was not sympathetic to the surrounding two-storey residential area and raised concerns of the bulk and scale proposed.

MORE: Sorrento Plaza proposal divides residents

He said overshadowing was a significant issue and the “sun will set at 3pm” for some affected residents.

He said residents expected a “reasonable scale” of development and suggested three storeys adjacent to the residential area and four storeys in the non-residential area would be acceptable.

Also speaking against the proposal was Marmion Sorrento Duncraig Progress and Ratepayers Association vice-president Michael Rose, who said Sorrento Plaza was “clearly a case of over-development”.

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He said State planning policies indicated the development should have 25 dwellings per gross hectare but the proposal was for 119 dwellings per gross hectare – “almost five times the desired rate”.

Speaking on behalf of an applicant, Parcel Property’s Danielle Davison said the applicant had responded to bulk and scale concerns on the southern side by reducing it from six to five storeys and increasing the setback and separation between buildings.

She said six storeys was the “commercial reality” of the development.

“At three storeys they lose money, at four they don’t make any, at five they make a buck and at six, it’s viable,” she said.

Because the site is made up of four separate landowners, a structure plan is needed to guide any redevelopment.

The council report considers the draft Sorrento Activity Centre Plan and two scheme amendments to rezone the lots from commercial and residential to centre, which was advertised for community consultation late last year.

The plan also proposes a density of R80.

Planning services manager Chris Leigh said the development took in to account the topography of the land with the tallest buildings proposed for the lowest parts of the site.
He said overshadowing was “not a real issue”.

“The most significant overshadowing occurs at 9am in winter for a very short time and only extends over the dune system,” he said.

He said there was no planning reason to not approve the activity centre plan and scheme amendments or to change the proposed heights.

Planning and community development director Dale Page also reiterated the plan would put guidelines in place for redevelopment of the site but a development application would still be needed, which is the next step of the assessment process.

Councillors will make a recommendation on the plan and amendments at their meeting on Tuesday night to be forwarded to the WA Planning Commission, which will make the final decision.