Applecross: $138m three-tower apartment complex approved by JDAP

Artist's impression of the $138m three-tower apartment complex.
Artist's impression of the $138m three-tower apartment complex.

A NEW $138 million, three-tower apartment complex is set to dramatically redraw the Applecross skyline after the Metro Central Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP) approved it yesterday .

Located between Kintail Road and Canning Highway behind the existing IGA, the Finbar development will contain 452 apartments in three separate towers of 30, 26 and 26 storeys.

City of Melville planning officers had recommended the project be approved despite serious traffic and groundwater concerns flagged by Main Roads WA and the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW).

Main Roads WA manager statutory road planning Justin KcKirdy identified a number of deficiencies in the proponent’s traffic modelling and wrote that the development would result in increased delays to the surrounding road network, which is already under strain.

However, he did not object to the project outright based on the City’s plans for the area that include extensive high-rise development.

Finbar has also agreed to cede 385sq m of the 8000sq m development site to the State Government for future widening of Canning Highway and Kintail Road.

DPaW manager of statutory assessments Glen McLeod-Thorpe raised concerns about the 11m excavation required for basement carparking on the site, which has a water table depth of just 2m to 4m.

He referenced issues at an apartment block at 100 Mill Point Road in South Perth which has had its bottom level flooded by groundwater and said a number of conditions would need to be imposed to avoid similar problems.

JDAP presiding member Charles Johnson said the panel was satisfied with both the traffic implications and the developer’s ability to ensure flooding was not an issue.

“Both the panel and Main Roads WA acknowledge that the Canning Bridge Activity Centre is undergoing a major urban redevelopment and traffic will increase as a result of that,” Mr Johnson said.

“Main Roads’ priority is to keep traffic flowing on Canning Highway and that means there will be increased queuing on side streets but the intention is to try and promote alternatives to using a car.

“This development also has a modest level of underground parking compared to Civic Heart in South Perth and the proponent’s assessment indicates groundwater can be managed under the conditions applied.”

The approval has angered nearby business owner John King, who expressed fears about the number of vehicles that will access one of the apartment tower’s underground parking through a 4.25m laneway connecting to Moreau Mews.

Mr King has operated gift and homewares store French Vanilla for 17 years and said the narrow laneway was already dangerous with just 30 or 40 cars accessing it each day.

“To increase that by five to 10 times the volume and still maintain a reasonable, functional laneway for businesses that front on to it beggars belief,” he said.

“The current situation is that often two cars will meet in the laneway and one will have to reverse back to Moreau Mews to let the other by.

“Imagine how much worse it’s going to be with up to 200 extra cars travelling along Moreau Mews and into the laneway each day, especially during the evening peak period.

“I’m all for the redevelopment of the Canning Bridge precinct and love the idea of this Finbar development but it has to take into consideration the existing small businesses that have supported the area for the last 30 or 40 years.”

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