City defers major local planning policy

City of Melville administration building.
City of Melville administration building.

A LOCAL planning policy designed to clarify requirements for developers seeking to receive height concessions in the Canning Bridge Activity Centre Plan (CBACP) area has been deferred by the City of Melville.

The policy would have set more requirements for developments looking to go above 15 storeys in the M10 area and 25 storeys in the M15 area of the CBACP, but would not be able to set upper limits.

These requirements include a six-star green design rating, exceeding desired outcomes of the plan and being compatible with its height hierarchy.

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At the council’s June 18 meeting, four members of the public and lawyer Belinda Moharich used deputations to speak against the planning policy.

Among the concerns were the policy not being consistent with community expectations and that height allowances were going too far.

The council previously ticked off on the plan for advertising purposes in March and received 194 submissions from April 1 to May 7, with 70 per cent of the submissions raising concerns that height controls in the CBACP were not sufficiently restrictive.

Councillor Nicholas Pazolli moved for a deferral until the August council meeting, citing that the policy appeared to be unpopular among residents and developers.

His motion was passed 7-5 and triggered applause in the public gallery.

At the council’s June 4 briefing forum, Edge Visionary Living development director Lincoln Jones, along with Hillam Architects’ Felipe Soto and Rowe Group principal and managing director Greg Rowe, used a deputation to speak against the policy.

They believed it limited innovation and that a six-star design rating was costly and almost impossible to achieve.

The concept for the local planning policy was initiated in November 2018 after concerns about the CBACP’s community benefits provisions.