City of Melville throws support behind development of three apartment blocks set to alter Applecross skyline

Thank goodness the proposal to build at Scarborough was rejected
An artist’s impression of the proposed development.
Thank goodness the proposal to build at Scarborough was rejected An artist’s impression of the proposed development.

MELVILLE councillors have thrown their support behind a Finbar application for three Canning Bridge Precinct apartment buildings that will dramatically alter the Applecross skyline.

Located between Kintail Road and Canning Highway behind the existing IGA, the proposed 8000sq m, $138 million residential complex will contain 452 apartments in three separate towers of 30, 26 and 26 storeys respectively.

A total of 574 carparking bays will be provided for residents with an additional 18 servicing nine available commercial tenancies.

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The application will be considered by a Joint Development Assessment Panel later this month with the City planning officers’ Responsible Authority Report (RAR) recommending approval.

That RAR was presented to Melville council for comment last night , with councillors voting 8-1 to endorse the proposal despite traffic and groundwater concerns.

In a letter attached to the RAR, Main Roads WA manager statutory road planning Justin KcKirdy wrote there were notable deficiencies present in the proponent’s traffic modelling.

“The trip distribution indicates 80 per cent of the vehicles will access the development via the Canning Beach Road/Canning Highway intersection which already has queues that extend over Canning Bridge,” he wrote.

“The City of Melville also needs to be aware that road users on the City’s network as a result of this development may suffer increased delays.”

However, Mr McKirdy said Main Roads WA was aware of the City of Melville’s plans for the area and had no objection to the development as long as a number of conditions were imposed, including the applicant working with the agency to produce satisfactory traffic modelling and ceding 385sq m of the development to the State Government for future widening of Canning Highway and Kintail Road.

Citing concerns about the 11m of excavation required for the site and a water table depth of just 2m to 4m, the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) submission stated it did not support the proposal.

“Given recent events at 96 and 100 Mill Point Road in South Perth and the issues experienced at that site, Parks and Wildlife consider dewatering and groundwater management fundamental issues which should be resolved prior to approval,” DPaW manager of statutory assessments Glen McLeod-Thorpe wrote.

DPaW recommended that in the event of approval, a number of conditions be applied to mitigate potential issues, all of which have been adopted in the RAR.

The proposal breaches the 15-storey maximum building height allowance under the Canning Bridge Structure Plan, although discretionary height concessions are available in exchange for community benefit.

That community benefit comes largely in the form of The Lane, a publicly accessible landscaped link between Canning Highway and Kintail Road.

Comprising nearly 1500sq m, the link will boast public artwork at both ends and act as a pedestrian walkway while also providing vehicle access to the development from Kintail Road.

Ground floor commercial tenancies and apartments will face the central laneway and a 550sq m pedestrian only piazza including seating, trees and alfresco dining is also proposed.

WHAT COUNCILLORS SAID

Matt Woodall (against): The traffic report suggests only minor impacts but I think given the current situation at peak times, any increase whatsoever to traffic on Canning Highway, Kintail Road and Canning Beach Road is unacceptable. I also do not view the public art on offer as high quality.

Clive Robartson (for): The reality is this sort of development will happen in Canning Bridge Precinct and I think we have to admit the tower design is better than a smaller but much bulkier option.

Guy Wieland (for): I’ve always stated that if you can protect the rest of the community from in-fill you have to take some hits and hopefully these density nodes do protect us from wider in-fill. Providing height concessions for community benefit is a good idea because it prevents the block effect you get if all developers build to the maximum allowable height.

Nicholas Pazolli (for): I had reservations but feel this development does largely fit the original concept behind the Canning Bridge Structure Plan. It is in the heart of the area and provides community benefit in return for height; we don’t want to blanket the skyline with uniform 15-storey structures.