Councillors raise concerns about 15-storey aged care facility

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

MELVILLE councillors have railed against a radical 15-storey aged care development on one of Applecross’s busiest streets.

The 20-22 Kintail Road site is the same location that has twice had 16-storey proposals from Norup Wilson rejected by the Metro Central Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP).

The new plan, put forward by aged care provider Grandton Limited on behalf of the developer, proposes 84 independent living units and 10 high-care units for the key location.

As the development is in the M10 zone of the Canning Bridge Activity Centre Plan (CBACP), the developers are seeking an extra five storeys by floating community benefits of a high quality street frontage, toilets, change rooms, bicycle bays and a communal cinema, gym and yoga studio to justify the height bonus.

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At Tuesday’s Melville council meeting, councillors went against the City’s officers recommendation for the development to be approved, citing concerns that the community benefits were not proportionate to the extra height sought.

They also called the plan inconsistent with the height hierarchy of the CBACP.

While local councillors said no, it will be the JDAP that determines the development’s future at a meeting next Wednesday – and the recommendation remains for the panel to approve the aged care facility.

In a deputation ahead of Tuesday’s meeting, Grandton Limited managing director Sophie Fielder and Silver Thomas Hanley Architects representative Mark Zuvela discussed how the proposed development would be different from other aged care facilities.

Ms Fielder spoke about the need for more aged care facilities in the City of Melville and having a facility that family and friends of residents wanted to visit.

An artist’s impression of the previous development.

Several community members raised concerns about the building’s impact on the surrounding area, the insufficient community benefits and concerns that a proposal to cede land to the State Government for road widening could lead to the loss of mature trees.

Later in the meeting, the council decided to reject a local planning policy, which was meant to clarify building bonus height provisions within the M10 and M15 area of the CBACP.

It was deferred at the June council meeting following concerns from the community and developers.

A motion to bring in an external consultant to work on the policy was split 6-6 before Deputy Mayor Tim Barling, sitting in place of the Mayor, used his casting vote to turn it down.