Opposition to Yaran Property’s apartment proposal in Applecross grows

The site where Yaran proposes to build the apartment block.
The site where Yaran proposes to build the apartment block.

OPPOSITION to towering apartment blocks near the edge of the Canning Bridge Activity Centre is growing after Yaran Property Group submitted plans for a second 19m tall development almost identical to one approved by a joint development assessment panel (JDAP) in January.

The new 30-dwelling development on Macrae Road is less than 100m away from the recently approved 21-dwelling Kishorn Road apartment building.

Applecross resident Chris Young and a group of nearby residents have already vowed to appeal against the Kishorn Road decision in the Supreme Court because they believe it is a five-storey building, exceeding the four-storey limit laid out in the Canning Bridge Structure Plan.

Both the City of Melville and Yaran classify the contested fifth storey as a mezzanine on the first floor – and the developer has repeated the same design in its Macrae Road application.

An artist’s impression of the proposed 8 Macrae Road apartment development.

The Macrae Road plans show nine first-floor units, each of which has a mezzanine bedroom overlooking the living area but a fully enclosed ensuite bathroom.

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Mr Young said his Supreme Court bid had attracted even more financial backing since the City of Melville erected a sign informing nearby residents of the Macrae Road application.

“People didn’t believe this kind of development was happening so far away from Canning Bridge until they saw the sign – it has taken them by surprise,” he said.

“It is clear the City and developers don’t realise the pain they are inflicting in the suburb.

“We’re going to have to fork out tens of thousands in legal fees fighting a battle the City should be fighting on our behalf.”

Dayle Kenny, who lives next door to the proposed Macrae Road development, said he was concerned about lack of privacy, overflow parking and a reduction in the value of his home.

“When the Canning Bridge Activity Centre plan was being drafted, we went to a number of meetings and were told apartments would be situated on big amalgamated blocks, not crammed on to 1000sq m,” he said.

“This apartment would be completely out of character for the neighbourhood and people like us on 500sq m blocks can’t do anything besides trying to amalgamate with our neighbours and then selling to a developer for land value.”

Nearby residents lined up their bins on the verge outside 8 Macrae Road to illustrate the traffic impact a 30-dwelling apartment may have on waste collection day.

Kieron Campbell lives on nearby Ullapool Road and said both developments would flood the surrounding streets with cars and bins.

“Across the two developments, they’re providing 50 parking bays for 51 apartments that could sleep well over 100 people,” he said.

The City of Melville’s Responsible Authority Report, used to guide JDAP in its decision, is due on March 9, although Melville chief executive Shayne Silcox confirmed the City’s assessment indicated the application was compliant.

“The waste management of the development must comply with the provisions of Local Planning Policy LPP1.3,” Dr Silcox said.

“The policy is designed to ensure that waste is stored, managed and collected on a communal basis, which translates to a reduction in the number of actual bins required with bin capacity shared across all units in a given development.”

MDS Legal lawyer Fiona Stanton, who is providing legal advice to Mr Young, said the City’s report needed to justify its stance that the proposed mezzanines were not in fact additional storeys.
“The City should make clear what legal advice it relies on in support of its assertion that these are mezzanine floors,” she said.

“The second storeys of the apartments clearly contain enclosed rooms.”