Apartment policies to be amended

There was concern that developers would add serviced apartments to their high rise applications to meet the strict guidelines of a 50 per cent ratio of commercial and residential, then sell them as residential after their commercial rating ended.

The City of South Perth council last week unanimously voted to amend policies surrounding serviced, short-term apartments.

According to the City, serviced apartments are deemed commercial because people using them had to pay for the service.

Occupants cannot stay longer than six months in a 12-month period and laundry and cleaning services are provided.

Mayor Sue Doherty introduced the amendments to policy P312 Serviced Apartments that stated the space must always remain commercial if they had been sold to meet height and plot ratios.

The motion follows the Supreme Court ruling that halted a development at 74 Mill Point Road for having an incorrect ratio in residential and commercial property. “It would not be acceptable if the initial creation of the serviced apartment was part of a comprehensive new development that received the benefit of plot ratio and height discretions because it was part of a predominantly non-residential development,” Ms Doherty said.

“In such circumstances any change of use from a serviced apartment must be to another non-residential use.”

The motion states that once a space was sold as a serviced apartment in the special design area of special control area 1 (SCA 1), the space could only be replaced with non-residential use.

Ms Doherty said the amendment to the policy would provide guidance for future proposals on changing use of a space.

“There have been issues in relation to the ratio of residential and commercial use from the outcome of the Supreme Court case,”Ms Doherty said.

“It is necessary to make amendments to give guidance to assessing any proposed application for a new development and future applications for use.”

But councillor Cheryl Irons said she thought the council should look at reducing this maximum time to three months. Ms Doherty said council could discuss Cr Irons’ idea in the future.