Design review committee member Malcolm Mackay made the comment at a councillors’ briefing session earlier this month, at which a Town officer’s report recommended the $6 million development at 1022-1024 Albany Highway be refused.
The committee said the proposal was too crowded and would have a negative impact on occupants and shop customers, due to its poor external and internal design.
Councillors endorsed the refusal at the Town’s ordinary meeting a week later despite applicant Baltimac Pty Ltd agreeing to address some of the proposal’s minor shortfalls.
But the changes did not alter its proposal to significantly vary the site’s plot ratio which, the officer’s report said, was designed to achieve increased density on site, not improve internal amenity for residents.
The report said the committee and council officers would be open to plot ratio variations of more than 10 per cent for a high-quality development. But it would be poor planning to support a sub-standard proposal just to achieve development on the site, despite the area being tired and in need of rejuvenation, the committee said.
At the briefing session, site owner Paul Stubber said he and his architect were ‘only too pleased’ to address the building’s appearance but said its internal amenity was a subjective matter.
According to the committee, Mr Stubber had not accepted invitations to attend workshops and his architect had attended only one, relaying the message that the owner believed the design was acceptable and was not prepared to change it to reflect the committee’s comments.