SOUTHCARE’S plan to construct 82 aged care and dependant dwellings in Manning has been rejected, even though the proposal complied with the area’s planning scheme.
The Metropolitan Central Joint Development Assessment Panel voted 3-2 to refuse the application on Tuesday, with member Michael Hardy siding with South Perth councillors Glenn Cridland and Colin Cala to the surprise of the public gallery.
Local residents had been unhappy about the size of Southcare’s redevelopment proposal, which was significantly different to a draft version approved by the City of South Perth in 2014.
Shortly after that approval, South Perth council made a significant amendment to its Town Planning Scheme, which meant the Southcare site could be developed with an unlimited plot ratio.
Panel president Charles Johnson, who voted in favour of approving Southcare’s application, said he could not find sufficient reason on planning grounds to refuse the plan.
But Mr Hardy said the facility, spread across six individual lots and up to four storeys, would have had an unacceptable impact on the amenity of the surrounding area.
“The zoning controls presently contained in Town Planning Scheme No. 6 represent the maximum development capacity of the site and there is no necessary requirement that an application be approved simply because it fits within that development capacity,” Mr Hardy said.
Southcare chief executive Nicky Howe said she was unsure if the organisation would appeal the decision at the State Administrative Tribunal.
“We have a project control committee and will go back to that committee, then will make a decision about what we do in terms of moving forward,” Dr Howe said.“The need for accessible housing for aged independent people is huge in the area, our research shows, and it is not going to go away.”
Mr Johnson suggested the City of South Perth consider how to better manage situations where an amendment to the Town Planning Scheme has changed development parameters.