SOUTHCARE has defended itself against complaints from nearby residents about its proposed development that could see 82 units being built in Manning.
A group of residents approached the Southern Gazette with concerns about the scale of the not-for-profit group’s development, which is proposed to comprise aged and dependent housing.
The residents are concerned that Southcare was allowed to have an unlimited plot ratio when the City of South Perth’s Town Planning Scheme No. 6 (TPS) was amended in 2015 and the current proposal did not reflect the original concept proposed in 2014.
Other concerns raised were that the development did not comply with aspects of the TPS in terms of minimum open space, maximum height, parking bays and that the local community was not engaged with in a meaningful manner.
Pether Road resident Paul de Tores said the residents understood the need for the development but questioned the benefit to the community.
Southcare chief executive Nicky Howe said among the benefits of the development would be that it would address a shortage of appropriate diverse housing for aged and dependent people.
“This development will provide accessible places for people and will meet universal design principles and best practice in building accessible places,” she said.
“Because the maximum amount of development is strictly controlled by height limits and setbacks, as well as a number of other design controls, a plot ratio limit becomes irrelevant.”
Dr Howe said consultation about the project had started in 2012 and included multiple information evenings for residents.
“Images prepared in 2014 as part of the amendment to the City of South Perth’s Town Planning Scheme 6 were indicative only and served to provide a visual for the community to understand the potential scale of any future development,” she said.
Dr Howe said she believed the development complied with the Town Planning Scheme 6 and the Residential Design Codes.
Mayor Sue Doherty said the provision to allow for an unlimited plot ratio was made by John Day, the Planning Minister at the time, after the amendment was submitted to the WA Planning Commission.
The development is expected to go to the Joint Development Assessment Panel before the end of October, with the City’s Responsible Authority Report due to be submitted to the panel no later than October 13.
Ms Doherty was a board member of Southcare from 2002 until October 2016 and former councillor Kevin Trent from the later 1990s and left during the same month.
Ms Doherty said she was confident when matters relating to Southcare were put to the council, she removed herself from the council chamber.
“I understand the provisions of the Local Government Act regarding “declarations of interest” and the penalties for not doing so, hence I publicly acknowledged I had interest as a member of the board and took no part.”