Minister orders City to comply

Mr Day has ordered the council to initiate the Scheme Amendment process for Amendment No 34 as it was presented in September ” with no right of appeal ” for building heights of 14, 21 and 36 metres at various parts of the site.

The council had wanted to cap building heights at 21 metres.

Rod Bercov, the City’s strategic urban planning adviser, said there was no alternative but to pass the report.

‘If council declined to comply with the minister’s order, he could implement the scheme himself,’ he said.

The proposed amendment to develop the site was originally presented to the council in September.

However, the council declined to initiate it and invited the applicant to re-submit another proposal with a bulk and scale that was more in keeping with the locality.

In response to that decision, the applicants lodged a submission seeking intervention from the Minister for Planning.

The council then lodged a counter-submission to the minister outlining what they would be prepared to consider, which included a building height limit of 21 metres in the centre of the site.

Councillor Colin Cala said the order to proceed with the amendment was a ‘potential disaster’ in relations with a local government.

‘The high-handed action by ordering the City of South Perth to proceed with initiating this scheme amendment on the original application submitted to the City in September of last year is a further example of the emasculation of council powers by the state and a disregard for the amenity of residents,’ he said.

‘To add insult to injury, this action has been taken despite the council arriving at a more than reasonable compromise in its response to the Section 76 lodged with the minister by the applicants after the council’s refusal last year.

City of South Perth Mayor Sue Doherty said drawings for the site could not be prepared until the minister had approved Amendment No 34 and the actual development constraints and entitlements were known.

‘Under Amendment No 34, at this time only changes to the existing Town Planning Scheme are being considered and not the design of any future development,’ she said.