South Perth residents win appeal against 34-storey Mill Point Road development

The 34-storey building that was proposed for Mill Point Road
The 34-storey building that was proposed for Mill Point Road

FOR the second time, South Perth residents Karyl Nairn and Ric Hawley yesterday won their case in the WA Court of Appeal against the development approval for a 34-storey tower on Mill Point Road.

The development application by Edge Visionary Living for a 116.5m building was granted approval by the Metro Central Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP) in November 2016.

Mr Hawley said the developer had wrongly tried to characterise the overwhelming opposition to the 34 storey building as “nimby-ism” when in reality most residents simply did not want an inappropriate development.

“I am not anti-development but high rise residential buildings of the kind being promoted by Edge on the Peninsula are unacceptable for a myriad of sensible planning reasons, importantly they do not consider the existing heights of the built environment.”

The JDAP reasoned that plot and height variations, which were the basis of the Mr Hawley and Mrs Nairn’s appeal, could be allowed on the grounds that the proposal comprised a non-residential plot ratio of more 50 per cent; a condition set out in the City of South Perth’s Town Planning Scheme (TPS) 6.

However, the Court of Appeal found that the JDAP exceeded its jurisdiction in determining the predominantly non-residential land use, with regard to the way the plot ratio was calculate and evaluated.

Edge Visionary Living managing director Gavin Hawkins said the decision came as a surprise.

“It is interesting that the grounds the court refused our approval was again on whether the building was predominantly commercial in nature,” he said.

In 2017, the City amended its TPS6 removing the requirement to have 50 per cent of mixed developments as commercial use.

Mr Hawkins said given the recent amendment he was not concerned to move the project forward.

“As much as we are disappointed with the court’s findings, the decision has reaffirmed that there is no issue with the height, bulk or scale of the building,” he said.

“So, with the 50 per cent commercial condition no longer a scheme requirement the decision isn’t of concern in moving forward.”

Edge Visionary Living has lodged a new proposal for a 36-storey development at the same site, 72-74 Mill Point Road, South Perth.

The new application proposes a 118.2m mixed use development that includes 30 serviced apartments, 112 residential apartments, a communal amenity, cafe, community meeting room, commercial offices and basement stores, services and residential parking.

The application closed for public consultation on January 5 and it now being assessed by City officers.