Architect admits ‘error’ to build without approval at North Beach development


99 Flora Terrace in North Beach. Picture: Martin Kennealey d475336
99 Flora Terrace in North Beach. Picture: Martin Kennealey d475336

AN architect has admitted it was an “error” to build a structure without approval at a North Beach development.

Harden Jones Architects applied to the North-West Metro Joint Development Assessment Panel for changes to the Flora Terrace and Lawley Street office and apartment complex on behalf of owner NS Property Developments.

It sought to make several amendments to existing approval, including increasing the height and length of the eastern ground floor wall to create a covered walkway with rooftop garden above and modifying the wall facade treatments.

Councillors supported the City of Stirling’s recommendation to refuse the walkway and proposed reduced awning width on Lawley Street at the October 17 meeting.

The City’s report said the applicant had started construction of a “substantial portion” of the proposed amendments without approval.

North Beach resident Sue McAuliffe made a deputation at the panel meeting on October 30 and said she lived next door to the eastern boundary walkway.

She was worried about noise and heat from the adjacent airconditioning units, believed the facade that replaced the original design was “dull and depressing” and the walkway stopped sunlight to her home.

“My sunlight is gone from my backyard from 2pm, when I bought it was 5pm,” she said.

“There will still be further deprivation if approved.”

Neighbour Michael Kerklaan and his wife viewed the development plans before buying their home and echoed Ms McAuliffe’s concerns.

“It has caused us a great deal of stress, anxiety and loss of sleep over months,” he said.

Harden Jones Architects director Giles Harden Jones spoke on behalf of the developer and tried to submit alternative plans but presiding member Karen Hyde said they were unable to consider them.

Cr David Boothman asked why some construction was done without approval and Mr Harden Jones admitted it was a mistake.

“We made an error, we admit that,” he said.

“We did that at the requirement of the builder.”

Deputy presiding member Ray Haeren said he had not seen changes to approval made to that extent before but suggested the panel could defer the matter to consider the alternative plans.

Ms Hyde urged an immediate decision so as not to “prolong the angst of the community”.

Eventually they voted to support the City’s recommendation, as well as refuse the facade modification and require the bin storage area to be further enclosed.

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