Scarborough MLA questions State Government approval of towers

Liza Harvey. Picture: Bryce Luff
Liza Harvey. Picture: Bryce Luff

SCARBOROUGH MLA Liza Harvey is seeking answers from the State Government about the approval of the 3 Oceans development in Scarborough.

The deputy Liberal leader said she was “gobsmacked” when the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority approved the 43- storey and 33-storey towers plan in June after originally knocking rejecting it last December.

“My constituents feel aggrieved and thought that the development was so far outside of the planning scheme that it could not be approved,” she said.

“We are concerned for the precedent this sets as there are many other potential development sites in Scarborough and one has to wonder what the Government will approve for those sites, given the planning scheme is somewhat irrelevant.”

Ms Harvey will ask Planning Minister Rita Saffioti when Parliament reconvenes tomorrow what traffic upgrades will be done surrounding the site, whether the Government will pay for these and the reasons why the developer contribution payment was capped at 12 storeys, as reported by Community News in July.

She questioned the fairness of the process and said other developers with sites approved in the Scarborough Redevelopment Area must “now be kicking themselves for not pushing the envelope further and enhancing the profitability of their sites”.

“I am aware that a number of sites are now intending to submit development applications that are outside the scheme now that this precedent has been set,” she said.

“Unfortunately there is no mechanism to unwind the approval; all that is left is for the Government to explain what the ramifications are for further developments across the State given the precedent that has been set with this approval.”

Ms Saffioti said the comments were interesting given Ms Harvey was reported to have supported the proposal in March 2017.

“The 3 Oceans twin tower proposal received vocal public support from Ms Harvey and other stakeholders such as the Tourism Council and Mayor of Stirling from the beginning,” she said.

“Significant development in Scarborough is an opportunity to capitalise on the State Government’s major revitalisation of the Scarborough foreshore.

“We have established a multi-agency working group to undertake a comprehensive and independent transport assessment of the wider development area.”

Ms Saffioti said every development application was assessed and determined on its merits.

“The MRA’s planning framework provides discretion to approve development that seeks variations to development requirements and it outlines the considerations for approval such development,” she said.

Ms Saffioti said the planning framework gave discretion for approval of variations.

Ms Harvey said her 2017 comments were made to “encourage the community to engage in the process and consider the project in its entirety, rather than knock it out immediately because of the height”.

Stirling residents opposed

THE majority of City of Stirling residents who provided feedback on the 3 Oceans development were opposed to the project.

Community News can reveal that of the 945 public submissions the MRA received from people within the City, 563 did not support the Scarborough towers.

There were 373 supportive responses and nine neutral.

The MRA received 1446 submissions overall and of the 501 submissions made by people outside the City, 418 supported the development, 78 objected and five were neutral.

A further breakdown of these revealed seven supporters came from interstate and 18 from non-metro Perth, while there were nine interstate objectors and two from non-metro Perth.