Scarborough towers edging closer to approval

Artist impression of the revised Iconic Scarborough development. Image: Hillam Architects
Artist impression of the revised Iconic Scarborough development. Image: Hillam Architects

PROPOSED high rise towers for Scarborough have been given a second tick of approval.

The Scarborough Land Redevelopment Committee is recommending the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority board approve Chinese developer 3 Oceans’ development at the corner of West Coast Highway and Scarborough Beach Road.

It follows a planning assessment report released by the MRA on June 12, which also recommended approval of the revised application.

The committee heard deputations from supporters and opponents to the project on Tuesday and Wednesday.

There were 25 deputations made on Tuesday, with 20 against the plan and five in support, and community action group Sunsets Not Skyscrapers presented a petition with 1400 signatures requesting rejection of the development.

Stirling Mayor Mark Irwin and the applicant presented at Wednesday’s meeting.

A report by the committee released after the meetings said there had been improvements made since 3 Oceans’ previous proposal, including that it achieved design excellence, reduced the gross floor area, reduced amount of parking while maintaining public parking, complied with the Scarborough development policies and provided “multiple community benefits” as prescribed by the Scarborough design guidelines.

It argued the vision for Scarborough under the planning scheme was related to mix of uses, including high density residential and tourism, and amenities of the area rather than building form or height.

One of the main concerns for opponents is the height of the towers, at 43-storeys and 33-storeys, though the planning framework only allows for a maximum height of 12 storeys, with discretion for the MRA to approve up to 18 storeys where there are community benefits.

But the committee believed the “high quality relationship between the podium levels and the surrounding public realm, together with views through the site due to the more slender tower forms, outweighed the potential impacts such as early morning overshadowing of the beach foreshore.”

Serious traffic, transport and parking concerns were raised by the City of Stirling and Main Roads but it was considered these, along with servicing and loading issues, could be resolved through approval conditions at the working drawing stage.

It also noted there were several outstanding design issues that would need to be “proactively resolved” to maintain the “design excellence”.

The MRA board is the ultimate decision maker, and will decide whether to approve the project at a meeting on Tuesday.