City of Wanneroo plans to establish design review panel

City of Wanneroo plans to establish design review panel

DRAFT policies on design review and split coding in the City of Wanneroo are out for public comment until June 26.

The City has invited submissions on two local planning policies that relate to building design in infill development areas.

A May report to the council said the City received 32 applications for multiple dwelling developments in the past two years, with nine located in Wanneroo, Girrawheen and Koondoola’s split coded areas.

“There has been greater emphasis placed on design quality, particularly for apartment design,” the report said.

“Design quality is not limited to appearance and architecture; it also encompasses functionality, sustainability, response to context and results in a built form that performs well for its users.

“These desired outcomes will be facilitated through the establishment of a design review panel.”

At least four people on that panel, drawn from a pool of up to seven members, would give independent advice to the council, staff and applicants about development proposals.

The policy would guide which developments are referred to the panel and the City plans to allocate $100,000 in its 2018-19 budget to establish the panel.

Responding to questions at the May 1 council meeting, planning and sustainability director Mark Dickson said, following public consultation, the City was likely to implement the design review policy before the end of this year.

Asked if developers could cut down trees, Mr Dickson said there were controls in place and it would depend on the species of tree.

Councillor Dot Newton, who moved the recommendation to approve the draft policy for public consultation, said she hoped it would protect the council when it did “refuse a development because it is a disgusting design”.

Cr Samantha Fenn said the policy was “long overdue” and would see “better design opportunities” across the City.

Another report on the same agenda related to split coding in the Wanneroo and Girrawheen-Koondoola housing precincts.

That report said the existing policy did not adequately address some design considerations, such as landscaping, street facades, location of storerooms and bin stores and space to manoeuvre cars into and out of car spaces.

It said many community concerns raised in objections to developments related to landscaping, car parking and setbacks were controlled by the R-Codes, which were under review.

The council approved a draft change to that policy that would guide landowners preparing development applications for properties in split coded areas, and how City staff respond.

Visit www.wanneroo.wa.gov.au/consultations for more information.

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