AN application for a proposed gym at Sacred Heart College was refused at a development assessment panel meeting last Thursday.
This was the second time the proposal had come before the North West Metro Joint Development Assessment Panel.
It was deferred on February 26 to give the applicant time to review the design and address concerns made by neighbouring residents and the City of Joondalup.
At the February meeting, the City recommended the Sorrento secondary school gym design be refused because of its height and the negative impact it would have on surrounding residential properties.
The $8.4 million development, earmarked for the northern side of the school oval, was a two-storey extension of the existing gym, including two indoor and six outdoor courts, a soccer field, five classrooms, biomechanics and weight rooms, change rooms, staff offices, and a kitchen.
To connect the new gym to the existing one with a bridge, 4m of fill was required, taking the proposed development to a maximum height of 15.7m from the existing ground level.
This did not comply with a City policy that stated non-residential buildings within 300m of the coast must be a maximum of 10m high. Residents were also concerned there was only 7.5m between the boundary of Bahama Close houses on the north side and the proposed building.
Following the deferral, the applicant’s revised proposal suggested the building could be moved 12m south from the northern boundary, which would result in 26m between the boundaries of the residential properties and the northern wall of the proposed gym.
This was advertised for public comment, including to 55 neighbouring landowners, and 140 submissions were received ” 45 objections from neighbouring landowners and 95 in support of the proposal from school staff and parents.
An assessment panel document stated the reasons for support were not planning related, but included the school existing before residential development, the school being one of the biggest ratepayers in the City and ranked one of the highest performing in the State, also that without a gym, the school would not be able to provide a high level of education.
‘It is acknowledged that letters of support have been received from members of the school community who will benefit from the new facility, however these submitters will not be impacted by the bulk and scale of the building or any potential increase in traffic to the site,’ it said.
It said the height and bulk of the building would still be unacceptable for neighbouring residents if it was moved 12m south and it would not significantly change the way the building was seen from West Coast Drive.
For more: Much debate on school gym