Orthodontist asked to rework model

File pic.
File pic.

Sole practitioner Peter Munt said at the previous week’s council briefing he had applied to construct a partial second storey on the north-west corner of the Coolibah Drive building.

He said he required extra space for storage, offices for himself and the practice manager, and showering facilities to accommodate staff who ride to work.

He said the additions, which City officers had recommended for refusal, would be to improve the efficiency of the practice and the patient experience.

‘I’d like to stress I am in no way interested in increasing the patient numbers and I am in no way interested in having another practitioner join me,’ he said.

Architect Andrew Macliver said building the second-storey at the north-west corner would create minimal disruptions to the practice operations.

‘The location doesn’t affect any overshadowing principles or streetscape policies,’ he said.

‘There were no objections or submissions from neighbouring property owners.’

However, planning services manager John Corbellini said the current building did not comply with the setbacks required and the bulk and scale of the addition was not in keeping with the surrounding residential area.

Councillor Brian Corr raised concerns of parking issues at the practice.

A council document said the scale of the additions proposed was considered excessive to the needs of one health consultant.

‘You’re obviously investing significant funds in this, why aren’t you investing those funds in purchasing a property in an appropriately zoned area to this business,’ Mayor Troy Pickard asked.

‘The practice has been in that location for about 20 years,’ Mr Munt said.

‘It’s a well-known location in the area and I would prefer to stay there if possible.’

Mr Pickard asked if Mr Munt would be prepared to put a caveat on the property indicating he would not employ any more staff, given the extra space he was proposing to add to the building.

‘I wouldn’t be against that,’ Mr Munt said.

However, Mr Corbellini said a caveat would not help the issues with bulk and scale.

At the meeting, Mr Macliver said they had reviewed the concept of a single-storey addition instead of a second.

‘Whilst it’s not as ideal for us, we feel it is an option that could be explored and it would alleviate the concerns regarding general size and bulk of the proposed development,’ he said.

Cr John Chester said the original proposal ‘pushed the envelope just a little bit too far’ and the effect on neighbouring residential homes was unacceptable.

However, he was interested to hear how the applicant would consider modifying and possibly eliminate the second storey.

Tyler Brown