Panel defers decision because of site constraints

A DEVELOPMENT application for a public primary school in Landsdale was deferred at a meeting on Monday because of a lack of information.

The $14 million Landsdale East Primary School was proposed for a 3.75ha site on Kingsway and Pomodora Avenue to open in 2017 and cater for a maximum of 760 kindergarten to Year 6 students.

Though the applicant submitted similar documents to the approved school in Alkimos, the five members of the metropolitan northwest Joint Development Assessment Panel had concerns with parking.

The school was also to be developed through a public private partnership arrangement dependent on the state obtaining planning and environmental approvals during the tender process.

Again, this meant the panel was required to assess the proposal based on a design brief because no drawings were available.

Sandra McLeish, representing the Department of Treasury, said the application for the school in Landsdale was more complicated than the one in Alkimos because of its site constraints.

The site is bordered by residential development and contains remnant bushland.

Wanneroo councillor Russell Driver raised concerns about retaining the bushland to the detriment of providing sufficient car parking.

To cater for 760 students, the school needs to have 191 car parking bays but 142 were proposed – a shortfall of 49.

A meeting document said the site was “severely constrained” by the remnant vegetation, limited road frontage and encroachment of the oval into the school site, “significantly reducing the area available to provide the required parking”.

The document said it was expected the school would accommodate 700 students by 2021 and not reach maximum occupancy.

It was recommended the proposal be approved, stating car parking was “considered sufficient having due regard to the car parking constraints” and noting a traffic and parking impact statement would be required.

Cr Driver said parking near schools was already an issue in the area without having a car park shortfall.

Scott Jeffrey, representing the Department of Finance’s Building Management and Works division, said the school would look at using staff parking bays and staggering start times.

Ms McLeish said they had “tried to reach a happy medium” to retain the vegetation.

Cr Driver said he understood the reason for wanting to keep the vegetation but the “bigger issue”¬†was people parking on verges.

Assessment panel deputy presiding member Paul Drechsler raised concerns of not having an adequate site plan to make an informed decision.

He moved an alternate motion to defer the matter to allow the applicant to provide more information to illustrate where buildings could be on the site, access points and the extent of bushland to be retained.

The school was proposed to relieve Landsdale Primary.

RELATED: Alkimos school approved