It was the third time the proposal had come before the North-West Metro panel after being deferred in February and refused in June.
The City of Joondalup recommended the refusal because the 15.7m development in Sorrento did not comply with a City policy requiring non-residential buildings within 300m of the coast to be a maximum of 10m high.
Residents were also concerned there was only 7.5m between the structure and the boundary of Bahama Close houses.
The report to last week’s panel meeting said under the new proposal the gym was set back another 14.8m south-east from Bahama Close, but that the overall scale of the building had not changed.
Alternative deputy presiding member Ian Birch said the height of the building remained a concern and asked if the building’s 4m fill could be reduced.
Parry and Rosenthal Architects director Paul Rossen said the fill level needed to be maintained to allow universal access between the existing school gym and the new gym via a bridge.
‘We don’t think it would be possible to build the gymnasium at a lower level and have it work as a teaching learning space,’ he said.
Mr Rossen said there had been substantial compromises to the plans to move the gym farther away from residential homes and to change the exterior appearance of the building.
Joondalup councillor Mike Norman said the 4m pad amplified the bulk and size of the structure and he would not support it.
An alternative motion to approve the application was moved by Mr Birch and passed with support from presiding member Karen Hyde and specialist member Fred Zuideveld.
Business manager Stephen Martin told the Times on Thursday the college hoped the building would open in 2016, ready to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
‘It’s a great decision for the school because it’s something that we need, given our size,’ he said.
‘Next year we will grow by another 110 students, so we’ll have about 1370 students and there’s no way our existing gym could accommodate whole schools events.’
The $8.4 million, two-storey development includes two indoor and six outdoor courts, a soccer field, five classrooms, biomechanics and weight rooms.