Wanneroo Council to consider confidential report on retirement village

The City of Wanneroo's civic centre.
The City of Wanneroo's civic centre.

UPDATE, September 19: WANNEROO Council referred a confidential report relating to development contribution arrangements for a proposed retirement village back to administration.

The council was due to consider the report at its September 18 meeting, but councillor Frank Cvitan put up a procedural motion to refer it back so staff and the applicant could continue negotiations.

The report is expected to come back to council for consideration at or before the November 14 council meeting.

EARLIER: WANNEROO landowners are concerned a confidential council report could further delay development of a retirement village.

Wanneroo Council is expected to consider the confidential report next Tuesday about developer contribution arrangements relating to a District Planning Scheme 2 amendment, which involved rezoning four blocks on Dundebar Road and Belgrade Road to allow a retirement complex on the 8ha site.

In June, a staff recommendation not to approve the amendment lapsed for want of a mover, and the council instead supported an alternative motion in favour of the change.

Kate Coughlan said landowners were concerned about what the confidential September 18 report would recommend the council do regarding developer contributions.

In the past, the City has said it would be premature to approve small developments as it had not yet determined facility needs and costs for the entire 2206ha in east Wanneroo where the State Government has flagged rezoning rural land to urban deferred.

Unable to disclose the exact amount of contributions the City had discussed with landowners, Mrs Coughlan said it was “unrealistic” and “would make development in Wanneroo unviable”.

“The east Wanneroo area has been the subject of many policy changes, State Government changes, local government changes and community instability over many years,” she said.

Mrs Coughlan said landowners were pleased with the June decision and hoped councillors would continue to advocate for residents.

“Whether or not a retirement village and aged-care facility goes ahead depends on their collective vision for the local area,” she said.

“We’re all hopeful of a positive outcome.”

Mrs Coughlan said both the Federal and State governments had identified Wanneroo as an area that needed more seniors’ housing and aged care facilities.

“These developments do not occur overnight,” she said.

“Planning for this development is now in its third year and has already cost a significant amount of both time and money.

“The development being proposed is primarily for the residential care of seniors and a retirement village with potential additional ancillary uses on site for items such as a medical centre, pharmacy and child care centre.

“If the opportunity to develop this project is missed, it will be many years before another such project can be realised.

“The subject land has already been rezoned, well in advance of the remainder of east Wanneroo, and has been recognised to have all the necessary infrastructure to permit development to proceed.”

Mrs Coughlan said it would be a community asset, accommodating more than 400 people and employing 200 to 300 people.

She said it could cost $80-$100 million to develop and generate annual rates of $110,000 to $150,000 for the City.

“We acknowledge the difficulty in determining an equitable cost structure for the development of east Wanneroo in the absence of a developer contribution plan,” she said.

“We would like the City to consider a reasonable, fair and equitable alternative in the absence of a developer contribution plan so the development of a retirement village and aged care centre can take place.”

Current landowners hope to sell their properties to developers, and Mrs Coughlan said she would give a deputation before the council made its decision in a confidential session next Tuesday.