The City of Joondalup and WA Planning Commission recommended refusal at the North West Metropolitan Development Assessment Panel meeting because there was no activity centre structure plan.
A meeting document stated major development in the Whitford activity centre should not be approved unless a structure plan had been adopted in accordance with state planning policy and the City of Joondalup’s district planning scheme 2.
However, it said a clause in the state policy allowed for consideration of a development application in the absence of a structure plan if the applicant could demonstrate there were exceptional circumstances.
The applicant’s exceptional circumstances included an agreement with David Jones that would only occur if development was approved before October 31 and a draft structure plan was already in consultation and could be treated as a ‘seriously entertained planning proposal’.
‘Over the last three years, the applicant has done everything it possibly could to try and advance this matter along,’ the applicant’s legal counsel Peter Doherty said at the meeting.
‘It was only in September 2012 the City requested a structure plan be approved.’
Westfield state manager Brad Osborne said the draft structure plan had had a ‘very long, extensive history’.
‘There have been two versions of this document. The second version came about through extensive consultation with the City,’ he said.
‘It has been advertised, we have received feedback which we have responded to and an extensive amount of concessions have been made post that document.
‘The development assessment panel has the capacity to assess this development application. There is clear precedent in relation to other centres, including Lakeside Joondalup.’
Joondalup planning and community development director Dale Page said while the City had some role in the process delay, so did the applicant and it was not a reason to justify an exceptional circumstance.
‘Submission of the original structure plan was premature’