Whitford City shopping centre plan in process

In November, 2013, the council rejected a draft Whitford activity centre structure plan because of concerns about the proposed retail floor space having a negative effect on nearby commercial centres, its effect on traffic, transport and parking, and a lack of diverse uses in the area.

The applicant appealed to the State Administrative Tribunal, with ongoing mediation between the City, Westfield and the Department of Planning.

The Department of Transport, Public Transport Authority and Main Roads have also been involved in discussions.

The new draft plan proposes a maximum retail floor space of 77,500sq m � as opposed to 95,000sq m in the previous plan � with a minimum 10 per cent of this in the Endeavour district.

It proposes road upgrades on Marmion Avenue at Whitfords and Banks avenues, development of Endeavour Road into a main street, redesign of the north of Banks Avenue, and upgrade to the bus stop on Whitfords Avenue near Dampier Avenue.

It addresses maximum building heights (ranging between two and seven storeys), setbacks, facade treatments, car parking, infrastructure upgrades and residential densities. It also requires at least 40 residential dwellings to be provided in the Endeavour district and aims to create 739 dwellings in the whole area covered by the structure plan.

At last Tuesday�s council briefing, Cr Philippa Taylor asked if the applicant had plans to buy the houses south of Banks Avenue to make that area part of the development. Westfield WA manager Brad Osborne said it was not their intention.

�Our intention has been making sure the structure plan is sound,� he said.

�It will be at the discretion of those owners to do what they want with that site.�

City officers recommended the draft plan be �considered satisfactory for the purpose of advertising for public comment�.

�The new structure plan is really different to the one refused 18 months ago,� planning and community development director Dale Page said at the briefing.

�It is a product of intense work and negotiation between the applicant, the City and State Government and is now considered to be in suitable shape to release for public consultation, and the tribunal advised us to prepare a report to take to the council to do that.�

If approved tonight, the plan will be advertised for 28 days with another report to go to the council with the results.

To date, tribunal proceedings have cost the City about $176,750 in solicitor and consultant fees, not including costs associated with officer time.