A $27 million carpark expansion has been approved at St John of God Subiaco Hospital, despite a recommended refusal from Town of Cambridge officers.
Mayor Keri Shannon sat in the public gallery and spoke at the Metro West Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP) meeting in Mosman Park today.
She said the development would increase traffic in the area, which already struggles from previous narrowing on Cambridge Street, and the applicant did not undertake the traffic study during peak times.
“It’s unrealistic to suggest traffic on Cambridge Street will remain at current levels,” Ms Shannon said.
Officers gave a number of reasons for refusal, including the loss of 18 on-street car bays, an oversupply of 787 parking bays, and the potential for traffic safety issues if the development goes ahead and there is no treatment of the Cambridge Street and Station Street intersection.
Transcore managing director Behnam Bordbar said there are already issues with the intersection, along with D’Arcy Lane.
“To claim the intersection is fine and we cause all the problems is inappropriate,” he said.
“That intersection needs a treatment, the crash record there is not acceptable.”
He said staff peak hours are before 7am, then between 1pm and 2pm, and traffic reports and technical notes went beyond what was expected.
“It’s a well-known fact there’s a parking issue in the area, staff occupy some visitor parking and surrounding streets; this proposal deals with all those issues,” he said.
Councillor Andres Timmermanis said the traffic in the area was “nightmarish”, and the development would impose a cost on the community.
“The cost of providing parking to themselves is removing parking for casual public use,” he said.
Cr Timmermanis moved the officer recommendation of refusal, but it lapsed after there was no seconder.
JDAP deputy presiding member Clayton Higham moved an alternate motion, seconded by alternate specialist member Lou D’Alessandro.
“I couldn’t think what else could be done with this site other than expanding the carpark,” Mr Higham said.
“It really comes down to how we deal with the flow of traffic.”
The alternate motion included a condition of about $178,214 per annum being paid as compensation for the loss of on-street parking bays to the Town of Cambridge; this was deleted on the basis that the proposed carpark will provide public parking.
The motion was also amended to state that use of the development cannot begin until there is a legal agreement reached about who will pay for the intersection upgrade.
The development was approved 3-1.