Cottesloe Council to oppose boutique apartment development near Swanbourne train station

COTTESLOE Council will ask a joint development assessment panel (JDAP) to reject the altered design of the long-argued $8 million apartments proposed by architect Garry Baverstock.

The apartments are proposed for the Congdon and Railway streets intersection near Swanbourne train station.

“The zoning is R60 and we should be mindful that the development that goes into that block is R60,” refusal supporter and Cottesloe resident Karina Law said at a special council meeting last night.

Initially 13 apartments, almost three years of argument between Mr Baverstock, the council and residents changed the design to eight apartments, a two-storey townhouse, 213sq m of offices, a 100sq m strata meeting room and 15 car bays for residents and visitors.

The initial design was backed by academics because of its environmental systems, closeness to public transport and conformity with State planning policies.

However, residents’ opposition to the site’s R60 zoning potentially sparking more development on adjacent Claremont Hill stymied that proposal, before Planning Minister Rita Saffioti approved amending Cottesloe’s planning scheme for the new design early last year.

At the meeting, councillors decided to continue the opposition in their responsible authority report to the JDAP on the grounds the new design was too high for two storeys allowed in its Local Planning Scheme No. 3, and did not satisfy design codes for plot ratio, Congdon Street setback and front fencing, and having no bays for visitors will affect residents’ use of the streets.

Mr Baverstock said the design did comply.

“Their local development plan has never meant to be a bible as it’s a guide to assessing development applications, which means sometimes you can bend the rules,” he said.

He said impacts of the council’s requests included sewage having to be pumped uphill because of a request the apartments be dug into Claremont Hill.

“The plot ration for the site is 8.8 dwellings, so surely nine units is not stretching it to far,” he said.