Cottesloe may change town planning scheme after JDAP approves development

The site of the proposed eco-apartment development in Swanbourne. Picture: Jon Bassett.
The site of the proposed eco-apartment development in Swanbourne. Picture: Jon Bassett.

COTTESLOE may change its planning rules after apparent inconsistencies about heights were questioned when the joint development assessment panel (JDAP) approved a contentious development near Swanbourne train station this morning.

The proposal had been argued about for three years.

JDAP member John Syme asked why the planning scheme allowed 10m for three storeys, but had issue with the award-winning architect Garry Baverstock’s proposal nudging 7m for two storeys on 1475sq m at the Congdon and Railway streets’ intersection.

“If they proposed three storeys they could have gone to 10m. If they go to two storeys it’s 7m,” Cottesloe senior planning officer Ed Drewett said.

An initial 13-apartment design sparked residents’ opposition and fears of more development after the site became R60 in 2017.

After exhausting the council’s planning process, Mr Baverstock asked the JDAP to consider eight apartments, a two-storey townhouse, 213sq m of offices, a 100sq m strata meeting room and 15 car bays.

This morning, the council remained opposed because the 7m section was still too high, rules for plot ratio, setbacks and front fencing were allegedly not satisfied, and a lack of visitors parking bays.

However, JDAP presiding member Frencesca Lefante, members Jarrod Ross and Mr Symes, and Mr Angers agreed with the proposal’s supporters that they could exercise discretion about the height, setbacks and a claimed 0.82 plot ratio, and agreed to apply 17 minor conditions, including privacy screening, on the plans.

“This mocks local government in Cottesloe because the local planning scheme and the strategy have been ignored, just as the JDAP ignored residents rights to views that were blocked by a development under Overton Gardens,” Cr Sally Pyvis, who voted against, said.

Mr Baverstock said he was pleased with JDAP’s decision and expected construction to start in six months.