JDAP gives its nod to lit advertising hoarding in Claremont

Town of Claremont Mayor Jock Barker.
Town of Claremont Mayor Jock Barker.

A CONTROVERSIAL illuminated billboard doggedly wanted by a developer but opposed by Claremont council was given the green light by a government-established joint development assessment panel (JDAP) last Friday.

“They’ve been through the State Administrative Tribunal a few times, so they have clearly meant to undertake the works,” Cr Bruce Haynes said.

As JDAP members, Cr Haynes and Cr Paul Kelly where in the minority of the five-member JDAP when it voted to remove the council-suggested objection to a curved LED billboard between 8m and 5.5m on top of the redeveloped former National Bank, which is currently two storeys at the Bay View Terrace-Stirling Highway intersection.

The 2016 Claremont-registered trust Spyglass Pacific has permission add a third floor and conduct internal and external refurbishing.

The council considered the billboard inappropriate for the heritage building and rejected it because it did not comply with its local laws in December 2017.

A subsequent State Administrative Tribunal review, among about three during the proposal’s nearly three-year argument, found a permit could not be granted because the works had not been approved in the local planning scheme.

On Friday, design advice to the Department of Planning said the billboard “sits poorly” and would “visually dominate “ the building, which did not have the scale to cope with the size.

Spyglass’s submission to the JDAP said its artist’s impressions showed the hoardings were “not so high that they draw the driver gaze away” on the adjacent highway.

“The signs are above any traffic control devices and do not impact on the visibility of traffic control devices, including signs and traffic signals, at the intersection of Stirling Highway-Bay View Terrace,” the submission said.

A Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage spokeswoman said the JDAP’s minutes, including any reasons for deleting or amending conditions on the billboard, would be available 10 days after the meeting.

The council would not comment, and Spyglass did not reply.