“The only way councils can demonstrate to the Government that the DAP system is a disaster for our communities is by getting together in these sorts of forums to share our experiences,” Mr Norris said.
A five-member DAP with only two council-elected members agreed – against council and community wishes – to development at a Mosman Park shopping centre last year.
Other contentious DAP decisions in the western suburbs included apartment heights blocking views from the Cottesloe Civic Centre, 16 storeys at the former Subiaco Pavilion site and highrise on Warratah Avenue, Nedlands.
Ms MacTiernan alleges another DAP inappropriately used its discretion when it approved a seven-storey development on King William Street, Bayswater, and those discretionary powers had to be changed when DAPs had “absolutely zero accountability.”
Bayswater Council has signalled it would get legal advice on the King William Street decision, and investigate whether the approval of the seven-storey development could be taken to the Supreme Court.
“Special Control Area 12 stated it was very clearly maximum five storeys; I don’t understand what aspect of the word maximum they didn’t understand,” Ms MacTiernan said. “That to me is the one of the clearest cases of contempt.”
DAP reform could include limiting discretionary powers, raising the value of developments that can be assessed by a DAP and creating an independent body to oversee DAP decisions.
n The forum is at Forrest Park Croquet Club, Mount Lawley, 7pm-9pm, Thursday, April 28.