12 December 2019

Council decided to proceed with a modified amendment and it has now been submitted to the WAPC. Find out about the modified amendment.

Council Resolution

That the Council:

  1. Notes the submissions received as a result of the public advertising period for the proposed amendments to introduce a five storey limit to bonus heights in the M10 and M15 zones.
  2. Resolves to modify the proposed amendment to introduce a limit on bonus heights equal to 1/3rd of base heights in the M10 and M15 zones as follows: Modification to paragraph one of the pre-requisites to the Bonus Provisions associated with Elements 21 and 22 of the Canning Bridge Activity Centre Plan by adding an additional sentence: “In the M10 and M15 quarters of Kintail and Ogilvie (those quarters within the City of Melville), the maximum bonus height is 1/3rd of the applicable heights permitted in Element 3.”
  3. Forwards the proposed amendment to the Canning Bridge Activity Centre Plan, inclusive of the above modifications, along with details of submissions received, to the Western Australian Planning Commission with a recommendation that the amendment be approved.

Reasons for the Amendment (to the amendment) as provided by Cr Woodall

  1. An amendment to the CBACP was initiated by the previous Council in an attempt to moderate excessive heights in the CBACP whilst a full review of the plan was undertaken. A 5 storey cap on bonus heights was proposed as this would align with the 5 storey cap on the City of South Perth side of Canning Bridge, and it was considered that this would strike the right balance between minimising amenity impacts and controlling development on the one hand, and encouraging attractive, high quality developments that provide recreational and entertainment options for residents on the other.
  2. The public consultation for this item has demonstrated that a majority of the community believe that a 5 storey bonus height cap is still too generous. A significant number of submissions called for no bonus heights at all – which appears to be based on the view that many of the ‘community benefits’ (which are said to justify bonus storeys) are not real benefits at all.
  3. There is no doubt that issues such as the community benefit criteria, and the nexus between those criteria and the number of bonus storeys, will need to be dealt with as part of the full review of the CBACP. However, it is not feasible to deal with these matters in the current amendment as they require more detailed investigation and consultation.
  4. In attempting to satisfy the wishes of the community, we must also consider the practical realities of the planning framework. Melville Council does not control the CBACP. We do not have the power to unilaterally impose height caps or prevent developments in the CBACP. Ultimate power and decision-making rests with the WA Planning Commission (WAPC), not the Council.
  5. We have seen the power of the WAPC at play in other local government areas, such as the City of Nedlands, Subiaco and South Perth. In Nedlands, the council did not co-operate with the WAPC’s requests for increased density, resulting in the Minister for Planning imposing a local planning scheme. This meant that the Council had little or no involvement in choosing where and how density targets would be achieved. In South Perth, council attempts to limit building heights in the Mill Point area have been refused by the WAPC, and the Minister for Planning has stepped in to take control over the approvals process for the Civic Heart development (approximately 40 storeys).
  6. This amendment seeks to strike a balance between the wishes of the local community and the views of the WAPC, whose approval is required for height caps to be introduced. I believe a 1/3rd bonus height limit is logical and will address community concerns about excessive heights, particularly in the M10 area which is located closer to residential areas of Applecross and Mt Pleasant. Importantly I believe it also has a reasonable prospect of receiving WAPC support, which is critical to this whole process.

Melville Talks will be updated with the decision from the WAPC when it becomes available.

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