Why is the City seeking comment on this subdivision?
The subdivision is a very unusual one in that it proposes keeping the existing flats (which are built at a non-conforming density) and adding further development on undeveloped land to the rear. Because the proposal doesn't comply with the zoned density coding, public comment on the overall outcome is being invited.
Why is the City considering this proposal?
It is unusual to consider non-conforming density proposals. In this instance, the applicant has suggested that the retention and upgrade of the existing flats would be better for the environment and for housing choice in the area than full redevelopment of the site, and that the 5 additional lots at the rear could accommodate 'Freo Alternative' style smaller houses without any negative impact on the streetscape or area. Council has not made a decision on this but the City is prepared to consider it, and to put public submissions to Council so it can form a view.
What is a Local Development Plan & why is this also being advertised?
The Local Development Plan (LDP) would guide development of the 5 lots at the rear of the apartments, if they were approved. Normally, a Local Development Plan is lodged and advertised after subdivision is approved however in this instance, it helps explain how the proposed new lots could be developed, and might look. The City is advertising the Local Development Plan with the subdivision application as a 'package' so that the community can consider the whole effect of the proposal.
What about improvement of the existing Apartments?
The applicant has indicated that if the subdivision is approved, they will improve the existing apartments by installing front fencing, balconies and landscaping. A concept plan has been submitted showing how this might occur. If the Western Australian Planning Commission choses to approve the subdivision, it might require upgrade of the existing apartments in accordance with this plan, or subject to other upgrades, to make them suitable for contemporary use.
Can't the Apartments be upgraded without the subdivision?
Yes, the apartments could be upgraded without the subdivision. However the applicant has indicated that the subdivision would help fund the upgrades. They also contend that the subdivision helps improve density in a well serviced location and housing diversity in the local area with minimal negative impact on the community, so has planning merit in its own right.
What happens to my comment?
A summary of comments will be provided to the applicant to allow them to respond to any issues raised and to elected members to assist in their decision-making.
Your comment may be included in publicly available council and planning committee reports.
Personal details such as names, telephone numbers and addresses will be removed.
Can I attend the Planning Committee meeting?
Would approval of this development set a precedent for other non-conforming density development?
Non-conforming density proposals are very rarely supported. The attributes of this site are, however, quite unusual in that it is rare to have essentially vacant land at the rear of an apartment block in such a good location, and serviced by a laneway. Impact on streetscape and amenity, housing diversity, sustainability and access to transport, shops and services will be key considerations in the assessment of the proposal.