Minister creates uncertainty

The Minister for Planning Rita Saffioti is using the COVID-19 State of Emergency to change planning rules to avoid community consultation on development applications.

The community will not be consulted if an approved development application requires a two-year extension to commence development.  The Minister is offering an automatic blanket two-year extension without community consultation. Ref Business News, 9 April 2020

2020 Two year extensions approved by minister

Local governments are encouraged by the Minister for Planning to fast track and approve “non-controversial developments” to avoid public scrutiny but provides no definition on what those developments are.  Ref Minister’s letter to WALGA President, 25 March 2020

These changes to planning rules may appear innocuous but the Minister has form in ignoring community consultation and approving local planning schemes and a high-rise development ignoring the controversial impacts on communities. Ref Subiaco and Nedlands‘ Local Planning Scheme changed by Minister for Planning, April and December 2019.  Civic Heart 39 storeys approved by Minster for Planning, 7 February 2020

2020 Civic Heart approved by minister

The Minister for Planning can’t be trusted to act in the interests of the community.  These changes to planning rules should be vigorously challenged by the community and elected members of local government.

The role of Mayors, Presidents and Councillors is to represent the electors of their districts (s. 2.10 of the Act), not the Minister for Planning or the WA Planning Commission.  Elected members have a duty of care to their electors, especially the most vulnerable during this COVID-19 State of Emergency.

Please write to your elected members of local government and remind them of their obligations during this time of uncertainty.

All development applications should be in the public domain and listed on the local government website and in print in a local community newspaper so that the community can be consulted and decide if a development application is controversial.


DAP Affected: WA Apartment Advocacy

A new DAP affected group has appeared in time for this election called WA Apartment Advocacy.

This group seeks to represent great numbers of people with positive views about Perth offering different types of homes like apartments and flats.  According to Fremantle Council Mayor Pettit’s blog they are a “new group to fight NIMBYs on apartments”.

The group may not feel they are DAP Affected yet, but they are.  We have examples where the DAP, the WAPC, the MRA and the SAT have failed to offer different types of homes in new developments.

Take for example Subiaco which has a strong and vibrant history in different types of homes.  Subiaco has flats, town houses, terrace housing, weatherboard cottages and tiny houses.

Over the past four years the DAP and the MRA have approved FIVE developments in Subiaco without a skerrick of residential housing, ignoring the local town planning scheme, the council and the wishes of the community.

These new developments have ignored Subiaco’s residential infill quota and the close proximity of at least two train stations.  Instead office blocks and retail shops were approved.

The State Government has forced Subiaco to adopt an Activity Centre Structure Plan otherwise it will do one for it.  These Plans are based boundary to boundary development, no negotiations with the community, and have the potential of entombing, overlooking and overshadowing existing apartments.  Take for example this lady’s apartment in South Perth:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

DAP Affected Communities say we do hope WA Apartment Advocacy  lives up to its name and advocates for new and existing apartment owners.  Many are facing more and more pressure from boundary to boundary developments as the State Government continues it UGLIFICATION programme of Perth’s suburbs.

Uglification document Ref:

  1. Perth and Peel @ 3.5million based on 2011 numbers which are out of date and unlikely to occur until the next construction boom.
  2. State Planning Policy 4.2 Activity Centre infill targets of 35 dwellings per hectare.
  3. Directions 2031 containment of metropolitan sprawl.


DAP Affected: Subiaco East

The DAP recently approved a development application for a 6 storey building with 72 residential dwellings on the corner of Hay and Olive Street, Subiaco.  There were 29 submissions from the community against the development for the following reasons:

Building Bulk & Scale • Too high and too imposing as viewed from Churchill Avenue;  Car Parking • Increased level of traffic on Olive Street and Churchill Avenue; Tavern & Liquor Licenses  • Negative impacts on residents; • Excessive rubbish and anti-social behaviour; • Too many licensed facilities within the area; • Compatibility with residential development within the same building; Waste Management • Concerns regarding storage of bins and waste management plans; • Noise • Concerns regarding noise during construction and noise associated with the proposed tavern;  Other • Concerns regarding impact of excavation and overshadowing; • Poor integration with heritage principles; • Mix of land uses.

Subiaco Council recommended refusal on the following grounds:

  1. The proposed building does not comply with clause 44(7) of Town Planning Scheme 4 as it would have an adverse impact on the amenity of the locality by virtue of the building bulk, the building height, and the visual impact of the southern boundary wall;
  2. The proposal does not satisfy Clause 45(6) of Town Planning Scheme 4 as insufficient car parking has been provided for the restaurant use.

In the end the DAP decided to give the community some comfort that it understood its concerns and added the following conditions to the approval:

  • Installation of art on the southern wall to soften the impact of the height and scale of the building.
  • A cash in lieu payment of $315,000 for the parking shortfall to help fund other parking initiatives by Subiaco Council, and
  • Two years to get the development substantially completed.

Of course, you guessed it, the developer is appealing the DAP conditions at SAT:

DAP decision appealed at SAT. The Post, 1 July 2016
DAP decision appealed at SAT. The Post, 1 July 2016

DAP Affected Communities note the SAT is being used by applicants to undertake negotiations in secret with the DAP to mediate an outcome, to make changes to a development application under section 31 of the SAT Act 2004. 

DAP Affected Communities believe this development approvals system (DAP/SAT) requires political intervention.


DAP Affected: Kewdale

Emma Young of WA Today is on the trail looking for other DAP Affected Community.

This Community written about by Emma is the industrial precinct of Kewdale, where the DAP were asked to approve a “Noxious (Waste Storage Facility)” in a prohibited area zoned for industrial use.  The DAP have supported the recommendation by Belmont Council, businesses and residents to refuse the application, but you guessed it, the applicant has appealed the decision at the SAT.

The SAT is a proven path to take to get anything approved.  The SAT can use a Section 31    to have the DAP and the applicant mediate an outcome in secret, then send it back to the DAP for approval.  This path has worked on many occasion for developers.

Here’s more of the story here:

In a twist on the usual story of Perth councils fighting controversial developments, Coca-Cola Amatil has thrown its hat in the ring to oppose a Kewdale waste facility.

Cleanaway has applied to build a waste storage facility in Belmont, WA, and the City of Belmont recommended the local development assessment panel knock it back because as a “noxious industry” it was a prohibited use in that industrial zone.

Read Emma’s report here:–in-kewdale-20160627-gpsz17.html

Councils vote to Abolish the DAP

DAP affected communities are supporting their local councils to move an in principle motion to ABOLISH THE DAP.

Mayor John Carey and Cr Julie Matheson spoke to ABC News about the current DAP system.

So far the following Councils are proposing motions similar to Mayor Carey’s of the City of Vincent:

  1. Vincent – motion passed
  2. Mosman Park – motion passed
  3. Nedlands – motion passed
  4. Cambridge – motion passed
  5. Subiaco – motion passed
  6. Stirling – motion passed
  7. Bayswater – motion passed
  8. South Perth – motion passed
  9. Belmont – motion passed
  10. Cottesloe – motion passed
  11. Claremont – motion passed
  12. Swan – working on it
  13. Peppermint Grove – motion passed
  14. Gosnells – working on it
  15. Kalamunda – working on it
  16. Melville – motion passed
  17. Cockburn – working on it
  18. Kwinana – working on it
  19. Victoria Park – motion passed
  20. Fremantle – working on it
  21. East Fremantle – motion passed
  22. Mundaring – 2009 early adopter of a motion against the DAP
  23. Serpentine-Jarrahdale – motion passed
  24. Shire of Pingelly – motion passed 17 August 2016

If you are a DAP affected community, now is a great opportunity to speak to your elected council members and request your council’s support and vote for the abolition of the current DAP process.

And if you think a change of government will abolish the DAP, think again.  Labor under the leadership of Mark McGowan has just supported City of Perth Bill in collaboration with the current government.

DAP has bi-partisan support.  It’s up to our councils to make a stand on the DAP.

Subiaco developer ignores rules.

A DAP application has Subiaco residents concerned about the proposed development at 263-277 Hay Street, Subiaco.

This is the second time the developer has applied to build a development seeking concessions, ignoring local town planning scheme rules.

Surprisingly, the developer requested an amendment to the scheme to increase bulk and scale of the locality, yet this development ignores these new rules.

Specific concerns include:

  • The proposed development exceeds the maximum heights allowed under the TPS, including the discretionary limit allowed under the TPS. When viewing the developer’s plans, the impact of the lift overruns is most acutely observed from the residential areas on Churchill Avenue and Olive Street. Therefore, it should not be permitted, due to the reduced amenity caused by the bulk and scale of the development.
  •  The top floor exceeds the maximum height allowable under the TPS and does not comply with the setback limits. The solid partitions for privacy screens (which cannot be considered to be a balustrade) between apartments and the cantilevered roof, are within the setback area and when viewed from the residential zone in Olive Street and Churchill Avenue, appear as a solid mass.  The non-compliance will only exacerbate the bulk and scale of the building, reducing the visual amenity of residents.
  •  The proposed “green spine circulation space” in the centre of the apartments would be a failure due to lack of natural light, as already highlighted by the Design Review Panel.  It appears to be too built up and narrow to allow sufficient light to be anything other than a cold, uninviting access-way to the apartments.  When viewed from Churchill Avenue, this space appears as one large block i.e. “filled-in” and there is no break-up of the bulk and scale of the building.
  • The design does not meet the objective (4) of the Town Planning Scheme “to encourage retention of heritage character by reinforcing the original development patterns and the recycling of existing building stock.” The demolition of the old shop fronts on Hay Street and the proposed building’s stark uniformly glass façade are not in keeping with the original Subiaco pattern of development.
  • The proposed tavern for 250 people does not comply with TPS4 as taverns are not permitted in the Commercial/Residential zone and should not be approved.
  • The developer’s consultant is seeking to justify a shortfall in the mandatory parking requirement by shifting its obligations to surrounding streets outside the development by saying “visitor parking can be accommodated via a combination of the existing City of Subiaco car park to the south of the development site, and the existing on-street bays on Hay Street and Olive Street.”

This DAP application will be considered by the panel on Monday 1 February 2016 at 10am, 140 William Street, Perth.

Hay and Olive 2016 DAP application
Current application still exceeds height restrictions 2016
what Hay_Olive Dev't could look like
Residents suggest this design for Hay and Olive Subiaco
DAP Olive & Hay
First application exceeded height restrictions in 2012