Responsible Authority Report (RAR)

If your Council’s Responsible Authority Report does not include a Council Recommendation, ask why?

Page 4 of the RAR template includes a Council Recommendation. Call a Special Council Meeting and include a recommendation in the RAR.

Julie Matheson

A Responsible Authority Report (RAR) contains a two recommendations from a local government.  One from a planning officer and the other from the Council regarding a DAP application valued at $2 million or more.

The Development Assessment Panels (DAP) was introduced to Western Australia on 1 July 2011, for developments worth $3 million or more to replace planning decisions made by elected councillors and planning officers under delegated authority.

DAP values 2011

In 2015 the rules were changed to a lower value of $2 million or more.  The mandatory value threshold increased to $10 million.

Responsible Authority Report (RAR)

Under DAP Regulations 2011, Reg 12 a Responsible Authority must provide a report to the DAP in a form approved by the Director General.  See the latest version here:  Responsible Authority Report (RAR) template – Form 1 (1) 2017

These new DAP regulations referred to the term Responsible Authority but was silent on its meaning.

Many Mayors and elected councillors have been led by…

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Inglewood residents called NIMBYs to shut them down

Ref.  Kate Leaver, Community News, 13 December 2016

INGLEWOOD residents have gathered in opposition to an “excessive” six-storey development on the corner of Eighth Avenue and Beaufort Street, neighbouring the heritage-listed police station.

Inglewood resident Roger Hill said locals would welcome a “well-designed” mixed use development but the current plan “missed the mark”

“This proposal falls considerably short of the ideal, being of a height and scale that is incompatible with its location,” he said.

“The development fails to provide sufficient practical and usable car parking spaces.

“They should contribute to traffic management measures that restrict traffic generated by the development from filtering through Eighth and Ninth avenues, which are residential streets.”

However, project architect Kim Doepel said the plans had been amended twice to address concerns of residents.

“The owner has agreed to the increase the lane width by one metre and another metre for landscaping,” he said. “It is time the authorities started to listen and approve projects like this for the many, instead of the one or two selfish nimbys who try and dictate outcomes against the majority.”

Name calling like NIMBY is used to shut the public down from having their say.  When jobs are scarce, the public can’t use their voice for fear of losing their employment, their public standing or their business.

We should all thank those who are prepared to be a voice for those who can’t.

DAP Affected: Bassendean

A BASSENDEAN councillor has called Development Assessment Panels (DAP) “rigged” following the approval of 10 units for Walter Road East, Bassendean.

Councillor Paul Bridges said “The DAPs are rigged with three technical representatives and two council representatives so they always have the numbers to out vote the will of the democratically elected councils’.

The three expert panel members decided that Clause 67 (b) could be ignored because the proposed  changes to the Local Planning Scheme were not sufficiently advanced to cover the loophole the developer was trying to exploit.  This decision is flawed and requires an investigation.

DAP Affected Communities say:  This DAP decision is exactly why the community want powers given to the Minister to overturn DAP decisions which ignore Town Planning Schemes and local policies.  There are more than 50 DAP decisions approving outrageous developments without any scrutiny or accountability.

The Minister in her recent statement (LPGA, 13 Oct 2016) claimed that developments “must comply with the town planning scheme and not deviate away from it” yet she lacks any power to enforce compliance or overturn a decision such as this one.

Click here to read the article in Community News 19 October 2016

Dodgy DAP system rigged, Walter Road East Bassendean
Dodgy DAP system rigged, Walter Road East Bassendean

Heritage Affected: Atwell Arcade Fremantle

The new Atwell Arcade development in the High Street mall represents a missed opportunity, and is another sub standard development in the tsunami of unacceptable developments hitting Fremantle’s valuable heritage heart.

State Heritage listed Atwell Arcade.  Formally home to Pellew's drapery
State Heritage listed Atwell Arcade – place number 00929. Formally home to Pellew’s drapery.

 It was rammed through council in 2014 with the mayor calling a special council meeting  just for this developer and his development. All councillors voted for it, except the most pro development of all councillors Bill Massie, because he said it would damage the heritage of the area. Boy, was he right!

-Below is the timber mullioned shop front for City Beach (part of the Atwell Arcade development)  Fremantle Society helped council officers design when council put a stop work order on the then owners back in 2010 because of the illegal demolition works they were carrying out. They agreed to build this timber framed shop front, and just recently it was ripped out by the new owner and replaced with a totally modern full glass shop front with aluminium doors, inappropriate to the heritage of the property and contrary to council’s own policy DGF15 for this shopfront. Did they get permission? This is just one thing wrong with the Atwell Arcade development.

-Did you know that apparently one of the new tenants objected to the design passed by council and that the developer altered it without council permission?

-Have you seen how Fremantle’s best arcade has been reduced to a modern pastiche? 

-Look at the terrible disconnect with the modern brutal Boost Juice shopfront (photo below) compared to the well restored historical upper floor (next to City Beach), which, when The Fremantle Society posted it online, drew more hits  and condemnation than any post this year.

-Look at the way the central glass box (photo below) of offices dominates the skyline from all angles and blights the gold rush architecture it sits amongst.

-You will remember the damage caused during construction when the developer stuck a crane right through a heritage floor. His penalty? A $500 fine.

The Fremantle Society commissioned one of the architects who was on council’s own Design Advisory Committee (DAC) and his report we are making available to you below (attached). He is prepared to put his name to it, rare these days with architects keen to keep out of public debate. The points he makes are important and need follow up. A review of the DAC and compliance issues is urgently needed. The photo below of the column detail refers to the comment the architect makes about the loss of original historical detail.

There has been a serious failure by council heritage staff to ensure a good heritage outcome, a serious failure by council officers to ensure compliance with what was approved, and the all too familiar lack of care from mayor and councillors.

Source: Fremantle Society.

State Heritage List: Atwell Buildings

#ScraptheDAP says:

Section 11 of the Heritage of Western Australia Act 1990 stipulates that the decision maker (Fremantle Council) must satisfy itself that it has taken “all measures which can reasonably be taken to minimize any adverse effect” on the existing heritage and conservation intent of the area.

In order to satisfy all measures which can be reasonably taken, Section 11 also requires that the decision maker (Fremantle Council) should have received a notice any new development is referred to the Heritage Council and that the Council shall thereupon advise both the Minister and the authority making the referral that Section 47 and other relevant sections of the Act have been complied with by the Council.

Question: Does Fremantle Council have such assurances from the Heritage Council?


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:

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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: Gnangara

Special Rural under threat at Gnangara.

Rare wildlife, fauna, Bird life from black cockatoo’s to endangered bandicoots. Absolute disgrace.

People bought a lifestyle here with a list of conditions now the government just move the goalposts. NOT ON.

Policies and rules ignored.  Zoning mean nothing anymore.

August 2016 Gnangara residents attended a hearing by the WAPC with 30 plus people from the department including developers in attendance.  Residents were allowed only 2 speakers to speak for a total of 5 minutes to put our views across to try and save our special rural area of over 200 blocks. We have already condemned their GG Plan and DAP and this involved proposed urbanisation of good bushland and wildlife and condemn it to another concrete wasteland.

Fight on good people and thank you for letting us join in.

Chris Webb, on behalf of the Gnangara Residents Action Group.

Click here: Are Rural Residents being duped?

Residents of Pennygum Estate purchased their one hectare properties around the year 2000. They were told to plant natural corridors for fauna and the majority of them had to build expensive sand pads and eco-sewage systems because of the closeness of the water table. When residents bought into the newly approved special rural subdivision they naturally believed that this was the type of eco – planning that was going to be the norm for the area. Most properties have recently been established at considerable expense for the purpose of the residents desired lifestyle.

Click here:  Urban growth revoked by council.

Representing the Gnangara Residents Action Group, Cathy Broadbent told councillors native bird, reptile and marsupial life, including the threatened Carnaby’s Cockatoo, used the area for food foraging, shelter, nesting and reproduction.

“It’s our opinion that this land where we are in Gnangara should be retained as semi-rural with the existing guidelines remaining in place for the preservation of native flora and the resulting fauna within this area,” she said.

She said it would also help to mitigate ‘urban heat island effect’.

“Subdivision for urban expansion will only serve to exacerbate the heat from urbanisation,” she said.

#ScraptheDAP: Shire of Pingelly

More councils join forces to advocate for the abolition of the DAP with the Shire of Pingelly passing a motion of support on 17 August 2016.

Councils who have passed the motion or one with similar intent are as follows:

  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. Peppermint Grove – motion passed
  13. Victoria Park – motion passed
  14. East Fremantle – motion passed
  15. Mundaring – 2009 early adopter of a motion against the DAP
  16. Serpentine-Jarrahdale – motion passed
  17. Shire of Pingelly – motion passed 17 August 2016

It was a unanimous decision by the Pingelly Council demonstrating support and solidarity for the 48 DAP Affected Communities and the councils that have already passed the motion.

Shire of Pingelly motion 17 August 2016
Shire of Pingelly motion 17 August 2016