MRA inches closer to Scarborough towers decision

MRA inches closer to Scarborough towers decision

Tue, 12/06/2018 - 18:37
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A revamped podium was one of several revisions 3 Oceans made since its project was rejected in December. Image: Hillam Architects

Apartment developer 3 Oceans Property will know by the end of the month whether it can proceed with its $450 million Iconic Scarborough, after Western Australia's Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority released a planning assessment of its revised design.

That assessment, which has been passed on to the MRA's Scarborough Land Redevelopment Committee, included a recommendation for approval, which would rescind a rejection made late last year.

3 Oceans has been mired in the appeals process since December, when the MRA knocked back the two-tower proposal on the basis that it would result in overdevelopment of the site, located on the corner of West Coast Highway and Scarborough Beach Road in Perth's beachside suburb of Scarborough.

It submitted a revised development application in March, scaling down the development from 346 apartments and 158 hotel rooms to 324 apartments and 148 hotel rooms.

3 Oceans also revised the design of the building considerably, with a revamped podium as well as an all new façade, as it responded to concerns over the building’s architectural form.

This week, the MRA released the SLRC’s report into the project, which took into account community and stakeholder feedback received during public consultation.

The MRA received 1,445 submissions during the public consultation process, with 794 in support of the development and 636 against, with 14 neutral submissions.

Iconic Scarborough’s design, its cultural and entertainment facilities, local economic benefits, increased residential options and revitalisation of an underutilised site were among the submissions in support of the development.

Detractors were concerned with the building’s height, traffic impacts, wind impacts, local infrastructure capacity, the obstruction of views and a perceived negative impact on property values and/or demand for future developments.

In the report’s conclusion, the SLRC said 3 Oceans had addressed the fundamental issues that resulted in the project’s initial refusal, including the quality of the building’s design, the yield of the overall development and the amount of car parking on site.

The SLRC said the remaining consideration would be whether the proposal, at 25-storeys above the MRA’s prescribed height limit for its Scarborough redevelopment area, would meet the “desired or intended amenity of the area”.

“Should the proposal be deemed to meet that intent, despite the height variation, it could then be considered consistent with orderly and proper planning to exercise the available discretion and set aside the previous decision for refusal,” the report said.

The report included an alternate recommendation, to refuse the project on the basis that the height variation would not represent orderly development of the site.

The SLRC is due to meet with key stakeholders and the developer next week, prior to presenting to the MRA board, which will make its final decision by the end of the month.