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$12m housing plan approved

A PLAN for two nine-storey residential apartments at 273 to 277 Hay Street, East Perth has been approved by council.

However, councillors did overturn the height restriction which council staff had placed on the $12 million development, thereby giving the developer an extra 2.2 metres.

Councillor Laurance Good-man said he believed the sixty-two apartment development complied with the spirit of the Town Planning Scheme.

“If we approved this without the extra height, there would be a difference of four units,” Mr Goodman said.

“It would be a shame to make the project unviable. It will be a significant contribution to the area.”

Some councillors expressed concern at the lack of parking provided on the site.

The developer is proposing a maximum of fifty parking bays.

Councillor Michael Suther-land said council was trying to encourage people to live in the city.

“I believe there should be some leeway for people building right in the city in regard to parking.”

There was also some confusion because the predominantly residential development had to be considered against requirements for both residential and commercial developments.

Council staff member Peter Monks said there should not be separate standards for city development.

“We’re looking for a certain type of built form here,” Mr Monks said.

Councillor Jennifer MacGill said the anomalies were confusing to both councillors and the public.

She said the rules applied to city development needed to be redressed to lay down stricter guidelines for the CBD.

“It’s getting to the stage where there is the expectation that any development that does not comply with the various codes will automatically be passed,” Mrs Macgill said.

Councillor Bert Tudori said council said commercial standards should not be applied to a predominantly residential development.

“You can’t call a cat a dog,” Mr Tudori said.

A concern had also been raised about the heritage status of the two existing houses on the site built in around 1907 that are currently used for short-term youth accommodation.

However, a report to council says the two buildings have no heritage significance.

Mr Goodman said the applicants had tried to save the better of the two houses.

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