While the ambitious $120 million redevelopment proposed for Scarborough’s landmark Rendezvous Observation City site is tipped to be the catalyst for further development in the area, a long-awaited planning amendment is still proving to be a stumbling bloc
While the ambitious $120 million redevelopment proposed for Scarborough’s landmark Rendezvous Observation City site is tipped to be the catalyst for further development in the area, a long-awaited planning amendment is still proving to be a stumbling block.
Not only has the City of Stirling got a major development application for Observation City and public consultation process to deal with in the coming weeks, council is still grappling with its contentious amendment 458 planning initiative.
The ammendment aims to allow development of up to eight-storeys on the Scarborough Fair and BP service station sites, and a 12-storey height limit on the White Sands tavern site.
Despite council approving the proposed amendment last year and it now being in the hands of the Western Australian Planning Commission, a special electors meeting has been called for next week to discuss a recently lodged petition in opposition to the amendment.
New City of Stirling mayor David Boothman said it would seek legal advice as to its next move on amendment 458.
“There may be people opposed to high rise in Scarborough but if all the individual sites nearby are developed they would still be significantly shorter than the existing hotel structure,” he said.
“I hope that what comes forward now are quality developments taking all the public comments in to account,” he said.
“We welcome the fact that the Straits Trading Company wants to do improvements and make the precinct more aesthetically pleasing and vibrant. We need to encourage more tourism and families there.”
As revealed by WA Business News last year, an upmarket, eight-level boutique hotel is planned for the southern end of the 11,467 square metre Observation City site fronting West Coast Highway and Scarborough Beach Road.
Designed by planning and architectural firm HASSELL, the plan lodged with the city this week involves the existing 18-storey hotel being gutted to incorporate 102 apartments and four penthouses.
A further 10 townhouses are earmarked for the north western part of the site and a commercial component for The Esplanade will feature retail, restaurant, gymnasium and day-spa facilities.
Among the sites mooted for future development in the area, the Scarborough Fair Markets and White Sands Hotel sites still remain in limbo awaiting the approval of amendment 458 by the state government.
Meanwhile, the owners of the Contacios bar, on the corner of the markets site, are understood to be going ahead with renovations.
David Lombardo, whose family has an interest in the Scarborough Fair site, said the first step to unlocking the potential of the site was amendment 458.
But, he said, the goal posts had been moved too many times for the site owners to get their hopes up.
“I still see the extra four storeys [taking the limit to 12-storeys] on the site in exchange for public parking provisions would provide a far better outcome, not just for our site, but for the greater community,” Mr Lombardo said.
“But we realise this is the best compromise on offer and everyone needs to put their energy into making this happen…14 years of delay after delay is just unacceptable.”
Other developments applications likely to surface once amendment 458 gets the final tick of approval include the White Sands Hotel, which is believed to have been recently acquired by a syndicate led by Perth-based property developer Peter Hughes.
As previously reported in WA Business News, the Kakulas family has submitted a preliminary proposal to council for new retail outlets and residential development along the restaurant strip containing its Peters by the Sea eatery.
Owners of the Luna shopping centre complex are also keen to redevelop in future.
The Observation City plans are available for public comment until March 28.