Appeal likely after council decision on Perth Clinic

THE City of Perth has rejected a proposal for a $6 million extension of the Perth Clinic on Havelock Street.

The private psychiatric hospital made an application to council for construction of a new, three-storey hospital wing on Emerald Terrace, adjacent to the clinic. This would require the demolition of two single-storey houses.

Perth Clinic chief executive officer Moira Munro said the decision was very disappointing for the business.

“Obviously we’ll appeal the decision,” she said.

“It’s confusing for me be-cause their own planning people recommended it.

“I’m just not sure what grounds they’ve got.”

The Perth Clinic has acquired the two properties on Emerald Terrace during the past 18 months. The proposal submitted by Silver Thomas Hanley Architects includes 34 single bedrooms, four double bedrooms and group therapy rooms.

Access to the clinic would be retained via the facility’s entry on Havelock Street.

“The hospital is one of the success stories of the private sector,” Ms Munro said. “We’ve won many awards for our program.

“We’re one of the best providers in Australia. To have that in WA, it’s something you would have thought they would want to help.”

City of Perth Lord Mayor Dr Peter Nattrass said the application was rejected because the majority of elected representatives considered the application was against the amenity and proper planning of the precinct.

“A strong argument was put that every effort should be made to retain the aesthetics and character of this West Perth street,” Dr Nattrass said.

“Council was given little rea-son why expansion of the clinic could not accommodate the existing buildings in Emerald Terrace.”

There was some support for the application and Councillor Bert Tudori said a number of the councillors used emotional arguments to put their case.

“We only have to look at it as a planning issue and whether it complies or whether it doesn’t,” Cr Tudori said.

“We’re not there to make assumptions about the future.

“I believe we shouldn’t have knocked it back.

“The tribunal [at the WA Planning Commission] will only look at this in a legal sense.”

Property syndication group Glenmont Properties acquired the Perth Clinic property Havelock House for $18.7 million in May this year.

The deal, negotiated between the Perth Clinic Property Trust and Glenmont Properties, included four properties in total with adjoining titles, the two properties on Emerald Terrace among them.

The sale of the building to Glenmont included funding for further expansion of the clinic.

When the syndicate offer was announced Glenmont Properties said approval had been granted to increase the facility from 54 beds to 96 beds.

Glenmont Properties managing director Simon Toovey said the council decision wasn’t a concern.

“They are pretty confident that they’ll be successful in the appeal,” Mr Toovey said.

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