07/02/2014 - 14:19

Assessment panels fit QUBE's plans

07/02/2014 - 14:19

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Boutique development firm QUBE Property Group says the recent approval of a $20.5 million, seven-storey apartment project in West Leederville is a firm endorsement of the state government’s development assessment panels.

PLANNING CALL: QUBE Property Group directors Mark Hector (left) and James Collis strongly support the DAP system. Photo: Grant Currall

Boutique development firm QUBE Property Group says the recent approval of a $20.5 million, seven-storey apartment project in West Leederville is a firm endorsement of the state government’s development assessment panels.

QUBE director Mark Hector told Business News the project, located on Cambridge Street, was well supported by Town of Cambridge planning staff and Mayor of Cambridge Simon Withers, with a single councillor objecting to the seventh level.

The objection was made on the grounds that there is a six-storey building height precedent for the West Leederville area.

However planning regulations covering the area give the Town of Cambridge discretion to approve developments found to be appropriate, regardless of building height.

Ultimately all seven storeys of the development were approved by the west metropolitan development assessment panel (DAP).

“The advertising process is a good process, everyone with a vested interest gets to have a say,” Mr Hector told Business News.

“However, we are strong supporters of the DAP system, and the outcome is what we sought.

“There are always going to be parties that are unhappy with the outcome, but this is a location that is going to benefit enormously from a new development, of which there have been very little over the past 10 years.”

ABN Group subsidiary PACT Construction has been signed as lead contractor, with WA Property to undertake the sales campaign.

The development, which will include six retail tenancies on the ground floor as well as 69 one and two-bedroom apartments, is expected to be complete within 18 months.

Mr Hector said the final result at Wembley was a far cry from what the developer experienced when it applied to the City of Swan to build a three-storey, 36-apartment complex at its 1,100-lot subdivision, Bennett Springs, in Beechboro.

He said the development ticked all the boxes of the state government’s planning policy, Directions 2031, designed to encourage higher-density development close to retail areas and in transport corridors.

The proposed development is located next to the 8,000 square metre Bennett Springs shopping centre, and is located along a major Transperth bus route.

“One councillor was able to swing the whole council,” Mr Hector said.

“It didn’t go to a DAP, and as a result we have a full hearing of the State Administrative Tribunal later this month.

“The sole reason being was this councillor did not think that this area was suitable for three-storey development.

“I think that is a classic case where DAPs have largely rectified problems that developers face with local politics and the minority determining the planning outcome.

“Given the constant increase in the cost of housing in the state, we need to be continually looking at alternative housing solutions, and this is exactly that.”

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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