20/07/2021 - 11:49

Bethanie's $16m apartment given green light

20/07/2021 - 11:49

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Aged care provider Bethanie’s $16 million apartment plan has been given the green light this morning, despite the City of Fremantle initially recommending it be refused.

Bethanie's $16m apartment given green light
Bethanie intends to commence construction of the development in the first quarter of 2022. Image: MJA Studio

Aged care provider Bethanie’s $16 million apartment plan has been given the green light this morning, despite the City of Fremantle initially recommending it be refused over concerns it would be an overdevelopment of the site.

During a meeting of the Metro Inner-South Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP) this morning, members unanimously supported Bethanie’s application to build a seven-storey complex featuring 50 social housing apartments for over 55s, a shop, and a communal rooftop terrace on a vacant lot in Fremantle’s outer fringe.

City officers had recommended the application be approved, despite it not meeting the necessary building height and plot ratio requirements under the local planning scheme, because it aligned with its plan to increase density.

But the city’s planning committee, however, recommended the application be refused because it believed the proposal was an overdevelopment of the site, exceeding the allowable plot ratio by 30 per cent.

But presentations by Bethanie property development general manager David Lorimer, CLE Town Planning + Design’s Simon Burnell and MJA Studio Architects addressing the building’s height and bulk and highlighting the community benefit were enough to alleviate those concerns, with the JDAP unanimously approving the application.

Panel member and City of Fremantle councillor Rachel Pemberton commended the presentations, confirming that some of the information covered had not been presented to the city’s planning committee prior to its recommendation for refusal.

She said the proposal had the potential to provide a strong social benefit to the community in providing affordable housing, increasing density on the city’s edge and creating vibrant spaces.

Fellow panel member and councillor Andrew Sullivan echoed those sentiments and said the proposal had come a long way.

Business News understands Bethanie would look to start the development in the first quarter of 2022, with construction expected to take about 15 months.

The aged care provider is the fourth largest community housing provider in the state, with more than 500 dwellings in its portfolio.

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