12/04/2019 - 11:33

Higher density approved in Nedlands

12/04/2019 - 11:33

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Higher density approved in Nedlands
Higher density will be allowed in key areas of Nedlands, while most of the suburb will remain unchanged under the new guidelines. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Planning Minister Rita Saffioti has approved new guidelines allowing for higher-density development in Nedlands, despite continued opposition from local government.

Ms Saffioti today announced she had issued final approval to a new local planning scheme in Nedlands, replacing guidelines introduced 34 years ago.

Planning rules for 75 per cent of the City of Nedlands’ local government area remain unchanged under the new scheme, Local Planning Scheme 3, with higher densities allowed around transport corridors and activity centres.

Ms Saffioti said the scheme would provide greater housing choice and ageing in place options for Nedlands residents.

HIgher densities will be concentrated largely around Stirling Highway, the University of Western Australia, the QEII medical centre and the Dalkeith neighbourhood activity centre on Waratah Avenue.

Ms Saffioti said the scheme addressed community concerns around retaining the character of heritage streets, while also providing the option for more housing choice.

“It represents a balanced outcome which was responsive to public submissions which supported and raised concerns with the increased density allowed for in some areas,” Ms Saffioti said in a statement.

“The scheme ensures the city remains a vibrant, liveable community and reflects the importance of the specialised activity centre of the University of WA and Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre precinct to Western Australians.

“The aim of increasing density and updating old local planning schemes is to strike the right balance between local character and planning for an increasing population.”

The planning scheme has been a source of controversy for several years in Nedlands, with City of Nedlands Mayor Max Hipkins opposed to the higher-density proposed.

In October 2017, the Western Australian Planning Commission gave its consent for the scheme to be put out for public comment, with the guidelines at that time allowing for more than 9,000 extra dwellings in the local government area.

The City of Nedlands proposed a compromise that would provide for an additional 6,500 dwellings.

Ms Saffioti said the scheme approved this week removed more than 600 lots from the WAPC’s advertised proposal.

In a letter published in The Post newspaper last month, Mr Hipkins said the scheme was not based on the needs and aspirations of residents and ratepayers in the City of Nedlands.

“Instead, it is focused on achieving higher density with scant consideration of the issues and options raised in many responses to the original LPS3 consultation,” he said.

“Sadly, many residents and ratepayers will be worse off as a result of the minister’s directions, an outcome that the council was seeking to avoid.”

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