Iconic Scarborough gets the go ahead
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Following the rejection of an initial proposal late last year, the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority has given 3 Oceans Property the green light to progress its twin-tower mixed-use development on the corner of West Coast Highway and Scarborough Beach Road.
The MRA board publicly announced its decision to grant approval this afternoon after meeting yesterday to discuss its position on the development, which was last week recommended for approval by a key government advisory board.
In December last year, the MRA rejected property developer 3 Oceans' plans for the $450 million project, largely on the basis that the application was considered to be a significant overdevelopment of the site and that it delivered inadequate design outcomes.
3 Oceans went back to the drawing board and emerged with a set of redesigns in March as part of a mediation process with the MRA.
The revised and now-approved proposal features slimmer towers at 43 and 33 storeys as well as a smaller podium, representing a 13 per cent reduction in overall area from its initial plans.
Hotel rooms, residential apartments and car bays were all trimmed to reduce the scale of the structures.
Designed by Hillam Architects, the development comprises; a 119-room hotel; 314 residential apartments (with 37 earmarked as affordable housing); 720 parking bays (100 of these retained as public parking); a convention centre; lower level exhibition space; and ground floor commercial tenancies.
Iconic Scarborough will also include a top floor art gallery and cafe with a public viewing area, as well as a WA Coastal Experience Centre, offering tourists and visitors a showcase of the coast from Esperance to Wyndham.
3 Oceans Property managing director Dyno Zhang said in statement that while the group was disappointed the original proposal was refused, the team had worked hard to respond to the issues raised by the MRA through a collaborative, productive and rigorous mediation process.
Mr Zhang said he welcomed the MRA board’s decision to approve the revised development application, with the new design reduced in scale and one that gave a higher level of consideration to its coastal location.
The design has also now achieved ‘design excellence’ status from the Design Mediation Group.
“Iconic Scarborough will be a strategically important asset for WA. It will promote tourism, provide a new place for local people to enjoy, improve the accommodation offering, and create exciting new retail and food opportunities,” Mr Zhang said.
“Importantly, it will create 2,200 jobs during construction and over 700 permanent jobs in Scarborough.
“3 Oceans would like to thank Western Australians and the Scarborough community for their support and encouragement of the project. “
Mr Zhang said 3 Oceans was committed to commence early works immediately, anticipating construction to begin in January 2019.
MRA chair George McCullagh said the board had recognised the challenge in making large scale planning decisions in determining the approval of the project.
“Through an informal mediation process, 3 Oceans worked with independent architects to improve design quality and reduce local amenity impacts including a reduction in the height of the second tower and an overall reduction in floor space,” he said.
“Our decision came down to alignment with the long-term vision and objectives for Scarborough, as set out in the planning scheme, and the future benefits for the redevelopment area in its entirety. Ultimately in this case the level of discretion required for additional height is appropriate.
“This development will make a significant contribution to the ongoing transformation of Scarborough, building on government investment and catalysing private development.
“Scarborough is identified as an Activity Centre in the state’s planning strategy Perth and Peel @ 3.5million and the MRA is working to create a contemporary urban-coastal destination that will ensure Perth can provide for a growing residential and tourist community.”
Mr McCullagh noted that developments of this nature would inevitably divide public opinion and that the board gave due consideration to the broad range of views from residents, businesses, visitors and tourists.
The MRA received a total of 1,445 submissions during the public consultation period, including 794 submissions in support (54.9 per cent) and 636 not in support (44 per cent), with 14 neutral submissions (1 per cent).
“The 1,445 people that have taken the time to write to us have provided a welcome overview of the local considerations, broader community views and potential benefits that are integral in the determination of planning matters,” Mr McCullagh said.
“It was clear that the revised proposal attracted greater community support with new cultural and dining options and tourist amenities, as well as an increase in diversity of residential products for new and existing residents.”
Concerns raised from submissions and deputations included traffic congestion and disruption during construction, overshadowing on the beach, building heights and the tourism and economic benefits of the project.
The MRA said it had incorporated some of these matters into the conditions of approval.
UDIA WA chief executive Allison Hailes said the Iconic Scarborough project would provide a catalyst for much needed further private sector investment and regeneration in the Scarborough redevelopment area and that it would set a high standard for future developments.
“The project has had strong support from the local community as well as local and state government agencies,” Ms Hailes said.
“The amazing three level viewing deck, the WA Coastal Experience Centre, hotel and proposed retail space will all add to the local amenity and provide benefits to the broader Scarborough area.
“The Iconic Scarborough development will be a fantastic example of what can be achieved along our coast and will assist in furthering Perth’s reputation as a must visit destination on a global scale.”
Tourism Council WA chief executive David Hall said Iconic Scarborough’s convention facilities would attract high-yield mid-week visitors in the form of business events, while the resort-style hotel would attract new visitors to the area.
“Scarborough is one of Western Australia’s iconic beachside destinations, attracting a different visitor market to that which visits Perth. While there is currently significant hotel investment in the Perth market, this does not serve the unique Scarborough market,” Mr Hall said.
“This new hotel will provide an innovative and unique beachside experience, and together with Rendezvous Hotel Perth Scarborough and other new and existing businesses, will transform Scarborough into Perth’s premier beachside destination.”
The Tourism Council WA said 3 Oceans was an experienced tourism business with strong marketing and promotion networks into China.
“The development will attract new visitors from China, helping us to create jobs across the state,” Mr Hall said.