15/10/2008 - 22:00

Independent design panel for Joondalup

15/10/2008 - 22:00

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PROPERTY developers with projects in the City of Joondalup will soon have their development plans assessed by an independent committee, following a decision by the council to set up a design advisory panel.

PROPERTY developers with projects in the City of Joondalup will soon have their development plans assessed by an independent committee, following a decision by the council to set up a design advisory panel.

The panel - similar to those used in South Perth, Cottesloe and Victoria Park - will include architects, landscape architects, town planners and urban designers, with a brief to assess major development proposals.

The city's chief executive officer, Garry Hunt, will chair the group.

Delays in the approvals process, particularly in the design phase, have recently held up several developments in Joondalup, according to council minutes. The city believes referring projects to an expert committee would alleviate this problem.

The move is likely to be welcomed by the development industry, which has called for reforms to the approvals process at a local government level.

Both the Property Council of Australia (WA) and the Urban Development Institute of Australia (WA) lobbied for the establishment of independent design panels in the lead up to the state election.

City of Joondalup Mayor Troy Pickard said in a statement that the panel would advise the city on design, materials and aesthetics for proposed developments, to improve the quality of buildings.

"The City of Joondalup is ripe for major development and these buildings would potentially shape and influence the look and feel of our city centre," Mr Pickard said.

"By having a panel of experts in urban design, planning, landscaping and architecture, the city will be able to tap into its knowledge, expertise and experience when reviewing major development applications."

Panel members will be selected through nominations from professional architecture, design and planning groups, with meetings to take place once a month.

In an effort to encourage further commercial development, the city has also engaged Jones Lang LaSalle to conduct an office development feasibility analysis.

At its July meeting, the council endorsed a policy to support high-rise commercial office buildings in the CBD, provided the developments were iconic and subject to a business plan.

The City of Joondalup consulted with a number of local governments for its design panel, including the City of Perth.

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