Mustera worked closely with its architects to ensure its Forbes Residences proposal would not detract from Applecross leafy character. Image: Mustera Property Group

Mustera mulling options after Applecross knock-back

Friday, 8 March, 2019 - 13:43

Mustera Property Group is considering whether to lodge an appeal with the State Administrative Tribunal after its $105 million Forbes Residences proposal in Applecross was rejected by planning authorities.

The Metropolitan Central joint development assessment panel last night refused to issue planning approval for the 20-storey, 98-apartment project, which ASX-listed Mustera proposed to build on adjacent properties bounded by 10-14 Forbes Road and 40 Kishorn Road in the riverside suburb.

JDAP members voted four to one to reject the project, despite acknowledging its design as exceptional and presiding member Megan Adair saying she would like to see more developments of its calibre to be considered by planning authorities.

The site is located within the Kintail Quarter of the Canning Bridge Activity Centre, with a height limit of 10 storeys, a guideline that can be overruled by the JDAP if a developer provides significant community benefit.

However, the JDAP adopted a recommendation that said Mustera's proposal had not demonstrated sufficient community benefit to warrant a 100 per cent bonus in the number of storeys permitted in the area, particularly as the site bordered a zone where buildings are limited to four storeys or less.

Mustera executive director Nicholas Zborowski said the developer was considering all of its options following the rejection, including mediation through SAT.

Mr Zborowski said he was disappointed the proposal was refused approval, particularly after City of Melville planning officers lauded the project’s exemplary design.

International architecture group WOHA collaborated with local firm MJA Studio on the project’s design, which is suggestive of three Jacaranda petals to link it with street trees common throughout the suburb.

The building’s design includes shared ‘sky gardens’ on every three floors to facilitate a sense of community within the building.

Community amenities as part of the proposal include two co-working spaces, three commercial tenancies including office and food and beverage, and 199 square metres of public open space.

“The city’s officers cited the development was consistent with the goals of the Canning Bridge Activity Centre Plan and proposed exemplary design as well as high levels of sustainability and community benefit,” Mr Zborowski said.

The Mustera proposal is the second significant Applecross apartments project to be knocked back by JDAP in recent months, following the December rejection of Norup + Wilson’s $39 million, 16-storey proposal located at 22 Kintail Road.

Norup + Wilson’s proposal, designed by Hillam Architects, was rejected on the basis that the community amenity provided by the project was not significant enough to overrule a 10-storey height limit imposed on the site.

The developer is appealing the decision through SAT.