12/02/2021 - 09:00

Nedlands candidates hedge on $320m apartments

12/02/2021 - 09:00

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Candidates in the City of Nedlands’ upcoming extraordinary election have expressed mixed sentiment on whether they supported building a three-tower apartment complex along Stirling Highway.

Nedlands candidates hedge on $320m apartments
Development of the Chellingworth Motor site was approved earlier this month following months of pushback from the city’s mayor and council

Candidates in the City of Nedlands’ upcoming extraordinary election expressed mixed sentiment on whether they support building a three-tower apartment complex along Stirling Highway.

That election, to be held on February 26, is to fill the seat of Gordon Hay, who had represented the city’s Melvista ward since 2013 and resigned to take up a position with GHD.

Former deputy mayor Colin Simpson, former councillor Bronwen Tyson and management consultant Natasha Yang will compete in a three-way contest to fill the remaining six months of Mr Hay’s term.

Mr Simpson was the only candidate who definitively said he would have voted against the proposal to develop the now-approved 231-apartment building at the Chellingworth Motor site when reached for comment by Business News, citing all the reasons already articulated by the council and mayor as reason for his opposition.

He said managing the development, including ongoing traffic in the area and protecting amenity for locals, was of more importance to him, and that he would be interested in speaking with councillors in Melville, South Perth and Subiaco to understand how they have dealt with similar issues.

Ms Tyson declined to say whether she would have voted in favour of the proposal, given she isn’t currently on council and therefore couldn't provide comment on what was a complex situation involving future housing demands and amenity for existing residents.

She said her only job would be to represent the city’s ratepayers if elected.

“By extension, that means listening to all sides and ultimately voting after consultation with fellow councillors as well as taking account of staff recommendations,” Ms Tyson said.

Ms Yang, who works as a management consultant with KPMG and is promising to bring a more diverse and future-focused perspective to council if elected, could not be reached for comment on the matter.

Development of the Chellingworth Motor site was approved earlier this month following months of pushback from the city’s mayor and council.

Councillors have repeatedly referred to the project’s mass, scale and height in opposing the $320 million development.

The original proposal had been rejected in July of last year when a specialist on the five-member, joint development assessment panel sided with two representatives from the city’s council in voting it down.

While the new proposal was approved this time around, this was largely through the support of the JDAP’s three specialist members; the two representatives from the city’s council are understood to have again rejected the proposal.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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