15/07/2021 - 15:05

No go for $165m office tower

15/07/2021 - 15:05

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A proposal for a 22-storey office tower on Burswood Road has been rejected by planning authorities.

No go for $165m office tower
The proposed concept for a 22-storey A-Grade office development along Burswood Road. Image: Donaldson Boshard

 A proposal for a 22-storey office tower on Burswood Road has been rejected by planning authorities.

Private company State City Investments lodged a development application late last year, detailing plans for a $165 million A-Grade office tower at 176 Burswood Road.

Designed by architect Donaldson Boshard, the project had already undertaken design revisions – including removing levels, taking it from 25 to 22-storeys - following advice from the local council, before a final proposal was submitted.

The proposal also detailed plans for a ground floor coffee shop, co-working areas, as well as publicly accessible conference facilities and space to include a future childcare centre or community purpose land use.

Community facilities including a gym were proposed for the podium level, as well as indoor and outdoor dining areas and meeting spaces. 

A three-storey tenanted office building currently occupies the site, which has frontage to both Burswood Road and Kitchener Way, adjacent to the railway line.

The Metro Inner South Joint Development Assessment Panel upheld the Town of Victoria Park’s recommendation for refusal, largely on the basis that the proposed building height of 22 storeys (96.35 metres) was inconsistent with the site’s prescribed planning policy.  

The 4,220 square metre land parcel falls under Local Planning Policy 22 – Development Standards for the Causeway Precinct, which outlines a maximum building height of 12 storeys (45 metres).

However, that planning framework is under review and there has been some consideration in early discussions of identifying specific sites that could potentially accommodate taller buildings of 12 to 18 storeys.

Additionally, the Town of Victoria Park’s Local Planning Policy 33 – Guide to Concessions on Planning Requirements for Mixed Use, Multi Dwelling and Non-Residential Developments (LPP33) enables even greater flexibility on building height if superior design elements are demonstrated.

In providing reasons for the project’s refusal, the assessment panel acknowledged LPP33 and said the development did not demonstrate superior design outcomes to warrant the extent of concessions being sought.

The panel also pointed to LPP22’s current review status.

“The Town’s draft Local Planning Strategy identifies actions to investigate whether the precinct should remain classed as an activity centre and review of the current precinct plan and associated development standards,” the panel said.

“Approval of the development with such significant variations to the existing planning framework in advance of this further investigation work being undertaken by the Town, is considered to be premature and not orderly and proper, and will prejudice the future planning to be undertaken by the Town.

“The building height combined with the bulk, scale and form of the building, results in a building that is not consistent with its setting.”

During the community consultation period, a total of 93 submissions were received, of which 13 were in support of the proposal and 80 in opposition.  

A petition against the project signed by 77 people was also submitted, with the majority of concerns expressed over the proposed building height and scale.

Source: JDAP meeting agenda

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