2 days ago

Panel rejects change to Chellingworth apartments

2 days ago


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A development panel has struck down proposed changes to a $320 million development on the Chellingworth Motors site, including an additional 137 apartments.

Panel rejects change to Chellingworth apartments
The proposed Nedlands apartment development. Image: Elenberg Fraser

A development panel has struck down proposed changes to a $320 million development on the Chellingworth Motors site, including an additional 137 apartments.

The Metro Inner-North Joint Development Assessment Panel spent an hour of its 2.5-hour meeting today behind closed doors but decided to refuse the proposed changes to the apartment building at 97-105 Stirling Highway, Nedlands.

Victoria-based companies Grange Development, GURNER Group and Costa Property Group are behind the $320 million project.

Urbanista Town Planning, on behalf of the landowners, lodged an application to the JDAP to amend the project.

Proposed amendments include an increase in height of the central tower from 17 storeys to 21 storeys, 10 additional car bays in the 506-bay car park and an additional 137 apartments.

JDAP members voted four to one to refuse the amendments at its meeting today, saying the proposed changes were too substantial and should be a new application.

The JDAP approved a $320 million application for a 231-apartment across three towers of up to 24 storeys at the Chellingworth Motors site in February last year after initially refusing it in 2020.

The current application would take the number of apartments from the approved 231 to 368.

Other amendments include the floor areas for the central and eastern towers increasing but a decrease in floor area of the western tower.

The applicant is also proposing to replace four shop tenancies with four restaurant or café tenancies and removing the mezzanine and 3,434 square metres of office space in the mezzanine and first level.

The new application shows the first level replaced with a residential communal facility and north-west apartments on the second floor to be replaced with a communal pool, sauna and terrace.

A bridge connecting the east tower with the central and western towers has been proposed to replace the initial design of a connecting podium on the first floor.

Deputy presiding member Lee O’Donohue said the biggest change was the new balance of residential and commercial components in the proposed changes.

“I think this goes any way, whether it’s good or bad changes, the question is that are the changes substantial? I believe they are,” she said.

“I have concerns on the loss of the offices and shops in the public areas and loss of covered area and podium.

“I think the changes are significant and will have impacts on the community and the wider area.”

Developer Tim Gurner said the development was in essence the same as the original approval, with changes aimed to benefit the community.

Mr Gurner said larger gaps between the buildings and removal of the podium would allow pedestrian access and the town square would be more developed.

“We are very serious about this project, we will deliver beyond expectations,” he said.

“It woud be a mixed use project the community will be very happy with.”

Panel member and Nedlands councillor Fergus Bennett labelled the proposed changes as a "Trojan horse approach" of development. 

"You approve something very large, promising something of benefit to community then you change it, taking away most of the beneits but keeping the height, buk and scale and plot ratio," he said.

"The value of the proposed changes is in the order of $100 million. It very much increases the value of the development."

However, Mr Gurner said his company had never had a development not proceed, in his 20 years in the industry.

“It will definitely go ahead, it’s just a matter of what it looks like,” he said.

“It’s never easy, every market has its own nuance, what’s going on with the locals is not unexpected.”

Business News reported in March the project's end value was expected to be $500 million.

Victoria-based Grange Development also lodged plans to build a $350 million timber tower in South Perth earlier this year.


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