Cyrenian House will refurbish a vacant and graffitied office building in Perth into a drug treatment centre after a panel approved its multi-million-dollar proposal in a tense meeting.
Cyrenian House will refurbish a vacant and graffitied office building in Perth into a drug treatment centre after a panel approved its multi-million-dollar proposal.
In a tense meeting, the Metro Inner-North Joint Development Assessment Panel today approved Cyrenian House’s $4.75 million proposal to build an Immediate Drug Assistance Coordination Centre on Stuart Street.
The alcohol and drug treatment service proposed to change the office use of the two-storey building on 37-43 Stuart Street to community purpose, and refurbishment of the premises.
The application was initially deferred by the JDAP, to give the applicant more time to answer outstanding questions.
Residents had presented their concerns during the three-hour JDAP meeting, for fear of an increase in antisocial behaviour in the area.
The residents alleged there were already excessive noise, drug use, and other abusive incidents from the other community facilities nearby, including community housing on Fitzgerald Street, Palmerston House, Homeless Healthcare, and Mission Australia Youthbeat on Palmerston Street.
The City of Vincent had recommended the JDAP refuse the application but panel members narrowly greenlit the proposal with a margin of three votes to two.
JDAP presiding member Francesca Lefante said the building had been vacant for some time and caused negative issues in the amenity.
“Active use of a building … any building activation and in particular a twenty-four-hour service would remove those negative amenity issues that is associated with a vacant unused building,” she said.
“There are some complex issues relating to some behaviours in local area.
“A number of those elements are beyond the necessary control of the city.”
The Mental Health Commission awarded the tender to run the Immediate Drug Assistance Coordination Centre to Cyrenian House in March 2023.
Perth-based HUB Interiors Australia was the architect and interior designer for the project.
Cyrenian House chief operating officer James Hunter said more than 20 locations were considered for the centre.
“It’s a new concept but it combines a range of existing proven model in WA and bringing it in one place,” he said at the meeting.
Cyrenian House also operates a centre offering counselling and support groups at 318 Fitzgerald Street in Perth.
In May 2022, the state government announced a $4.4 million funding for Cyrenian House to take over the former Esther Foundation facility after the latter entered voluntary administration.