27/08/2009 - 00:00

Perth planning schemes review

27/08/2009 - 00:00

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A REVIEW commissioned by the City of Perth has identified a range of shortcomings with its existing planning schemes.

Perth planning schemes review

A REVIEW commissioned by the City of Perth has identified a range of shortcomings with its existing planning schemes.

The City commissioned the 'Perth City - Growth Needs for the Future' report last year as part of a comprehensive review of its planning process.

The first part of the two-part study into Perth's future growth needs identified limitations with the 'business as usual' situation under the City Planning Scheme No. 2.

The report, prepared by town planning consultants The Planning Group, said the identification of specific-use areas such as Northbridge as an entertainment precinct, East Perth as a residential base and West Perth as an office space hinterland had been to the detriment of the city.

It said a lack of land use intensity around the Perth central train station and McIver and West Perth train stations did not adequately capitalise on the benefits of public transport, while the bulk of residential development in East and West Perth was located at least 500 metres away from public transport.

West Perth had succeeded as a mixed-use area in terms of residential and office land uses, but lacked social infrastructure and other commercial activity centres, the report said.

The report also questioned whether building heights imposed by the existing planning scheme were appropriate for development within the city, as building heights were varied in more than 50 per cent of building applications made during the past two years.

In addition, the report said the main office area in the CBD was shifting towards the corner of St Georges Terrace and Milligan Street rather than its historical base between Barrack and William streets.

And the report identified an oversupply of future floor space for both office and residential land uses compared to predicted demand.

Urban Design Institute of Australia WA chief executive Debra Goostrey told WA Business News the report was an important step in improving the planning process to ensure positive future planning outcomes.

"Recognising the shortcomings is the first step in fixing the situation, so [Perth City Council's] recognition of the shortfalls means that they are interested in getting positive outcomes for the future of Perth," Ms Goostrey said.

"If we want Perth to be vibrant and dynamic then we do need to change the composition of the city, we need to have more residents in the city, we need to activate our streets and part of that is about planning processes and getting those right.

"They are looking to make some significant changes in the city, including attracting residents into the city and getting greater diversity, so it's certainly saying that their current processes are inadequate, but it's a very positive thing that the city has taken the step to commission the research."

Part two of the study will identify the required changes to City Planning Scheme No. 2 to address the outcomes of the Urban Design Framework and limitations of the scheme.

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