24/03/2021 - 11:00

Planning body backs Vic Park aged care

24/03/2021 - 11:00

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A proposal to develop a $22 million 120-bed aged care facility has been recommended for approval, despite the Town of Victoria Park not supporting the project.

Planning body backs Vic Park aged care
Roshana plans to build a four-storey facility on Duncan Street in Victoria Park. Image: Maarch Architects

A proposal to develop a $22 million 120-bed aged care facility has been recommended for approval, despite the Town of Victoria Park not supporting the project.

Roshana Care Group has proposed a four-storey residential aged care facility at 16-20 Duncan Street in Victoria Park, with the ground floor of the development to include a cafe open to the public.

Roshana operates across Western Australia, providing services for aged care, retirement living, psychiatric care and other mental health services.

In May last year, Roshana submitted plans for a residential aged care development to the Town of Victoria Park, to be assessed under the standard Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP), with the project presented to the town’s design review panel on three occasions.

However, Roshana withdrew its application prior to JDAP determination, pursuing the state government’s new significant development pathway instead, known as the State Development Assessment Unit (SDAU).

Under the SDAU the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) is granted temporary decision-making powers to determine and fast-track development applications with a project cost of more than $20 million across metropolitan Perth and more than $5 million in regional areas – particularly those that can provide significant construction job prospects.

One of the reasons Roshana pursued the SDAU was a result of its bed licence. In 2017, the federal government identified a need for aged care in Victoria Park, allocating 120 aged care beds to Roshana for the location; that bed licence is due to expire within the next year.

The SDAU officer has recommended the WAPC approve Roshana’s proposal when it meets tomorrow, however, the Town of Victoria Park has stated it does not support the development application.

At a Town of Victoria Park meeting held last month, the council stated that the proposal was inconsistent with the intent of its planning scheme and precinct plan, which it said sought to promote selective and sensitive redevelopment in line with existing style, scale and character.

“The proposal is not considered to be consistent with orderly and proper planning as the development is incompatible with its setting including the likely impact the height, bulk and scale will have on the amenity of the existing adjoining locality,” the council outlined.

However, the town noted that if the proposal was approved by the WAPC, the height and scale of the development was considered appropriate for the wider planning context of the site.

Under the SDAU process, applications are referred to local authorities for comment but the WAPC ultimately holds all decision-making power; as stated in the meeting agenda, other than the Environmental Protection Act 1986, the WAPC is not bound by any planning or non-planning law, rule or other requirement when determining applications.

More than 400 letters were sent to residents and property owners within 200 metres of the site during the SDAU public consultation process, with a total 21 submissions received, as well as a petition with 88 signatures.

Of those submissions, 12 objected to the project, largely over height, scale, possible traffic impacts, and that the project was not consistent with local character.

Within the agenda, one resident’s presentation expresses concern over the style and size of the development in relation to the recent Royal Commission into Aged Care recommendations, which notes a potential future preference for smaller, more personal residential aged care accommodation.

Tomorrow’s meeting agenda notes the project is expected to create approximately 130 to 200 jobs and 120 ongoing jobs after construction for facility staff.

Earlier this month, the WAPC approved Oryx Communities’ proposal to build an 80-bed facility on Doonan Road and Betty Street in Nedlands across four storeys like Roshana's facility. Oryx anticipates its project to create 600 jobs during construction, three times that of Roshana's estimations. 

Similarly, the local council did not support Oryx's proposal and the WAPC said in determination of the project, it had acknowledged the broad and varied interests and views on the proposal from local community members, the broader general public and the City of Nedlands.

Since the temporary assessment pathway opened in July 2020, the WAPC said it had received more than 60 expressions of interest in pursuing the SDAU process.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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