Plans show need for R-code changes

TWO alternative uses for the former Town and Country office building on Murray Street, Perth have been approved by the Perth City Council.

That there have been two separate plans put forward for two different buildings highlights council’s problems with the residential planning codes.

The separate applications also suggests council’s development regulations are not clear enough for developers.

At its 14 December meeting council considered two separate proposals for the property, both asking to add an extra storey to the eight-floor building.

The first proposal involves turning the office complex into a 140-apartment building with shops on the ground floor.

The second involves turning the building into a 120-room hotel with sixty apartments and ground floor shops.

Council staff recommended council use its discretion to approve both plans even though they did not comply with the R-codes in terms of plot ratio or density.

Council is keen to have the R-codes removed from use in its jurisdiction because it believes they are not conducive to inner city living.

Lord Mayor Peter Nattrass said the R-code review was a priority.

“We are out to try and get as much inner city residential development as possible,” Dr Nattrass said.

“The R-codes are not drawn up for inner city residential

living. They are drawn up for the suburbs.”

Councillor Laurance Good-man said the R-codes were being reviewed now and there was a danger they could be replaced with something still not suitable to council’s needs.

Mr Goodman said it was inter-esting developers did not seem to know what they could do.

“Developers often make an application to test the waters,” he said.

“In this case they’ve put up two separate applications.

“There needs to be a bit more certainty in the regulations,” he said.

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