05/09/2013 - 15:31

SAT decision sets new low for Subi

05/09/2013 - 15:31


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SAT decision sets new low for Subi
BREAK: The SAT decision has halted Devwest’s project at 263 Hay Street.

Future development along Subiaco’s busiest commercial arteries could be limited to two storeys following a decision handed down by the State Administrative Tribunal.

The decision has halted Devwest Group’s plans for a five-storey, mixed-use project at 263 Hay Street and it could have serious ramifications for landowners and recent development approvals in this busy commercial precinct.

The SAT has ruled that lots facing Hay Street, Rokeby and Roberts roads cannot exceed an overall height of 12 metres or a wall height of nine metres.

As most commercial storeys are more than three metres in height, this decision has the potential to reduce future development to just two levels.

The City of Subiaco’s town planning scheme sets out a six-metre wall height, or overall height of nine metres for all development in the commercial zone unless lots face Hay, Rokeby or Roberts roads, in which case the overall height can be increased to 12 metres.

There are a number of recent developments in Subiaco’s commercial centre that exceed these height limits, including the REIWA building, which was approved by SAT and completed in early 2012.

Planning lawyer Belinda Moharich, who acted for Devwest, said the SAT decision could be used as the basis of a challenge to existing development approval in Subiaco.

She said it also had implications for Subiaco landowners.

“Developers who have purchased properties along these streets on an understanding of what can be developed have had 30 per cent of their development yield wiped out,” Ms Moharich said.

“The outcome is at odds with the state government’s planning policies, which advocate for higher density development close to existing public transport and areas of employment.”

Devwest will now pursue an amendment to the City of Subiaco’s Town Planning Scheme in a bid to secure approval for their project, a process the group’s executive director, Chad Ferguson, said could take up to 18 months.

But it’s the impact this decision could have on the future of Subiaco that really concerns the developer.

“Our site is located within 800 metres of two train stations and along a major transport route and the City of Subiaco is (now) telling us we need to propose a building that is lower than many of the buildings that have previously been approved and constructed in that zone, including the building we developed next door,” Mr Ferguson said.

“Something needs to be done or Subiaco is going to suffer the same fate as Fremantle; it is dying a slow but very obvious death.

“It is still reversible, however change needs to occur now, not in five years when the current councillors have retired and the stadium has moved to Burswood.”

Boutique developer Match is currently marketing its Rhythm project at 215 Hay Street, a design featuring eight top-floor apartments above two storeys of strata-titled offices.

Match is confident the Devwest decision will not have any bearing on its project, despite the fact it sits within the same precinct as Devwest’s landholding.

Match managing director Lloyd Clark said the Devwest proposal was significantly different to Match’s Rhythm development.

“Rhythm is designed with respect to the surrounding environment and on completion will be in context with the existing streetscape,” Mr Clark said.


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