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WA - How to maximise a 500m2 R80 block – 16 apartments

Discussion in 'Development' started by Skuttles, 9th Jul, 2015.

  1. Skuttles

    Skuttles Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Perth WA
    This application is up for public comment, through Vincent, I found it interesting. While we try and massage 2, 3 or 4 dwellings onto our regular sized suburban blocks, this developer is applying for 16 on 500sqm!

    http://www.vincent.wa.gov.au/Your_Community/Whats_on_in_Vincent/Community_Consultation/Planning_Applications/2015/2015-June/No_189_Lot_104_Charles_Street

    Seems easy enough. Just build up 6 levels, then bury another 3 levels underground for carparking with a lift. Wash dirt off hands. Done. /end sarcasm.

    It interests me how larger developments expect (and many times get approved) to go way over compliance on items such as permitted number of levels, plot ratio, open space site coverage, overshadowing. Whats got me thinking is at the moment I am have ‘intense discussions’ with council regarding my two story application for being 1.4% over on overshadowing (5 square metres) when the majority of overshadowing is against the southern neighbour’s 12mx4m parapet wall. Seems odd that so much effort has to be put into some applications meeting compliance issues to the last %, whereas some applications to council blow those compliance regulations out of the water.

    Yes the site is on the major tributary of Charles St and the zoning suggests med>high density, but it is also adjacent to many single level homes.

    Would be interested to hear from those in the know on what basis these types of applications are assessed, as clearly it isnt the same as ‘Joe public’ smaller multi-unit development applications. I have heard Aaron Sice reference ‘requesting design excellence’ (specific to Vincent) before and have done some reading on this, are there other commonly used methods for justification of exceeding compliance on such a large scale?

    Is it more a matter of getting into Council/DAPs heads that the development being proposed is the correct type of building for that specific site? I assume this involves more than a cursory phone call to council planners, I expect there would have been almost a ‘pre-application’ drawn up and many formal meetings with council planning to gauge their appetite for such a building on the site.

    Am interested to learn more on the assessment of developments that greatly exceed compliance to the R-Codes, plus what measures the developer can take to reduce the risk of having such a technically non-compliant application declined when acquiring the site.
     
    gman65 likes this.
  2. Aaron Sice

    Aaron Sice Well-Known Member

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    Ocean Reef, WA
    Vincent have a number of policies that allow this to be considered.

    See here > http://www.vincent.wa.gov.au/Services/Planning/Planning_Building_Policies

    Specifically 7.4.8 - being a "Major Road" and currently R80 means a height limit of 3 stories plus loft.

    Future TPS which is a "seriously entertained planning proposal" highlights this area as being R100 IIRC, which is Four stories plus loft height limit.

    Move further down the Vincent Policies page to policy 7.5.11 - the applicant can apply for up to two floors of variation provided they meet certain criteria under Table 4 (last page of PDF).

    That provides for 6 floors plus loft (the 'loft' bit being obviously the incidentals on the roof like lift shafts, tanks, roof terrace etc).

    So I see it meeting
    EC2.1 because there's no heritage left in the locality;
    EC2.2 - that would be confidential but picked up in the report - but still required to be considered at JDAP;
    EC2.3 - Charles St is WITHOUT A DOUBT a strategic corridor for Vincent;
    EC2.3.1 - Charles St meets this definition;
    EC2.3.2 - pretty sure it's future District Centre.
    EC2.3.3 - corner lot on a main road would no doubt be a prominent gateway building.
    It could also be meeting
    AR2.2 - sustainable design
    AR2.5 - road widening

    And that's just a precursory glance.

    A development like these runs through a Development Assessment Panel, a group of architects and town planners that assembles every two weeks to assess and critique all multi dwelling applications and some applications that are seeking concessions outside this Class. These people are very good at what they do, although the process can be sometime disjointed due to staffing irregularities and sometimes some personality clashes.

    These people are employed by Vincent to determine good design and god outcomes, especially if Deemed-to-comply policy is varied. They assist with the Councillors' decision making processes.

    Those single level homes, especially in this pocket, won't be around in the next 10-15 years. Vincent's vision now runs out to 2050 so that needs to be considered as well. Concerns about overshadowing don't exist above R60 - there's no provision to consider it against. It's nice to consider - and provide for - no more than 50% overshadowing - but at 6 floors? It's not a realistic outcome.

    I personally don't like the style but i think it's clever in the way it increases pedestrian level interface along a major transport route. Personally I would have liked to have the ground floor as an adaptable dwelling (comm / resi), especially considering that Vincent have waived parking req's for small businesses and affordable small business rentals are they key to a strong local economy. The failing - small in comparison - is that bicycle storage is in the third basement in a locality providing proper bicycle networks - these need to be at pedestrian interface level.

    Bin store is also non-compliant with WALGA guidelines and Vincent Tech.

    Feel your pain with minor variations at lower zoning though.....:(
     
    Last edited: 9th Jul, 2015
    gman65, mrdobalina, sanj and 2 others like this.
  3. Skuttles

    Skuttles Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Perth WA
    Thanks Aaron, a wealth of info as always. I previsouly referred to the Vincent policies, but somehow missed the specific section on concession to numbers of floors.

    re pain with minor variations - The ironic situation with my Cambridge block is it's being assesed as per current R60 zoning and they are hammering my application on wall heights, setbacks, overshadowing and plot ratio down to the 0.00001%, as its single story neighbours both sides that they dont want to upset them (fair enough) BUT....

    the row of blocks in this pocket incl mine and the neighbours are earmarked for higher R-AC 0 zoning, currently with the minister for approval. All these minor variations would suddenly be irrelevant. One of the councillors had the cheek to say my proposal in its current form would probably be too SMALL once the zoning changes take effect and she would want minimum 3-4 stories high for this area.

    :confused::confused::confused:

    The only way I can see that happening is the amalgamation of two or more current 350sqm blocks. I'm trying to sell my proposal to them as a good way to transition to what they want for that locality. They know what they want for the area...just have no idea how to get there it seems.

    Ah the joys of council applications. I just keep telling myself that if it was easy, everyone would be doing it!
     
    MTR and Aaron Sice like this.
  4. Aaron Sice

    Aaron Sice Well-Known Member

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    yeah I'm doing a micro apartment development for PICYS in that area, prob same street (Blencowe?) - same response from council.
     
  5. Westminster

    Westminster Tigress at Tiger Developments Business Member

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    I have found there to be a HUGE difference when it is a development over $2m so it's assessed by DAP rather than Council. DAP seems more lenient OR it could be that people/councils still struggle with the concept of small multi res development.

    I totally agree though that it seems like small multi res jump through hoops to comply and these big guys seem to just waltz through without a care.
     
  6. soggy

    soggy Well-Known Member

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    Saw that this was refused by DAP in August.

    http://www.planning.wa.gov.au/daps/data/metropolitan daps/metro west jdap/Meeting agendas and papers/20150819 - Agenda - No 104 - City of Vincent - Town of Claremont.pdf

    Here's another I was checking on (refused too) - developer asked for plot ratio of 1.155 in lieu of R60 0.7 :eek:

    http://www.victoriapark.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/DAP Minutes 20150909_LEON16.pdf

    Does it cost much to take it to DAP? Usually see them approved, and seems to be a good strategy for the bigger developers.
     
  7. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Small sites are more often affected by NIMBY objections even if the proposal is fully compliant with the planning instruments. As objections have been received, a planning report must be submitted to councillors for a decision (even if it does have a recommendation for approval, the council can vote for rejection so they aren't the ones who ultimately approved the development).