Once again two individual rate payers have won their bid in the WA Court of Appeal to correct errors made by a Development Assessment Panel (JDAP) in Western Australia. Karyl Nairn and Ric Hawley succeeded today in overturning another erroneous decision by a JDAP to approve a non-compliant planning application for the site at 74 Mill Point Road in South Perth's Peninsula.
The WA Court of Appeal today (20/02/2018) issued its judgment in respect of planning approval granted last year at 74 Mill Point Road for a 34 storey tower block. The development application by Edge Developments was strongly opposed by local residents, including on the two grounds which the Court of Appeal has upheld and which a majority of members of the JDAP ignored.
The Court found that the JDAP misapprehended or disregarded the limits of its function under the scheme and took into account an irrelevant consideration. Importantly, the Court also held that the JDAP was wrong to rely on its own previous unlawful approvals of other very high towers in South Perth as a justification for approving new high rise developments.
Consequently, the JDAP exceeded its jurisdiction and the Court quashed its approval.
Ric Hawley, who is himself a property developer, said: "Edge Developments and their spokespeople have been wrongly trying to characterize the overwhelming opposition to 30 plus storey buildings in the South Perth Peninsula as "nimbyism" when in fact most residents simply do not want inappropriate development. We are not anti-development. High rise residential buildings of the kind being promoted by Edge on the Peninsula, are unacceptable for a myriad of sensible planning reasons, importantly they do not consider the existing heights of the built environment."
Karyl Nairn, a lawyer, welcomed the decision. "It shows that local residents were right to object to JDAP members relying on their wrongful approval of other high rise buildings in South Perth as a 'precedent'" she said. "It is time to end this madness. For future development applications, the JDAP must start from the correct baseline and not take into account irrelevant considerations."
Vicki Redden, President of the local action group which has campaigned tirelessly to prevent mega high rise in favour of more proportionate development in South Perth, called upon the JDAP members who have made repeated errors in connection with 74 Mill Point Road to recuse themselves so that a fresh perspective can be brought to bear on planning in the area. "We are fortunate that two civic-minded individuals have been prepared at great personal cost to step in and correct these injustices. Private citizens should not have to spend a fortune taking public action to ensure that planning officers abide by the law, but regrettably this is how bad things have become at South Perth." she said. "We hope the Labor government will now take this opportunity to re-examine the JDAP process and overhaul the planning scheme in South Perth."
This is the third time that Karyl Nairn and Ric Hawley have brought a case before the WA courts to overturn development approval for a high rise building on 74 Mill Point Road. They have succeeded in each stage, over the objections of the developers.
For more information please contact:
Margie Tannock, Partner - Squire Patton Boggs (AU)
Level 21, 300 Murray Street, Perth WA 6000
08 9429 7456
0458 144 012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Vicki Redden South Perth Peninsula Action Group Inc
0404 800051 email@example.com
New development in South Perth is supposed to be sensitive, sophisticated and respectful of the neighbouring area. This is none of those things!
All the other buildings along Mill Point Rd have setbacks all around to allow for vegetation and large trees as you can see in this picture.
This would be the first complex with a massive podium and no set backs on the sides and rear - so the 4 storey podium will take up the entire block of land.
How can anyone say this will blend in?
Unless of course you are a developer or real estate agent.
The Save the South Perth Peninsula campaign is not anti-development.
We support the need for in-fill and higher density development to account for Perth's likely population growth by 2050. Indeed, South Perth leads the way in higher density for all suburbs in the Perth metropolitan area. One of the reasons we find the development at 74 Mill Point Road so objectionable is that it does NOT deliver environmentally responsible in-fill and is antipathetic to the kind of community-spirited approach to increased density that we believe is essential to combat urban sprawl in Perth.
Luxury, high rise apartment blocks are NOT socially responsible developments. Luxury high rise simply caters to second home and/or foreign buyers without adding anything to the available stock for first home buyers or those on an average annual salary. It does not solve any housing problems for a growing population.
Research shows that high rise residential apartments are rarely owner-occupied, they have high tenancy turnover and are often empty for long periods. This is socially irresponsible.
Many experienced architects and planners believe that high rise residential apartments create "vertical ghettos" where residents hardly know each other and have little connection to the rest of the community.
In contrast, responsible in-fill planning schemes prioritise developments of 3-8 storeys of "family friendly" buildings which encourage long term rental or owner-occupier status. This is the kind of development that we believe is appropriate for 74 Mill Point Road and which should be encouraged by Council.
In the Peninsula, a significant number of the existing medium density apartments are owner-occupied. These residents are strongly community-minded and look out for their neighbours, adding to the village atmosphere for which South Perth is known. Residents of the Peninsula are shocked at the sudden change to their neighbourhood which is heralded by the development at 74 Mill Point Road. The changes to the community caused by this building, including the traffic jams, car pollution. 0 frontage and the overshadowing, are going to be negative and anti-community.
This unexpected decision by the City of South Perth planners to convert South Perth into a high rise residential development area is therefore a huge backward step in the WA Planning Commission's efforts to encourage greater in-fill and community acceptance of greater density. These high rise residential apartments are not going to fulfil any laudable community objective. Quite the contrary, the most likely outcome of this character-changing inappropriate development in the Peninsula is that other suburbs in Perth will be resistant to any changes to their current 1-2 storey density and we believe this would significantly undermine the stated aims of the WA Planning Commission.
We are therefore not anti-development. We are pro-responsible, community-minded development. We also believe that all radical planning changes to the character of a suburb should be properly notified to the public and that they should be consulted first, not simply after the fact as part of the one-sided and inadequate JDAP process. In South Perth, we were not consulted at all about our neighbourhood being converted into high rise residential developments. The public consultation process for the South Perth Station Precinct told us only about medium rise development designed to encourage commercial development.
This sudden unilateral change is bad planning and anti-democratic.
Please support us by signing the petition/open letter to Colin Barnett, John Day and Eric Lumsden.