Approval for Karrinyup West apartments

Source: Business News

The $390 million Karrinyup West development has been given the green light by a state government’s assessment panel after a five-hour meeting today.

The Metro Inner-North Joint Development Assessment Panel has approved a proposed apartment complex on the western side of Karrinyup Shopping Centre by a three to two-vote margin.

West Perth-based developer Blackburne and AMP Capital proposed to build Karrinyup West, as part of the shopping centre’s $800 million redevelopment.

A report listed the estimated value of the development as $170 million but Blackburne estimated the project’s end value at $390 million.

In September, the JDAP approved an application for three apartment towers of nine, 15 and 24 storeys, comprising 270 dwellings on the Karrinyup West site.

However, the applicants recently lodged a new application for a two-tower project of 14 and 23 storeys, comprising 253 apartments.

Blackburne director of developments Matthew Chau said the revised design also had 4,000 square metres reduction in floor area and more public space compared to the September approval.

Blackburne is pleased with the thorough decision by JDAP and agree that this is the right outcome for the area,” he said after the meeting.

“We are now turning out minds to commence pre-sales of the apartments and have already been overwhelmed by the interest from people looking for higher end, luxury apartments.

“We expect to have the majority sold before the end of the year and are planning to start construction in the middle of next year.”

Mr Chau said the approved proposal in September was designed by AMP Capital and was done before Blackburne joined the project.

“This is the final part for a long term vision for Karrinyup Shopping Centre … last piece of the puzzle,” he said.

Locals, developers and JDAP members spent majority of the five-hour meeting today discussing current traffic congestion and potential increase in the area due to Karrinyup West.

JDAP members also approved removing some conditions on additional car bays.

The project has been contentious for many years, with residents and council concerned about the potential increase in traffic, parking issues and the building’s height, bulk and scale.

The City of Stirling was still opposed to the new application, with the revisions failing to convince the councillors to recommend approval to the JDAP.

After the meeting, Mayor Mark Irwin slammed the decision.

“By JDAP again recommending approval against planning officers, as well as then removing conditions which provided benefit to the community, reinforced how out of touch they are with local context and the community,” he said.

Mr Irwin said the development would not fit in the area but instead exacerbate the current issues, including traffic congestion.

“It’s just plain wrong and make a complete mockery of the planning system,” he said.

“It should be decided within local planning framework process … the development doesn’t meet planning framework in this area.”

Mr Chau said the traffic issues would occur regardless of the project progressing.

“Irrespective if this development happen, those road networks will reach capacity,” he said.

“It’s a really sought-after area, we think it’s a right area for density. We’ve been overwhelmed with people inquiring into this place.”

JDAP presiding member Francesca Lefante said the development was not responsible in solving the current traffic issues around the shopping centre.

“The observed information is that residential uses are quite often and quite different in characterisation and activity than of retail,” she said.

During the meeting, Mr Irwin said there were fewer number of locals in attendance compared to the meeting in September, but it should be seen as a response to the state government’s JDAP pathway.

“They’re just fed up trying to understand a system that is broken,” he said.

“In my time as mayor, it is still the most frustrating process I’ve ever witnessed.

“The city is not anti development, neither are our residents. We reject only 0.05 per cent of development applications.

“When we say no, on behalf of our residents, we deserved to be listened to and we deserved to be heard.”

The project is adjacent to Blackburne‘s $75 million East Village apartment, which is due to finish early next year.