Karrinyup West Watchtower Approved to Help Sell Proposed Apartments

The developer behind a proposed $300 million apartment complex at the Karrinyup Shopping Center has approved erecting a 10-story viewing platform to aid in its sales campaign.

Stirling City Council approved the temporary steel open structure for the car park adjacent to Burroughs Road for up to 12 months from the approval date.

The application was filed in January and stated that it would be used as a marketing tool for AMP Capital’s controversial three-tower development of up to nine, 15, and 24 floors, approved by the Metro Inner-North Joint Development Assessment Panel in September.

Camera icon An artist’s impression of the proposed lookout tower for the Karrinyup West residential area. Credit: Blackburne

However, Blackburne Property Group has partnered with AMP Capital to design a new concept for developing Karrinyup West, currently available for public comment.


The city recommended rejecting the original $150 million proposal with 270 apartments and approximately 570 sq. ft. of commercial floor space out of concerns about excessive height, mass and scale, parking, and local context.

This prompted resident Simon Wheeler to ask at the council meeting how city officials might approve the watchtower if it was proposed to support an “incompatible development.”

During the public consultation for the tower application, the city received 29 submissions, including 26 objections and a petition with 219 signatures that were also opposed.

Concerns included height and scale, extreme views, the tower’s “not aesthetically pleasing”, increased traffic and noise, and antisocial behavior.

However, the council report said the proposal was suitable as it was temporary, significantly shorter than the approved 24-story development, and would be 40 meters from the nearest residence.


Speaking at the meeting, Matthew Chau, Blackburne’s director of development, said the tower would likely be on the site for nine months, given the time it takes to get planning permission to erect and then tear it down.

Mr. Chau also said the building permit would mean things like the structural design, building code compliance, and railings “would be strictly assessed along with a very strict operational plan”.

Mr. Wheeler also expressed concern about the approval of the watchtower, as the new proposal had not yet been assessed, and wondered whether it would be “very detrimental to future non-compliant development applications on the site”.

But planning and development director Stevan Rodic said any current or future development application for the site “would be judged on its own merits.”

Camera icon An artist’s impression of Blackburne’s new Karrinyup West proposal. Credit: unknown/delivered

Chau also said lookout towers were approved “quite regularly” without any other development application for a site.

The terms of approval included that no more than five people were on the tower at a time and that an authorized representative accompanied all members of the public.

The tower operates from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends and by appointment only between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays.

Blackburne’s new design for Karrinyup West reduces the number of towers to two with a maximum of 14 and 24 stories and proposes fewer apartments — 253 — and more commercial floor space of approximately 820 m².

The city is seeking feedback on the revised plans until July 6, with comments to be included in a report for the JDAP to discuss at a future meeting.

John D.Mayne
I love to write. When I wasn’t writing for my school newspaper or college blog, I was writing personal essays and journal entries. Then I discovered I loved to write. In college, I wrote for my school paper and my campus radio show. I started doing freelance writing for the Huffington Post in 2009. Then, I joined the team at Newsmyth as a writer/editor. Now, I spend most of my time writing for Newsmyth and as a guest blogger on a handful of other blogs. When I’m not writing, I like to read, travel, cook, and spend time with friends.