Despite all community objections to the application, the council has conditionally approved a five-story apartment building in Joondalup town center.
The development at 9 Tottenham Road, a vacant lot 350 meters from Lakeside Joondalup Shopping City and 700 meters from the train station, would comprise seven apartments.
The original proposal was for nine apartments in a six-story building, which was reduced after feedback from the Joondalup Design Review Panel.
All apartments would have two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a den, except for one three-bedroom unit, with vehicular access via McLarty Avenue and 11 parking spaces for residents and visitors.
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During the public consultation, the City of Joondalup received 17 submissions, all of which objected to the proposal.
While a council report acknowledged the main concern was that the proposed height was inconsistent with the buildings in the immediate area, which span up to three floors, it said the proposal was “consistent with the future vision of the area”.
Camera icon An artist’s impression of the proposed apartment building for 9 Tottenham Road, Joondalup. Credit: Anthony Michael Designs
According to the city’s Joondalup Activity Center Plan, which aims to “increase the urban intensity of the city center in the next era of development”, buildings should be located within four to six floors.
“The development is considered an appropriate outcome gave the competing priorities of increased intensity in the city center in balance with existing development in the immediate vicinity,” the report said.
“While it is the first to be built on this scale at this scale under the JACP, there are still several vacant lots that are expected to be developed on a similar scale in the future.”
The zero setbacks proposed at the side lot boundaries are also in keeping with the expected character of Tottenham Road, with developments being built from border to border.
Cr Tom McLean said the proposal met all the requirements and would “provide more activation and general oversight to the street facades and housing choices”.
“It is in the center, and we want height. It won’t please everyone all the while, but that’s the future of Joondalup,” said Cr McLean.
Cr John Logan also said the proposal “seemed more than reasonable, especially given the capacity to build up to six floors,” and he expected more multi-story apartment buildings to be built in the city center.
“And there should be in a modern CBD too. It’s what’s expected,” he said.
Camera icon The vacant location is at 9 Tottenham Road, Joondalup. Credit: Google Maps
Cr Suzanne Thompson said that while she understood the development met the city’s standards for the area, she did not approve it “with any glee.”
“I think it’s an ugly box, and it’s going to be an eyesore and a meaningful place for people to live,” she said.
“I know it meets our needs, but I wonder if we can find better boxes.”
To alleviate some concerns, Cr Thompson amended a condition to ensure that the “hardness” of the blank walls on the side borders would be “softened somewhat” by having them finished as textured concrete tilt panels.
Camera IconA floor plan of the proposed apartment building. Credit: City of Joondalup
The proposal was approved 11-2, with Crs Russell Poliwka and Russ Fishwick voting against it.
Cr Poliwka said that while he understood it was in line with planning rules, he agreed with community feedback that it was incompatible and would adversely affect existing developments in the east.
“Residents never expected to have a five-story building overlooking their one-story buildings,” he said.