Northbridge building height limit under threat

The Northbridge Progress Association (NPA) wrote to Council in early March, concerning a Development Application that was lodged in respect of 131 Sailors Bay Road.

Subject to the information supplied – the NPA advised that it opposed the application on the basis of its contravention of the height precedents for the Northbridge Town Centre Master Plan.

The NPA said that it saw no point in Council establishing a Local Environmental Plan (LEP) if it then plans to ignore it. There is no point in developing a long term vision for a city or town Centre – if Council recommends contravening it at the first opportunity.

The NPA are in favour of appropriate development. We are, though, firmly opposed to Council relinquishing the established development controls and, therefore “opening the door” to further unrestricted building height in Northbridge Town Centre in the years to come.

Our main issue is the precedent being established which we see as having further ramifications to the future development within Northbridge.

We note that the development does not comply with the maximum building height of 14m for a commercial building in the B2 Local Centre Zone. We note that a written request to vary this development standard has been submitted in accordance with Clause 4.6 WLEP 2012. We also note that the proposal does not fully comply with several controls under WDCP (Northbridge Town Centre Master Plan).

We have re-read the unabridged version of Clause 4.6 of WLEP 2012. Neither subclause (3) nor (4) could be adequately deemed as satisfied. The proposed development will not be in the public interest because it is inconsistent with the objectives of the particular standard and the objectives for development within the zone in which the development is proposed to be carried out. The perceived precedent set by the Non-compliance with Clause 4.3 of WLEP 2012 (2) is our concern – the height of building map shows this area as being zoned: N2: 14metres.

The Applicants reasons for contravening the LEP seem to be foundered on the concept that the proposal does not exceed the height of the Plant Area and Lift Overrun. We would imagine that the bulk of the above does not equate to that of an extra storey of a building? We can appreciate that Council may have previously permitted the Plant area and Lift overrun contravening height limits (minimum bulk and impact) without the intention that it would one day be used as a precedent to allow a developer to add an extra floor to the building. We find this unacceptable.

Despite the arguments put forward by the developer – this proposed DA blatantly opens the door to further technical methods by which a developer can re-establish a development precedent by contravening the established PLAN and VISION for the Northbridge Town Centre. Clause 4.3 of WLEP 2012 does not permit the proposed building height, and also we do not accept that Clause 4.6 (WLEP 2012) has been satisfied.

We, the Northbridge Progress Association, therefore, OPPOSE this DA and request that Council, DO NOT APPROVE the application and DO NOT grant delegated authority to issue the consent notice.

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