WAPC decision foils developers
COMMISSION BLOCKS SIX-STOREY SORRENTO PLAZA PLAN
APPLICANTS proposing to develop the Sorrento coastline will now consider their options after the WA Planning Commission (WAPC) limited their plans to four storeys.
The original $75 million Sorrento Plaza proposal, which City of Joondalup officers recommended for approval, was for apartments, restaurants and retail stores on West Coast Drive, ranging from three to six storeys.
Because the site bounded by West Coast Drive, The Plaza, Padbury Circle, Drakes Walk and Raleigh Road is made up of four separate landowners, a structure plan was needed to guide any redevelopment.
In March, the council considered the draft Sorrento Activity Centre Plan and voted to limit development to four storeys following community opposition.
At the time, developers said Sorrento Plaza would not go ahead if the council’s recommendation to cap the height at four storeys was approved by the WAPC, which has the final say.
Recently, the Department of Planning recommended the plan be approved as originally proposed with a maximum height of six storeys.
However, last week the WAPC agreed to limit development to four storeys with “a fifth storey element focused around the plaza and western frontage”.
Representing the applicants, Parcel Property general manager Danielle Davison said while they were pleased the WAPC recognised the need for the redevelopment, they were “very disappointed” with the decision.
“The rejection and alternate recommendation for a smaller and less viable scheme may see this site remain in its current dilapidated state for many years to come,” she said.
“This decision effectively limits the financial viability for development of this site and as such the owners will need to take time to reflect on the available options now before them.”
One of those options available is to appeal the decision to the State Administrative Tribunal.
Stop Sorrento High Rise spokesman Stuart Hawkins said concerned residents welcomed the decision in part.
“We now have two government bodies – the Joondalup council and WAPC – which have determined the developer’s proposal for six storeys at the Sorrento site is simply inappropriate,” he said.