The Albert North Perth—an eight-office, 11-unit project on Albert Street—was initially deferred when it went in front of council in December 2011.
The WA heritage council spoke against the development saying it would negatively impact on the neighbouring primary school’s heritage value, and the school P&C was concerned it’d block the library’s natural light.
After some rejigs it was approved by councillors in February 2012.
Now, as site works commence, three locals are opposing the project, asking councillors to reconsider the approval almost 18 months after it was given the thumbs up.
Neighbour Hesson Razavi says it’ll block out most of the sunlight from his backyard.
Nearby resident Paul O’Brien says community consultation failed because he’d only found out about the development from his neighbours.
Local Craig Willis says it shouldn’t go ahead on safety grounds because the “blind” vehicle exit is near a school. He also points out that while council approved four offices, the developer is now advertising eight.
But Ms MacTiernan says the locals are out of luck: Nothing can be done to go back on the decision and any attempt would see the council pulled in front of the powerful state administrative tribunal which handles planning appeals.
She says the eight offices instead of four are a non-issue: The council approval covered a set amount of space for a particular use and how it was divvied up wasn’t important.
The mayor says she found it hard to believe anyone could’ve been unaware of this project given the attention it received and the information that went out.
The $63,000 from the project’s per cent for art cash looks likely to be spent on a 2.8m 300kg reading light by artist Robin Yakinthou, subject to input from locals (as it’ll be put on public land near the school and not on the development site). Guiding Light”, aims to reflect an education theme for the school next door.
It was the artist’s concept sketch of the lamp that led Mr Willis to hand dog poo pictures to councillors, asking them to seriously consider the turds as an alternative to the giant lamp.
Mr Willis was annoyed he’d had a meeting set up with council CEO John Giorgi, who didn’t show and sent minions along instead. “The lack of respect was pretty ordinary,” Mr Willis said. The council took his questions on notice and will undoubtedly work feverishly on a response.
by DAVID BELL