AN architect with 10 years’ experience has labelled Vincent the slowest council she’s ever dealt with.
Ara Casella from AJCD has been representing Anthony Bryson who wants to build a two-storey house on Hunter Street in North Perth.
It’s taken eight months for his plans to be approved, after being deferred twice before.
“I’ve been practising as an architect and building designer for over 10 years and have never experienced this excessive deliberation over a residential proposal,”
Ms Casella bluntly told the council at last Tuesday’s meeting.
“I’m quite dismayed at the lengthy and painful delays that have occurred.
“The approval process has been tactically choreographed from neighbouring residents causing undue costs and delays and distress to all parties involved.
“My work and the work of my consultants has been questioned, and the design has been reviewed endlessly in order to satisfy the demands of neighbours, despite already being compliant.”
Mr Bryson says it isn’t a tricky development: “No bars or yoga or carparking tonight, we just want to start building our house if we can. It’s been about eight months now.”
Mayor John Carey blamed under-resourcing in the planning department and says the council is working on it.
Carlie Eldridge quit as planning chief last year so manager Petar Mrdja stepped up as acting director. The council is searching for a permanent planner.
Despite the existence of model planning clauses and development assessment panels, Mr Carey says planning workloads are increasing as the WA government demands more dense housing and bigger buildings across the suburbs. These lead to more disputes and complaints from neighbours who don’t want to live in the shadows.
“There is no doubt that we are seeing an increase in conflict between developers or applicants and neighbours,” he says.
by DAVID BELL