A Development Assessment Panel member did not fall asleep at a crucial meeting on September 23 where the future face of Karrinyup was decided, the meeting’s chair has said.
Karrinyup resident Samara Kemp had raised the claim during question time at Stirling council’s September meeting, when she asked the council to pass on a request for the minutes of the DAP meeting to reflect that one of its five members was “asleep – or appeared to be”.
Ms Kemp also wanted the DAP member’s multiple disappearances during deputations to be noted.
The DAP ultimately approved three controversial apartment towers at the Karrinyup Shopping Centre, despite the opposition from Stirling council, which described the decision as “terrible”.
The minutes are now out and no naps or mid-meeting leavings are recorded.
The chair of the meeting, Francesca Lefante, is the only person authorised to give media comment and says her colleague had confirmed he did not fall asleep.
“He was sat next to me for the full meeting with the exception of a brief departure (of around two minutes) from the room,” Ms Lefante said.
“With the meeting running over more than four hours, with some 14 deputations, it is not unreasonable for members to depart the room for short periods of time to take a comfort break.
“The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage has asked the City of Stirling to correct the minutes correctly indicating his departure.”
During Stirling’s meeting, planning director Stevan Rodich said the council admin prepared minutes for the DAP chair to confirm: “That includes when people leave the meeting. Not usually does it record their facial expressions or falling asleep at the table,” he said.
Ms Lefante said panel members were experienced in dealing with complex planning and development matters and often referred to their papers while deputations were being delivered.
“Panel members gave significant consideration to all elements of the proposal for Lots 7 and 12 Karrinyup Road, Karrinyup, resolving to approve the application subject to conditions.
“The suggestion that any of the five panel members were less than fully engaged in what was an intense meeting to determine a complex application is offensive.”
A group of residents called on Stirling to mount a legal challenge over the DAP’s decision as it tramples over the council’s local planning rules, but the city’s declined to fight it.
By DAVID BELL