VINCENT council has adopted a developer’s “local development plan” paving the way for Leederville’s first high-rise towers.
Hatch and RobertsDay have proposed transforming the block next to WaterCorp in Frame Court into a 25-storey and 17-storey mix of residential, commercial and community spaces.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the council adopted the plan with some minor amendments to increase the amount of deep soil plantings and allow some of the money set aside for public art to be used to create a community arts space.
“There are big changes afoot for Leederville,” mayor Emma Cole said.
Ms Cole said questions had been raised about why the council was adopting a developer’s plan when it had recently adopted its own precinct plan for Leederville, but she noted the latter was yet to be endorsed by the state’s planning tsars.
The precinct plan allows a maximum height of 23 storeys if a developer provides enough community benefits, but Ms Cole said despite being two storeys higher, the Frame Court development was about 10 centimetres below the council’s proposed ceiling.
Commending Leederville Connect for its interest in creating an interface with the neighbourhood at ground level, Ms Cole said Leederville was shaping up as a “place of great opportunity and place for residents to live.
“I think it does present a new way of thinking for developers to actually look at something that is not time limited but has an ongoing commitment to community space,” she said.
Deputy mayor Susan Gontaszewski successfully moved an amendment to have the deep soil areas of the development increased, despite a concern from the city’s planners it would make creating meeting places and a town centre more difficult
Cr Dan Loden seconded the motion and said a bit of creative planning would solve the issue.
“We don’t sit in any of our town centres and go ‘oh geez, we’ve got too many trees here, we really need to cut some of them down to give people more space to walk around,” Cr Loden said.
Cr Gontaszewski also moved to allow some of the money that’s mandated for public art to be used for managing an arts space within the development.
“I do think it is really important that we see the percent for art funds used to fund the production of actual art, and simply having a space for art and a person that is curating an arts space does not a piece of art or a series of artworks make,” she said.
Cr Josh Topelberg was less convinced, but his argument that the arts space was expected to provide a return for the developer so they’d have to employ someone to manage the space anyway didn’t sway any of his colleagues.
He was broadly supportive of the development but is holding back his cheers until he sees more detail.
“I think some of the finer grain desires, or advocacy, from the landowner and the vision for the site and what it will return to the community will only be borne out in the final development application,” Cr Topelberg said.
by STEVE GRANT