Western Australia

Development approval granted for twin-tower Iconic Scarborough proposal

A PROPOSAL for a major twin-tower, mixed-use building on the corner of West Coast Highway and Scarborough Beach Road have been granted development approval, after the developer made significant revisions to the previous plans.

The approved plans submitted by developers 3 Oceans consist of a 43 and 33 storey twin-tower development on the former Contacio site and include:

  • A 119-room hotel, 39 less rooms than previously proposed;
  • 314 residential apartments, 32 less than previously proposed;
  • 720 parking bays, 224 less bays than previously proposed but still retaining 100 public parking bays;
  • Convention centre, lower level exhibition space and ground floor commercial tenancies;
  • A top floor art gallery and café with public viewing area; and
  • A WA Coastal Experience Centre, offering tourists and visitors a showcase of the Western Australian coast from Esperance to Wyndham.

In determining an approval, Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority Chairperson George McCullagh said the Board recognised the challenge in making large-scale planning decisions.

Artist's impression of Iconic Scarborough
Above: Artist's impression of Iconic Scarborough / 3 Oceans.

"Through an informal mediation process, 3 Oceans worked with independent architects to improve design quality and reduce local amenity impacts including a reduction in the height of the second tower and an overall reduction in floor space," Mr McCullagh said.

"Our decision came down to alignment with the long term vision and objectives for Scarborough, as set out in the planning scheme, and the future benefits for the redevelopment area in its entirety. Ultimately in this case the level of discretion required for additional height is appropriate."

According to the MRA, the revised proposal with taller towers and a smaller podium has achieved design excellence, delivering improved local amenity at street level, greater view corridors and public benefits above and beyond the criteria for bonus height.

"This development will make a significant contribution to the ongoing transformation of Scarborough, building on Government investment and catalysing private development," Mr McCullagh said.

"Scarborough is identified as an Activity Centre in the State's planning strategy Perth and Peel @ 3.5million and the MRA is working to create a contemporary urban-coastal destination that will ensure Perth can provide for a growing residential and tourist community."

An original proposal was rejected by the MRA in December 2017 as it was considered a significant overdevelopment of the site, delivered inadequate design outcomes and included benefits that did not warrant the extent of discretion sought. This process has highlighted the robustness of the 2017 decision to refuse the original application.

Mr McCullagh said a rigorous assessment and extensive public engagement process was undertaken, including the publication of meeting decisions and reports as well as deputations presented to the Scarborough Land Redevelopment Committee, and confirmed that the developer would be required to continue proactive and regular engagement to address development conditions and milestones and ensure delivery of a superior outcome for Scarborough.

"Developments of this nature inevitably divide public opinion, and in the case of Scarborough and other metropolitan areas that are rich in history and supported by a passionate local community, the Board gave due consideration to the broad range of views from residents, business, visitors and tourists."

All respondents who made a submission during the public comment period will now be notified of the outcome and be provided detailed responses to the matters raised in due course.

"The 1,445 people that have taken the time to write to us have provided a welcome overview of the local considerations, broader community views and potential benefits that are integral in the determination of planning matters."

"It was clear that the revised proposal attracted greater community support with new cultural and dining options and tourist amenities, as well as an increase in diversity of residential products for new and existing residents.

Matters raised from the submissions and deputations and during the public engagement process include traffic congestion and disruption during construction, overshadowing on the beach, building heights and the tourism and economic benefits of the project. The MRA has incorporated some of these matters into conditions of approval.

Subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter

Newsletter Subscription - Banner

Urbanalyst Banner