THE State Administrative Tribunal has granted conditional approval for a garden centre and caretakers dwelling on 720 Welshpool Road East, Wattle Grove, with the City of Kalamunda admitting it spent about $71,500 fighting the application at the tribunal.
The applicant for the garden centre, known on the court documents as ACN 605 729 995, first submitted approval plans to the City of Kalamunda in 2021, but it wasn’t until December 2022 that the council rejected the application.
The city’s reasons for rejection stated the proposal would have an adverse impact to the landscape and environmental qualities of the land, making it contrary to the objectives of clause 4.2 of the local planning scheme No. 3; that the proposed development would have an unacceptable impact on the amenity of surrounding residents; the development could potentially have adverse effects on the environment, most notably the Greater Brixton Street wetlands; and it is incompatible with the city’s Crystal Brook Concept plan (2020) for the area.
Alongside the city rejecting the application, the tribunal heard that all 13 applications submitted during the city’s community consultation period were all against the development.
Echo News in December 2022 (Garden centre traffic troubles growing painful) spoke to residents close to the proposed development, who cited road safety and the proposed changes to the Welshpool Road East crossover as reasons for the council to reject the decision.
Other objections raised against the development in the city’s submissions process included environmental impacts and concerns at the commercial intensification of the area.
Yet, the tribunal ruled against these arguments, stating that the application had adequately addressed environmental concerns and was consistent with the character, setting and future plans for the area.
The tribunal ruled that the development satisfies the aims and provision of the local planning scheme No. 3 and met the objective of the city’s rural composite zone.
The development was also ruled in line with the strategic vision for the area by the tribunal, which documents state the city had marked as a future growth area, as the tribunal said development would not be inconsistent with the level of amenity, including noise, that can be reasonably expected in the locality.
The 20 separate conditions granted with the conditional approval range from the applicant having to submit dust and noise management plans to the city prior to the isuing of a building permit, alongside excluding vehicles over 19m entering and exiting the site.
The applicant was also told to create a revegetation and rehabilitation plan landscape plan for Yule Brook – which the city must approve – which sits at the rear of the property.