UPDATE: The developer behind a $450 million, two tower development proposed at Scarborough Beach says it is surprised and disappointed after planning authorities rejected its proposal, on the basis that the project’s scale at nearly four times the suburb’s height limit would represent significant overdevelopment of the site.
Iconic Scarborough was proposed by Chinese developer 3 Oceans Property, which had sought to build two towers, of 43 and 35 storeys, comprising 346 apartments and 158 hotel rooms, as well as more than 4,000 square metres of hospitality and retail space at the old Contacio nightclub site on the corner of West Coast Highway and Scarborough Beach Road.
An art gallery and viewing platform was proposed for the project's top floors, while 3 Oceans promised more than 330 public car bays and a pedestrian bridge linking the development to the beachfront to boost public amenity.
But the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority said while the developer had addressed many issues during the assessment process, the public benefits proposed were not enough to justify the added height.
Planning guidelines introduced in 2015 mandate a height limit of 12 storeys for the site, expandable to 18-levels if there is considerable community benefit.
The determination comes as the finishing touches are being put on the state government's $50 million redevelopment of Scarborough's beachfront, which includes a new $26 million beachside pool which will open early next year.
Main Roads WA issued its approval for the project's pedestrian bridge earlier this week, sparking industry speculation that the MRA would give the development a favourable determination.
Premier Mark McGowan has previously publicly announced his support for the project, while a comprehensive community consultation campaign drew few detractors prior to the approvals process.
Managing director of 3 Oceans, Dyno Zhang, told Australia China Business Review he was surprised and disappointed at the MRA’s determination today.
Mr Zhang said the determination was unexpected after Premier McGowan, Planning Minister Rita Saffioti, City of Stirling Mayor Mark Irwin and various state and local government agencies, including Main Roads WA, had backed the proposal.
“They all made it very clear that they supported this development, because the development was aligned with the state government’s vision of creating jobs, promoting tourism, revitalising Scarborough and diversifying the state’s economy,” Mr Zhang said.
Mr Zhang said 3 Oceans was actively working with the state government to find a way for the project to proceed.
“I’ve gotten various messages and phone calls today from the local community, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support and let them know that this is not the end of the story, we will keep pushing and we will do the right thing for the community,” Mr Zhang said.
The MRA said potential traffic impacts of a development of such scale on the Contacio site were one of its determining factors.
"The application has undergone a rigorous and exhaustive evaluation process that included consultation with the commuinty and key stakeholders, and consideration of the proposal by a panel of independent, professional planners, architects and industry representatives," the MRA said in a statement.
"The MRA supports landmark developments, however this proposal would see considerable overdevelopment of the site."
The MRA said it would welcome an opportunity to work with 3 Oceans on a new proposal which is more consistent with its vision for Scarborough.