Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Getting to know Scheme Amendment 49: 'The What'

It's time to test 'the what' in my series of posts on Scheme Amendment 49.
Does Scheme Amendment 49 by itself ensure development that will be built up to a standard instead of down to a price?
When it comes to the detail that is needed to facilitate quality design, Scheme Amendment 49 can be described as being a sheep in sheep's clothing - if it looks like it is too superficial to achieve quality design, then that’s probably because it is too superficial to achieve quality design.
Will Scheme Amendment 49 achieve the right mix of retail, office and residential uses?
I couldn’t find any requirements in Scheme Amendment 49 for a minimum number of apartments in any new development. It seems that relying on the fluctuations of the market to determine whether a residential component is included in new developments is unnecessarily high risk, especially if the goal is to have a vibrant precinct. If it turns out that the current economic phase means that retail/office development will be more profitable without the inclusion of a residential component, then this is what developers will opt for.
Where Scheme Amendment 49 allows discretion, is there enough documentation to ensure that the right decisions are made and upheld?
I’m sceptical. No design guidelines, no place making plan and no developer contributions plan.
When development proposals are eventually submitted, those proposals in excess of $7 million will be determined by Development Assessment Panel, not Council. These panels are state government run and are made up of five members, three professional members and two local government members from Council.
Here again, Scheme Amendment 49 is like a sheep in sheep's clothing, this time, if it looks a little light on for supporting documents that help ensure that the right decisions are made and upheld, then that's probably because it is a little light on for supporting documents that help ensure that the right decisions are made and upheld.
Can anyone say "baaa"?
Are the proposed height allowances in Scheme Amendment 49 too high?
For those sites that are eligible for the additional discretionary height, I'm comfortable with six storeys plus an additional storey setback which cannot be seen from the street.
In conclusion:
I recommend finding out more about Scheme Amendment 49 by going to the City's website at:
Remember that the period for providing comments closes on 7 December.


  1. Wise words, Michael! There is indeed no guarantee that any residential will be build, because developers will just want to put up buildings that will make the most money in the shortest time.
    Today;s figures showed that residential property prices have dropped for the 10th month in a row, so that is not a big incentive to build apartments.

    Scheme amendment 49 is far from perfect and I sincerely hope councillors and the mayor will not sit on high horses and believe it is good enough. It desperately needs to be fine tuned!

    Roel Loopers

  2. Hi Michael,

    After Roel pointed it out, I've added your blog to Planet Freo.