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Mar 3, 2015

The challenge of creating a transport strategy that balances State Government policy objectives with the expectations and requirements of tenants has resulted in an innovative approach to transport being taken by leading Western Australian town planning consultants Rowe Group at the prominent King’s Square development.

After two years of complex negotiations on behalf of developer Leighton Properties, the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA) and Department of Transport (DoT) have recently supported the transport strategy put forward by Rowe Group.

The strategy complements the wider master plan developed for King’s Square, which will encompass seven buildings with over 100,000m2 NLA office floor space (including retail and community facilities) and 520 residential dwellings.

During the past two years Rowe Group Manager, Planning, Alan Stewart and his team have been responsible for securing four development approvals for individual buildings at King’s Square as well as in-principle planning approval for the site master plan.

Mr Stewart said the opportunity to create a transport strategy proved to be a unique and rewarding experience.

“In order to meet the requirements of the MRA and DoT, it was necessary to prepare a transport strategy that would encourage alternative modes of transport, such as cycling, whilst maximising tenant parking in a way that would not affect the public realm of the city” he said.

“For example, the basement car parks for buildings KS1, KS2 and KS3 are fully integrated with access from a single driveway. This greatly enhances the pedestrian environment whilst allowing for a higher number of tenant car bays.”

Mr Stewart said the MRA and DoT had strict planning controls around the number of car bays that could be included in the King’s Square development.

“Given the site’s proximity to Perth’s main transport hub – the underground train station – the MRA’s aim was to reduce reliance on private car usage by encouraging alternate modes of transport,” he said.

The transport strategy allowed Rowe Group to negotiate with the MRA and DoT to balance the competing transport needs of site users, in accordance with broader city planning requirements which are focussed on moving away from private car usage.

“The Department of Transport’s Perth Parking Policy plays an influential role in encouraging developers to consider alternative modes of transport within the CBD,” Mr Stewart added.

By clearly outlining how many car bays Leighton Properties desired – a higher number than the MRA’s recommended allowance – and demonstrating a significant increase in the number of bicycle parking spaces, Rowe Group was able to negotiate an outcome that satisfied the requirements of the Perth Parking Policy.

“This request was driven by the tenants, as well as the developer, and proved to be a great outcome for all parties concerned because it will encourage residents, visitors and workers to cycle in, or catch public transport to King’s Square,” Mr Stewart said.

King’s Square is a world class master planned precinct strategically positioned within the $5.2 billion Perth City Link development, one of the country’s most significant urban CBD renewal developments.

Four commercial towers including a vibrant new dining precinct, three major public spaces and $1.8 million in public art are currently being delivered and expected to be completed in mid-2015.