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Client: Multiplex Living

Area: Applecross


The Raffles Waterfront comprises a 17 storey tower and three 5 storey wings containing 116 residential apartments along with offices, café, restaurant and ancillary facilities. Planning Approvals for the development were obtained in 2003 following a 12-month approvals process which comprised extensive consultation with government agencies, community groups and other interested stakeholders.

Redevelopment proposals for the site were initiated by others in 1995, 1999 and 2001 however all were unsuccessful either as a result of difficulties with the statutory approvals process or other constraints whether physical, financial or political. After these unsuccessful attempts to secure planning approval, the land was purchased by Multiplex Living in early 2002. Greg Rowe and Associates was engaged by Multiplex Living shortly after to manage the statutory approvals process.
Development of the Raffles Waterfront was presented with a number of physical, environmental, social and other challenges. Many of these challenges were associated with the site’s natural and cultural attributes including its proximity to the Swan River, location on Canning Highway, and the heritage significance of its existing built form. The site’s location also resulted in a complicated approvals process, necessitating approvals and consents (planning or otherwise) from a number of different government agencies including the City of Melville, the Department of Planning, the Western Australian Planning Commission, the Heritage Council of Western Australia, the Environmental Protection Authority and the Swan River Trust.

The Raffles Waterfront Redevelopment required two approvals – one under the Metropolitan Region Scheme and one under the City of Melville Community Planning Scheme No. 5. When the Western Australian Planning Commission issued Planning Approval in March 2003 in a form which was different to that approved by the City of Melville in January 2003, an already complex project became further challenging. Ultimately, approval was achieved by mediated means via the Town Planning Appeal Tribunal, itself a challenge on account of the involvement of not one but two decision making authorities.

Construction of the Raffles Waterfront was completed in 2006. The building is now considered a regional icon and performs the role of an important entry statement into the City of Melville. The development has performed an integral role in guiding local area planning within the Canning Bridge locality, acting as a catalyst for change – both in terms of physical development in the area and social acceptance of alterative built form.

The challenges presented on this site and the length of time taken to achieve the final outcome combined with the manner in which these challenges were addressed by Multiplex Living and its consultant team ensured the ultimate approval received was a hard won yet fulfilling victory. Its lasting impacts and subsequent effects on planning within the locale and broader region also contribute to make the Raffles Waterfront a significant victory.

Greg Rowe and Associates was pleased to accept the 2010 Planning Institute of Australia (WA Division) Certificate of Commendation in the category of Hard Won Victory for Raffles Waterfront on behalf of Multiplex Living and the consultant team.