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Client: Sorrento Plaza Partnership / Parcel Property

Location: Sorrento Local Centre, West Coast Drive


Rowe Group was engaged by the Sorrento Plaza Partnership to review the existing Sorrento Local Centre and establish a planning framework which would facilitate a holistic redevelopment of the centre. The centre is located approximately 1 kilometre south of Hilarys Boat Harbour and represents an attractive coastal amenity node which lacks cohesion and connectivity.

At present, the centre experiences a number of issues, including:

  • Car Parking Shortage: due to the site’s proximity to the beach and popular restaurants and cafes, the site is frequently inundated with visitors, with the current supply of car parking being insufficient.
  • Access: the centre currently has a number of access points to and from West Coast Drive which can be problematic during peak hours of operation and require consolidation.
  • Dilapidation and Connectivity: the existing built form is aged and fails to meet contemporary building standards and expectations and is made up of disparate and dilapidated built form.
  • Multiple landownership: the centre is made up of three landowner groups, meaning a coordinated approach to redevelopment is required to ensure a well-considered planning outcome for the site.

A review of the site and immediate locality identified that the site was capable of far more densification and building height than currently represented. Being a key node on the Western Australian coastline, and given the centre occupies a total of three street frontages, there was an opportunity to create a series of key landmark developments with complementary architectural style and flow. The final built form outcome comprised a ‘tiered’ approach, with building height gradually stepping up towards the centre of the site and tapering down at the residential interfaces to ensure an appropriate built form transition is provided.

Following a review of the site and applicable town planning framework, Rowe Group sought consent from the Western Australian Planning Commission to prepare an Activity Centre Plan over the site which would establish a series of land use zoning and built form provisions as part of one comprehensive planning document. The preparation of an Activity Centre Plan ensures the centre can be considered holistically and ensure development is undertaken in a complementary manner.

The Activity Centre Plan therefore provides for an overarching planning framework which will be used to guide the future development of the centre and addresses key land use planning and urban design principles such as:

  • Built Form and Streetscape Activation: a series of development standards addressing a range of built form criteria were implemented following a detailed review of the existing form and function of the centre. The Activity Centre Plan sought to ensure active land uses were promoted at the ground floor plane, with the urban design and landscape treatment to complement the built form by promoting activity and vibrancy within the centre.
  • Car Parking: due to the reciprocal nature of car parking requirements and land uses within the centre, a blanket car parking ratio for non-residential development was applied as part of the Activity Centre Plan. This approach is considered to be the most appropriate way to capture the variety of non-residential land uses within the centre.
  • Access: the Activity Centre Plan consolidates the number of access points provided to West Coast Drive to ensure an activated street frontage can be achieved. Access to each development site (which is based on landownership) ensures development can occur on a staged basis whilst providing a continuous means of access through the centre.

The Activity Centre Plan was ultimately approved by the WAPC in May 2018.