■ THE LITTLE SCHOOL EARLY LEARNING CENTRE FLOREAT
Client: Aesop Property Group
Location: 130 and 132 Brookdale Street, Floreat
Role: Statutory Planning – Development Application, Appeal to State Administrative Tribunal
Timeframe: 3 years
KEY PROCESSES AND EXPERIENCES:
- Design review
- Planning approvals
- Development Assessment Panel
- Appeal – State Administrative Tribunal
Rowe Group was appointed as the town planning consultant by the landowner of the site to obtain Development Approval for a child care centre.
The site is located at the corner of Oceanic Drive and Brookdale Street, to the south of Floreat Forum Shopping Centre. The development included:
- The removal of two existing dwellings;
- The construction of a child care centre with capacity for 107 children over two buildings with an undercroft parking area for visitors and staff; and
- Significant landscaping and playspace design.
The centre operator is extremely passionate about the project and business vision for the early learning centre.
First and foremost, we briefed our designers State of Kin and Nature Play Solutions to help us to create a caring and nurturing place where we foster a simplified childhood. We wished for a beautiful and homely Early Learning Centre with an outdoor space that deliberately felt as though it could be the Australian backyard of our upbringing. We dreamed of a building and yard that the children would remember forever and later in life reminisce on as a place where they discovered, explored, played and made magic happen on a daily basis.
With existing residential properties to the north, south and rear of the site (but just to the south of the Floreat Forum Shopping Centre), the development had to be designed appropriately within its context and the specific Floreat design and scale of the nearby residential properties.
The Development Application was lodged with the Town of Cambridge (Town) in February 2018, however was refused by the Metro West Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP) in July 2018 for a number of reasons relating to traffic, built form, noise and non-compliance with development standards.
The Application was reviewed by the Town’s Design Review Panel (DRP), once prior to lodgement in December 2017, once whilst the Town was undertaking its assessment of the Development Application and a further five (5) times during the Appeal process. What followed was a complex review process where the proposed development has evolved into a development consistent with the character of the area and is largely compliant with the relevant development standards.
This review process identified that the site was constrained due to the natural slope of the land (a difference in excess of 4m from the street to the rear of the site) and the irregular shape of the property (wide at the street and narrow at the rear). This required significant design review and consideration of the development within its context.
These factors meant a peer review architect was warranted. A former DRP member was engaged by the Client to assist with this review process.
As the proposal evolved over the journey, the Application was advertised a number of times which attracted some objections from the community. This meant that the design of the proposal had to be managed to reflect the parameters set by the relevant development standards.
This extensive design review process resulted in a development which:
- Was generally compliant with the relevant development standards;
- Reflects the character of the adjoining properties and the Floreat locality; and
- Provides a domestic scale and design in a non-residential development.
As a result, the Town provided a favourable recommendation to the JDAP and it was subsequently reconsidered and approved in February 2020 meeting.
A subsequent modification was made to one of the Conditions on the Development Approval, with the amended Development Approval issued in October 2020.