COB-RGB

 

 

 

 

 

Council  Agenda

 

 

 

27 May 2015

 

 

 

 

 

ALL INFORMATION AVAILABLE IN VARIOUS FORMATS ON REQUEST

 

 

 


CITY OF BUSSELTON

MEETING NOTICE AND AGENDA – 27 May 2015

 

 

 

TO:                  THE MAYOR AND COUNCILLORS

 

 

NOTICE is given that a meeting of the Council  will be held in the the Council Chambers, Administration Building, Southern Drive, Busselton on Wednesday, 27 May 2015, commencing at 5.30pm .

 

Your attendance is respectfully requested.

 

 

 

Mike Archer

 

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

 

15 May 2015


CITY OF BUSSELTON

Agenda FOR THE Council  MEETING TO BE HELD ON 27 May 2015

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

ITEM NO.                                        SUBJECT                                                                                                                              PAGE NO.

1....... Declaration of Opening and Announcement of Visitors. 5

2....... Attendance. 5

Apologies. 5

Approved Leave of Absence. 5

3....... Prayer. 5

4....... Public Question Time. 5

Response to Previous Questions Taken on Notice. 5

Public Question Time. 5

5....... Announcements Without Discussion.. 5

Announcements by the Presiding Member. 5

Announcements by other Members at the invitation of the Presiding Member. 5

6....... Application for Leave of Absence. 5

7....... Petitions and Presentations. 5

8....... Disclosure Of Interests. 5

9....... Confirmation and Receipt Of Minutes. 5

Previous Council Meetings. 5

9.1          Minutes of the Council  held on 13 May 2015. 5

Committee Meetings. 5

9.2          Minutes of the Finance Committee held 7 May 2015. 5

10..... Reports of Committee. 7

10.1        Finance Committee - 7/05/2015 - FINANCIAL ACTIVITY STATEMENTS – PERIOD ENDING 31 MARCH 2015. 7

10.2        Finance Committee - 7/05/2015 - LIST OF PAYMENTS MADE – MARCH 2015. 31

10.3        Finance Committee - 7/05/2015 - ANNUAL BUDGET REVIEW - PERIOD ENDING 31 MARCH 2015. 57

10.4        Finance Committee - 7/05/2015 - REVIEW OF THE CITY OF BUSSELTON'S DEBT STRUCTURE. 82

10.5        Finance Committee - 7/05/2015 - VASSE TASKFORCE BUDGET AMENDMENT. 105

10.6        Finance Committee - 7/05/2015 - GEOGRAPHE LEISURE CENTRE - BUDGET AMENDMENT REQUEST - GRANT FUNDING.. 109

11..... Planning and Development Services Report. 113

11.1        PROPOSED EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRY (SAND) - ADDITIONAL AREA TO EXISTING EXTRACTION AREA.. 113

11.2        PROPOSED AMENDMENT 12 TO LOCAL PLANNING SCHEME NO. 21 - LOT 1992 DOWNS ROAD, LUDLOW - CONSIDERATION FOR INITIATION FOR PUBLIC CONSULTATION.. 141

11.3        APPLICATION FOR PLANNING CONSENT FOR USE NOT LISTED (TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITY), LOT 201, BALMORAL DRIVE, QUINDALUP. 149

11.4        DRAFT DETAILED AREA PLAN FOR THE VASSE TOWNSITE - CONSIDERATION FOR ADOPTION FOR FINAL APPROVAL. 214

11.5        PROPOSED EXTENSIONS AND ALTERATIONS, LOT 3001 QUEEN STREET (EQUINOX CAFE): DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION AND PROPOSED CREATION OF NEW RESERVE/LEASE AREA.. 260

12..... Engineering and Work Services Report. 276

12.1        BERRY STREET UPGRADE. 276

12.2        BUSSELTON TRAFFIC STUDY. 284

13..... Community and Commercial Services Report. 578

13.1        BUSSELTON JETTY MARINE BERTHING INFRASTRUCTURE: FUNDING OFFER FROM AUSTRADE'S TOURISM DEMAND DRIVER INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAM... 578

14..... Finance and Corporate Services Report. 584

14.1        OLD POST OFFICE TEAROOMS LEASE AGREEMENT. 584

14.2        PROPOSED LEASE RENEWALS - BUSSELTON ART SOCIETY AND ACTING UP!. 591

14.3        RETENTION OF A PORTION OF RESERVE 19338 CARBUNUP HALL. 598

15..... Chief Executive Officer's Report. 604

15.1        COUNCILLORS' INFORMATION BULLETIN.. 604

16..... Motions of which Previous Notice has been Given.. 614

16.1        LOCAL PLANNING POLICY, PORT GEOGRAPHE VILLAGE CENTRE PRECINCT PLAN AMENDMENT. 614

17..... Confidential Reports. 616

Nil

18..... Questions from Members. 616

19..... Public Question Time. 616

20..... Next Meeting Date. 616

21..... Closure. 616

 


Council                                                                                      5                                                                         27 May 2015

 

1.               Declaration of Opening and Announcement of Visitors

2.               Attendance 

Apologies

 

Nil

Approved Leave of Absence

 

Nil

3.               Prayer

                   The prayer will be delivered by Pastor Craig Rodger from Dunsborough Church of Christ

4.               Public Question Time

Response to Previous Questions Taken on Notice 

Public Question Time

5.               Announcements Without Discussion

Announcements by the Presiding Member 

Announcements by other Members at the invitation of the Presiding Member

6.               Application for Leave of Absence

7.               Petitions and Presentations 

8.               Disclosure Of Interests

9.               Confirmation and Receipt Of Minutes 

Previous Council Meetings

9.1             Minutes of the Council  held on 13 May 2015

Recommendation

That the Minutes of the Council  Meeting held 13 May 2015 be confirmed as a true and correct record.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Committee Meetings

9.2             Minutes of the Finance Committee held 7 May 2015

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

1)         That the minutes of a meeting of the Finance Committee held on 7 May 2015 be                received.

 

2)         That the Council notes the outcomes of the Finance Committee meeting held on 7            May 2015 being:

 

             a)            The Committee noted the Information Bulletin – March 2015 and                                           acknowledged the importance of federal funding through the Financial                                   Assistance Grants program, acknowledged that the Council will receive $2.1                            million in 2014-15 and will ensure that this federal funding, and other                                        funding provided by the Federal Government under relevant grant programs,                    is appropriately identified as Commonwealth grant funding in Council                                         publications, including annual reports

 

             b)            The Financial Activity Statements – Period Ending 31 March 2015 Item is                             presented for Council  consideration at Item 10.1 of this agenda

 

             c)            The List of Payments Made – March 2015 Item is presented for Council                                consideration at Item 10.2 of this agenda

 

             d)            The Annual Budget Review – Period Ending 31 March 2015 item is presented                       for Council consideration at Item 10.3 of this agenda

 

             e)            The Review of the City of Busselton’s Debt Structure Item is presented for                          Council consideration at item 10.4 of this agenda

 

             f)             The Vasse Taskforce Budget Amendment Item is presented for Council                                 consideration at Item 10.5 of this agenda

 

                                g)            The Geographe Leisure Centre – Budget Amendment Request – Grant                                                     Funding  Item is presented for Council consideration at Item 10.6 of this                                                                 agenda

 

 


Council                                                                                      7                                                                         27 May 2015

10.             Reports of Committee

10.1           Finance Committee - 7/05/2015 - FINANCIAL ACTIVITY STATEMENTS – PERIOD ENDING 31 MARCH 2015

SUBJECT INDEX:

Budget Planning and Reporting

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE:

An organisation that is managed effectively and achieves positive outcomes for the community.

BUSINESS UNIT:

Finance and Information Technology

ACTIVITY UNIT:

Finance

REPORTING OFFICER:

Manager, Finance and Information Technology - Darren Whitby

AUTHORISING OFFICER:

Director, Finance and Corporate Services - Matthew Smith

VOTING REQUIREMENT:

Simple Majority

ATTACHMENTS:

Attachment a   Financial Activity Statements - Period Ending 31 March 2015  

 

This item was considered by the Finance Committee at its meeting on 7 May 2015, the recommendations from which have been included in this report. 

 

PRÉCIS

 

Pursuant to Section 6.4 of the Local Government Act (‘the Act’) and Regulation 34(4) of the Local Government (Financial Management) Regulations (‘the Regulations’), a local government is to prepare, on a monthly basis, a statement of financial activity that reports on the City’s financial performance in relation to its adopted/ amended budget.

 

This report has been compiled to fulfil the statutory reporting requirements of the Act and associated Regulations, whilst also providing the Council with an overview of the City’s financial performance on a year to date basis for the period ending 31 March 2015.

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

The Regulations detail the form and manner in which financial activity statements are to be presented to the Council on a monthly basis; and are to include the following:

 

§   Annual budget estimates

§   Budget estimates to the end of the month in which the statement relates

§   Actual amounts of revenue and expenditure to the end of the month in which the statement relates

§   Material variances between budget estimates and actual revenue/ expenditure/ (including an explanation of any material variances)

§   The net current assets at the end of the month to which the statement relates (including an explanation of the composition of the net current position)

 

Additionally, and pursuant to Regulation 34(5) of the Regulations, a local government is required to adopt a material variance reporting threshold in each financial year. At its meeting of 30 July 2014, the Council adopted (C1407/190) the following material variance reporting threshold for the 2014/15 financial year:

 

That pursuant to Regulation 34(5) of the Local Government (Financial Management) Regulations, the Council adopts a material variance reporting threshold with respect to financial activity statement reporting for the 2014/15 financial year to comprise variances equal to or greater than 10% of the year to date budget amount as detailed in the Income Statement by Nature and Type/ Statement of Financial Activity report, however variances due to timing differences and/ or seasonal adjustments are to be reported on a quarterly basis.  

 

STATUTORY ENVIRONMENT

 

Section 6.4 of the Local Government Act and Regulation 34 of the Local Government (Financial Management) Regulations detail the form and manner in which a local government is to prepare financial activity statements.    

 

RELEVANT PLANS AND POLICIES

 

Not applicable.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

 

Any financial implications are detailed within the context of this report.

 

Long Term Financial Plan Implications

 

Not applicable.

 

STRATEGIC COMMUNITY OBJECTIVES

 

This matter principally aligns with Key Goal Area 6 – ‘Open and Collaborative Leadership’ and more specifically Community Objective 6.3 - ‘An organisation that is managed effectively and achieves positive outcomes for the community’. The achievement of the above is underpinned by the Council strategy to ‘ensure the long term financial sustainability of Council through effective financial management’.

 

RISK ASSESSMENT

 

Risk assessments have been previously completed in relation to a number of ‘higher level’ financial matters, including timely and accurate financial reporting to enable the Council to make fully informed financial decisions. The completion of the monthly Financial Activity Statement report is a treatment/ control that assists in addressing this risk.   

 

CONSULTATION

 

Not applicable.

 

OFFICER COMMENT

 

In order to fulfil statutory reporting requirements, and to provide the Council with a synopsis of the City’s overall financial performance on a year to date basis, the following financial reports are attached hereto:

 

§ Statement of Financial Activity

This report provides details of the City’s operating revenues and expenditures on a year to date basis, by nature and type (i.e. description). The report has been further extrapolated to include details of non-cash adjustments and capital revenues and expenditures, to identify the City’s net current position; which reconciles with that reflected in the associated Net Current Position report.

 

§ Net Current Position

This report provides details of the composition of the net current asset position on a year to date basis, and reconciles with the net current position as per the Statement of Financial Activity.

 

§ Capital Acquisition Report

This report provides year to date budget performance (by line item) in respect of the following capital expenditure activities: 

Land and Buildings

Plant and Equipment

Furniture and Equipment

Infrastructure

 

§ Reserve Movements Report

This report provides summary details of transfers to and from reserve funds, and also associated interest earnings on reserve funds, on a year to date basis. 

 

§ Reserve Transfers to Municipal Fund

This report provides specific detail in respect of expenditures being funded from reserves.  

 

Additional reports and/ or charts are also provided as required to further supplement the information comprised within the statutory financial reports.

 

COMMENTS ON FINANCIAL ACTIVITY TO 31 MARCH 2015

 

In terms of the Council’s adopted material reporting threshold for 2014/15, ‘quarterly’ financial activity statement reports are required to provide a summary of variances equal to or greater than 10% of the year to date budget amount as detailed in the Income Statement by Nature and Type/ Statement of Financial Activity report, irrespective of whether they are only due to timing differences. However, as the Annual Budget Review for 2014/15 has been compiled based on the City’s financial performance to the end of March, it is not considered necessary to replicate this same level of reporting in the March Financial Activity Statement report.       

   

Operating Activity

 

§  Operating Revenue

 

As at 31 March 2015, there is a variance of +0.8% in total operating revenue, with the following categories exceeding the 10% material variance threshold:  

 

Description

Variance

%

Variance

$000’s

Non-Operating Grants, Subsidies and Contributions

-15%

-$639

Profit on Asset Disposals

+238%

+$22

 

A summary of the above variances is provided as follows:

 

Non-Operating Grants, Subsidies and Contributions (-$639K)

The current variance is primarily attributable to:

§ The receipt of additional developer contributions over year to date budget estimates (+$470K)

§ The accounting recognition of a donated assets (+$123K)

§ Timing differences associated with the receipt of capital grant funding including, but not limited to:

Road construction related grant funding (-$528K)

Beach restoration related works (-$398K)  

Busselton Regional Airport – Terminal upgrade and Airport related infrastructure works (-$197K)

Bridge construction funding (+$112K)

Barnard Park East (+$84K)

The developer contributions funding has no direct impact on the Net Current Position, as these funds are transferred to Equity upon receipt, via the ‘Transfers to Restricted Assets’ capital expenditure activity. Additionally, donated assets are accounted for in the City’s Balance Sheet, and also do not impact on the Net Current Position. Finally, the performance in grant funding receipts is essentially offset by the associated capital expenditure performance, or equity transfers as required.        

   

Profit on Asset Disposals (+$22K)

This nominal variance is primarily attributable to book profits on the sale, through auction, of obsolete computer equipment and sundry plant items. In most cases, the items had a zero written down value, with any funds received representing a book profit on disposal. It should be noted however that as this is an accounting entry only, performance in this category has no direct impact on the Net Current Position.       

 

Reflecting a favourable variance of approximately $460K as at 31 March 2015, overall operating revenue performance has been boosted by additional rates revenue and net favourable performance in fees and charges revenue. Coupled with additional developer contributions and the recognition of donated assets, this has notionally offset underlying adverse performance in the overall non-operating grants, subsidies and contributions category.       

 

§   Operating Expenditure

 

As at 31 March 2015, there is a variance of -2.6% in total operating expenditure, with the following categories exceeding the 10% material variance threshold:  

 

Description

Variance

%

Variance

$000’s

Materials and Contracts

-20%

-$2,304

Depreciation on Non-current Assets

+20%

+$1,503

Insurance Expenses

-11%

-$88

Loss on Asset Disposals

+172%

+$73

 

A summary of the above variances is provided as follows:

 

Materials and Contracts (-$2,304K)

Due to the nature of this expenditure category, variances are evident across a broad range of activities. However, major variances to 31 March 2015, include:

§ Collective contractor expenditure is presently -$1,106K below year to date budget estimates and includes, amongst others, recycling contractors (-$319K), Busselton Jetty contractors (-$177K), coastal protection related contractors (-$195K), Vasse and Provence specified area rate maintenance works (-$308K), and also numerous building contractor related works (e.g. Nautical Lady lighthouse demolition of $150K) 

§ Collective consultancy expenditure is presently -$420K below year to date budget estimates

§ Building maintenance services (including contract cleaning and general maintenance) are presently -$200K below year to date budget estimates

§ Plant and equipment maintenance services are presently -$112K below year to date budget estimates

§ Collective legal expenses are presently -$120K below year to date budget estimates

 

The remainder of the variance is attributable to a variety of budget variances (primarily favourable) across a range of activities. Notwithstanding the magnitude of the current variance, projections are that end of financial year (net) savings will be evident in building maintenance, plant and equipment maintenance and legal expenses, to the value of approximately $390K.    

 

 

Depreciation on Non-current Assets (+$1,503K)

This variance is primarily attributable to the Buildings fair value valuation (as at 30 June 2014), coupled with the significant value of donated assets brought to account as at financial year end. The depreciation budget is developed reasonably early in the annual budget process, based on financial year end projections. Whilst generally accurate, this approach has this year been impacted by the aforementioned activities, the outcomes of which were not known until very late in the 2013/14 financial year. It should be noted however that depreciation expense is reversed as a non cash adjustment, and as such has no net effect on the Net Current Position.                       

 

Insurance Expenses (-$88K)

This variance is primarily attributable to property and plant insurance premiums, which presently reflect variances of -$46K and -$48K respectively. Whilst an end of financial year saving of approximately $85K is projected in this category, additional expenses will continue to be incurred during the financial year as additions/ amendments are made to the City’s insurance schedule; albeit these are not expected to be material.        

 

Loss on Asset Disposals (+$73K)

This variance is due to book losses on the write-off, or disposal through auction or trade-in, of obsolete computer equipment, sundry plant items, and also light and heavy plant items. It should be noted however that as this is an accounting entry only, performance in this activity has no direct impact on the Net Current Position.       

 

Whilst collective operating expenditure presently reflects a variance of -$1.1M, this includes the additional depreciation expense of $1.5M. Discounting the depreciation variance results in a revised variance of -$2.6M (or -6.2%) against year to date budget estimates, which is predominantly due to shortfalls in Materials and Contracts expenditure.      

 

Capital Activity

 

§  Capital Revenue

 

As at 31 March 2015, there is a variance of -21.8% in total capital revenue, with the following categories exceeding the 10% material variance threshold:  

 

Description

Variance

%

Variance

$000’s

Proceeds from the Sale of Assets

-26%

-$189

Proceeds from New Loans

-28%

-$6,830

Transfers from Restricted Assets

+38%

+$920

 

A summary of the above variances is provided as follows:

 

Proceeds from the Sale of Assets (-$189K)

This variance is primarily attributable to budget timing differences in relation to the changeover of light and heavy plant items, and corresponds with the current variance in the ‘Plant and Equipment’ capital expenditure activity.   

 

Proceeds from New Loans (-$6,830K)

This variance is attributable to delays in the drawdown of the Busselton Foreshore borrowing facility of $6.8M, and the self supporting loan in favour of the Busselton Football and Sportsman’s Club Inc. of $30K. Whilst the self supporting loan is to be drawn in April 2015, the Executive Services Directorate advises that the Busselton Foreshore Loan will not be drawn until June.   

 

 

Transfers from Restricted Assets (+$920K)

This variance is primarily due to the earlier than projected transfer of unspent loans funds totalling $1.56M in respect of the Barnard Park and Geographe Leisure Centre extensions projects. The unspent component of the associated borrowings was quarantined as at 30 June 2014, to fund the projects’ completion in the current financial year. In addition, $1.69M in bond and deposit refunds has also been processed to 31 March 2015.

 

It should be noted that performance in this category does not have any direct impact on the Net Current Position. The transfer of unspent loan funds is fully offset by the equivalent project expenditure, whilst bond and deposit transactions do not form part of the Net Current Position calculation.   

         

§  Capital Expenditure

 

As at 31 March 2015, there is a variance of -24.8% in total capital expenditure, with the following categories exceeding the 10% material variance threshold: 

 

Description

Variance

%

Variance

$000’s

Land and Buildings

-39%

-$2,319

Plant and Equipment

-33%

-$973

Furniture and Office Equipment

-33%

-$131

Infrastructure

-56%

-$10,163

Advances to Community Groups

-100%

-$30

Transfers to Restricted Assets

+80%

+$625

 

The attachments to this report include detailed listings of the following capital expenditure (project) items, to assist in reviewing specific variances:

§   Land and Buildings

§   Plant and Equipment

§   Furniture and Office Equipment

§   Infrastructure

 

A summary of the remaining variances is provided as follows:

 

Advances to Community Groups (-$30K)

This matter relates to the drawdown of the budgeted self-supporting loan of $30K in favour of the Busselton Football and Sportsman’s Club; to carry out repairs to the Bovell Park football clubrooms.

The loan has been scheduled for drawdown during April 2015.

 

Transfers to Restricted Assets (+$625K)

The favourable variance is primarily due to the receipt of developer contributions totalling approximately $0.9M, and bond and deposit payments totalling approximately $0.3M. It should be noted however that performance in this activity has no direct impact on the City’s Net Current Position. The developer contribution funds are initially recognised via the Non-operating Grants, Subsidies and Contributions operating revenue category; resulting in a full off-set. Additionally, and due tho their nature, bond and deposit transactions do not form part of the Net Current Position calculation.   

 

BUDGET VARIATIONS AND OTHER ‘KNOWNS’

 

In considering the October 2014 Financial Activity Statements, the Council determined (C1412/338) to quarantine a number of windfall revenues and identified savings to the Infrastructure Development Reserve; summarised as follows:

Description

Amount

$

September 2013 Storm Damage Claim Reimbursement

99,092

Insurance Scheme Surplus Distribution

50,336

Loan Repayments – Civic and Administration Centre

83,919

TOTAL

233,347

 

CONCLUSION

 

As previously mentioned, the Annual Budget Review for 2014/15 has been compiled based on the City’s financial performance to 31 March 2015. The Budget Review reports that as at the reporting date, the City’s performance is considered satisfactory, with a closing surplus in the order of $900K projected as at 30 June 2015.    

 

OPTIONS

 

The Council may determine not to receive the statutory financial activity statement reports.

 

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

 

NA.

 

COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION AND OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

 

That the Council receives the statutory financial activity statement reports for the period ending 31 March 2015, pursuant to Regulation 34(4) of the Local Government (Financial Management) Regulations.

 

 

 


Council

15

27 May 2015

10.1

Attachment a

Financial Activity Statements - Period Ending 31 March 2015

 


 


Council

15

27 May 2015

10.1

Attachment a

Financial Activity Statements - Period Ending 31 March 2015

 


Council

19

27 May 2015

10.1

Attachment a

Financial Activity Statements - Period Ending 31 March 2015

 


 


 


 


 


Council

21

27 May 2015

10.1

Attachment a

Financial Activity Statements - Period Ending 31 March 2015

 


Council

25

27 May 2015

10.1

Attachment a

Financial Activity Statements - Period Ending 31 March 2015

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Council                                                                                      31                                                                      27 May 2015

10.2           Finance Committee - 7/05/2015 - LIST OF PAYMENTS MADE – MARCH 2015

SUBJECT INDEX:

Financial Operations

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE:

An organisation that is managed effectively and achieves positive outcomes for the community.

BUSINESS UNIT:

Finance and Information Technology

ACTIVITY UNIT:

Finance

REPORTING OFFICER:

Manager, Finance and Information Technology - Darren Whitby

AUTHORISING OFFICER:

Director, Finance and Corporate Services - Matthew Smith

VOTING REQUIREMENT:

Simple Majority

ATTACHMENTS:

Attachment a   List of Payments Made - March 2015  

 

This item was considered by the Finance Committee at its meeting on 7 May 2015, the recommendations from which have been included in this report. 

 

PRÉCIS

 

This report provides details of payments made from the City’s bank accounts for the month of March 2015, for noting by the Council and recording in the Council Minutes.

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

The Local Government (Financial Management) Regulations require that when the Council has delegated authority to the Chief Executive Officer to make payments from the City’s bank accounts, that a list of payments made is prepared each month for presentation to, and noting by, the Council.

 

STATUTORY ENVIRONMENT

 

Section 6.10 of the Local Government Act and more specifically, Regulation 13 of the Local Government (Financial Management) Regulations; refer to the requirement for a listing of payments made each month to be presented to the Council. 

 

RELEVANT PLANS AND POLICIES

 

NA.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

 

NA.

 

STRATEGIC COMMUNITY OBJECTIVES

 

This matter principally aligns with Key Goal Area 6 – ‘Open and Collaborative Leadership’ and more specifically Community Objective 6.3 - ‘An organisation that is managed effectively and achieves positive outcomes for the community’.

 

RISK ASSESSMENT

 

NA. 

 

CONSULTATION

 

NA.

 

OFFICER COMMENT

 

NA.

 

CONCLUSION

 

NA.

 

OPTIONS

 

NA.

 

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

 

NA.

 

COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION AND OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

 

That the Council notes the payment of voucher numbers M110852 - M111046, EF039200 – EF039688, T007129 - T007134, and DD002410 - DD002436, together  totalling $6,804,333.34.

 

 

 


Council

35

27 May 2015

10.2

Attachment a

List of Payments Made - March 2015

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Council                                                                                      59                                                                      27 May 2015

10.3           Finance Committee - 7/05/2015 - ANNUAL BUDGET REVIEW - PERIOD ENDING 31 MARCH 2015

SUBJECT INDEX:

Budget Planning and Reporting

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE:

An organisation that is managed effectively and achieves positive outcomes for the community.

BUSINESS UNIT:

Finance and Information Technology

ACTIVITY UNIT:

Finance

REPORTING OFFICER:

Manager, Finance and Information Technology - Darren Whitby

AUTHORISING OFFICER:

Director, Finance and Corporate Services - Matthew Smith

VOTING REQUIREMENT:

Absolute Majority

ATTACHMENTS:

Nil

 

This item was considered by the Finance Committee at its meeting on 7 May 2015, the recommendations from which have been included in this report. 

 

PRÉCIS

 

Between January and March in each financial year, a local government is to carry out a review of its annual budget for that year. The Council is required to consider the review submitted to it and determine (by absolute majority) whether or not to adopt the review, any parts of the review or any recommendations made in the review.

 

This report, based on the City’s financial performance for the period ending 31 March 2015, has been compiled to fulfil the statutory reporting requirements of the Local Government Act and associated Regulations in respect of the annual budget review process. 

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

The requirement for a local government to carry out an annual budget review is prescribed via Regulation 33A of the Local Government (Financial Management) Regulations (the ‘Regulations’). A copy of the review, including the Council's determination in respect of the review, is to be provided to the Department of Local Government and Communities within 30 days of the date of the applicable Council Resolution. The Regulations require that the budget review must:

 

(a)       consider the local government's financial performance in the period beginning on 01 July and ending no earlier than 31 December in that financial year; and

 

(b)       consider the local government's financial position as at the date of the review; and

 

(c)       review the outcomes for the end of the financial year that are forecast in the budget

 

Essentially, the purpose of an annual budget review is to ensure that a local government conducts a review of its financial performance at an appropriate time in the financial year such that any significant budget variances can be identified and remedial action instigated as necessary; prior to financial year end.

 

STATUTORY ENVIRONMENT

 

Regulation 33A of the Local Government (Financial Management) Regulations details the requirement for a formal budget review to be completed annually.

 

 

RELEVANT PLANS AND POLICIES

 

Not applicable.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

 

Any immediate financial implications attributable to this review are addressed within the context of this report.

 

Long-term Financial Plan Implications

 

The primary purpose of this report is to review the City’s current and projected financial performance for the financial year ending 30 June 2015. Whilst there is limited direct consideration of long term financial plan implications within the report, the City’s current year financial performance will nonetheless assist in informing the development of next year’s long term financial plan.  

 

STRATEGIC COMMUNITY OBJECTIVES

 

This matter principally aligns with Key Goal Area 6 – ‘Open and Collaborative Leadership’ and more specifically Community Objective 6.3 - ‘An organisation that is managed effectively and achieves positive outcomes for the community’. The achievement of the above is underpinned by the Council strategy to ‘ensure the long term financial sustainability of Council through effective financial management’.

 

RISK ASSESSMENT

 

Risk assessments have been previously completed in relation to a number of ‘higher level’ financial matters, including timely and accurate financial reporting to enable the Council to make fully informed financial decisions. The completion of an annual budget review is a treatment/control that assists in addressing this risk.   

 

CONSULTATION

 

Not applicable.

 

OFFICER COMMENT

 

As in previous years, the Annual Budget Review has been compiled based on the ‘Nature and Type’ reporting structure, to maintain consistency with monthly Financial Activity Statement reporting. The review has concluded that the City’s financial performance to 31 March 2015 is satisfactory. Furthermore, as no (net) overall material adverse variance has been projected as part of the review, specific remedial actions are not required to be implemented. Notwithstanding this, the report has identified a number of areas in which individual favourable and adverse variances will be evident as at 30 June 2015.  In numerous instances, the variances relate to items that are fully off-set and, as such, will not directly impact on the overall budget performance as at financial year end. Whilst these matters are discussed within the body of this report, the following Executive Summary provides a synopsis of those areas in which it is projected that the City’s overall (net) budget performance at financial year end will be impacted.     

 

 

 

 

 

Executive Summary

 

Operating Revenue

§ Rates revenue is projected to exceed annual budget estimates by up to $100K

§ An unbudgeted ‘good driver’ insurance rebate of $15K has been received

§ Development application and advertising fees are projected to exceed annual budget estimates by up to $60K

§ Dog and cat registration fees  are projected to exceed annual budget estimates by up to $70K

§ Cemetery fees are projected to exceed annual budget estimates by up to $65K

§ Building application fees are projected to exceed annual budget estimates by up to $30K

§ Subdivision supervision and clearance fees are projected to fall short of annual budget estimates by up to $40K

§ Bushfire related fines and penalties are projected to fall short of annual budget estimates by up to $45K

§ Parking related fines and penalties are projected to fall short of annual budget estimates by up to $55K

§ Municipal fund interest earnings are projected to fall short of annual budget estimates by up to $280K

§ Rates instalment plan interest earnings are projected to exceed annual budget estimates by up to $10K

 

In summary, net operating revenue is projected to fall short of annual budget estimates by up to $70K. 

 

Operating Expenditure

§ Building maintenance services expenditure is projected to fall short of annual budget estimates by up to $80K

§ Contract cleaning services expenditure is projected to fall short of annual budget estimates by up to $80K

§ Fuel and oil expenditure is projected to fall short of annual budget estimates by up to $120K

§ Organisational related legal expenses are projected to fall short of annual budget estimates by up to $110K

§ Electricity expenditure is projected to fall short of annual budget estimates by up to $120K

§ Other utilities expenditure (telephones) is projected to fall short of annual budget estimates by up to $10K

§ Property and plant insurance expenditure is projected to fall short of annual budget estimates by up to $85K

§ Fair value valuation expenditure is projected to fall short of annual budget estimates by $50K

§ Interest expenses relating to the budgeted Busselton Foreshore borrowing facility are projected to fall short of annual budget estimates by $165K

 

In summary, net operating expenditure is projected to fall short of annual budget estimates by up to $820K. 

 

Capital Revenue

§ Nil.

 

Capital Expenditure

 

§ Principal repayments on the budgeted Busselton Foreshore borrowing facility are projected to fall short of annual budget estimates by approximately $150K

 

In summary, net capital expenditure is projected to fall short of annual budget estimates by up to $150K. 

Based on the above, current projections are that the City will achieve a surplus closing position in the order of $900K as at 30 June 2015.

 

The aforementioned estimation is predicated on numerous assumptions that have been required to be made in arriving at the projected closing position, which is exclusive of any potential/ identified carry-over items (which would otherwise artificially inflate the estimated closing figure). Clearly, the projected closing surplus position may also be impacted by any ‘extraordinary’ financial activity that may arise during the remainder of the financial year.  

 

The above Executive Summary only highlights variances that are projected to have a material net impact on the City’s financial performance as at financial year end. However, as previously mentioned, numerous other variances are estimated as at 30 June 2015, with several of these being material in value. In most instances however, there will be off-setting variances to negate any net budget impact. This includes expenditures (both operating and capital) funded from reserves, grants, contributions, or borrowings. It is nonetheless considered appropriate that the Council is provided with an overview of the projected annual budget performance in all relevant income and expenditure activities. Accordingly, the following sections of this report provide a summary of financial performance against each of the operating revenue and expenditure categories (by nature and type), and also the capital revenue and expenditure categories (by classification/ description).

 

OPERATING REVENUE

 

As at 31 March 2015, there is a variance of approximately +$0.5M (or +0.8%) in respect of total operating revenue activities.  This variance is detailed as follows:

 

Description

Actual

YTD

$

Amended Budget YTD

$

Amended Budget

$

Variance

YTD

$

Variance YTD

%

Rates

36,319,246

35,908,117

35,957,473

+411,069

 

+1.1%

Operating Grants, Subsidies and Contributions

 

3,088,055

2,887,861

4,279,718

+200,194

+6.9%

Fees and Charges

 

12,277,277

11,694,348

13,627,230

+582,929

+5.0%

Other Revenue

 

424,084

443,222

605,222

-19,138

-4.3%

Interest Earnings

 

1,855,780

1,952,404

2,552,190

-96,624

-5.0%

Non-operating Grants, Subsidies and Contributions

 

3,716,294

4,355,706

14,428,446

-639,412

-14.7%

Profit on Asset Disposals

 

31,513

9,324

11,324

+22,189

+238.0%

TOTAL

57,712,249

57,251,042

71,461,603

+461,207

+0.8%

 

An overview of the financial performance in each category is provided as follows:

 

Rates (YTD variance: +$411K)

The current favourable variance in this category is primarily attributable to interim rating, predominantly in the improved residential rating zone. It is worthy of noting that the annual budget allocation has also been exceeded by approximately $50K as at the end of March.

 

Historically, net rates revenue tends to level off towards the end of the financial year, as overpayments and other refunds are processed. However, it is estimated that further valuation schedules will be received prior to financial year end, resulting in a net increase in the current financial year’s interim rates revenue. Whilst the financial impact of the new valuations is unable to be accurately determined at this stage, it is conservatively estimated that this will be in the vicinity of $50K.

For the purpose of this review, it is therefore estimated that Rates revenue will conservatively exceed annual budget estimates by up to $100K as at financial year end.  

 

Operating Grants, Subsidies and Contributions (YTD variance: +$200K)

The current variance in this category is primarily attributable to timing differences in the receipt of operating grants, subsidies and contributions (+$93K), coupled with the receipt of additional and/ or unbudgeted reimbursements (+$93K).  

 

With respect to operating grants, adverse variances are currently evident in the Cultural Planning and Artgeo activities, with the higher valued favourable variances relating to Meelup Regional Park and Management Plan Implementation. Due to the nature of this activity, performance is generally in line with the associated expenditure incurred by financial year end and as such, it is not expected that there will be any material variances (favourable or adverse) which will impact on the closing surplus/ deficit position as at financial year end.      

 

With regards to reimbursements, current favourable variances include the reimbursement of parenting leave payments, workers compensation payments and insurance related matters. Whilst primarily reimbursing expenditures already incurred, the insurance reimbursements does include an unbudgeted good driver rebate of approximately $15K, which will contribute to the closing surplus/ deficit position. Current adverse variances in reimbursements include a timing difference in the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) payment, and also the reimbursement of legal fees (which have obviously not been incurred).       

 

For the purposes of this budget review, the good driver insurance rebate of $15K represents revenue that will assist in the determination of the closing surplus/ deficit position as at 30 June 2015.     

 

Fees and Charges (YTD variance: +$583K)

The current variance in the ‘Fees and Charges’ operating revenue category is attributable to a range of individual variances, both favourable and adverse. However, the major contributors to the variance, by dollar value, are as follows:

 

Description

YTD Variance

$000’s

YTD Variance

%

Waste Disposal Sites

+$222

+32%

Statutory Planning (development application fees)

+$119

+38%

Kookaburra Caravan Park

+$83

+10%

Animal Control (dog and cat registration fees)

+$81

+87%

Waste Collection and Waste Disposal Rate charges

+$78

+1%

Cemetery Services

+$61

+91%

Building Services

+$52

+10%

Geographe Leisure Centre

-$35

-3%

Engineering Services (supervision and clearance fees)

-$49

-29%

Airport Operations

-$54

-7%

Environmental Health Fees (primarily holiday home renewals)

-$76

-32%

 

Responsible Directorates have provided the following commentaries in relation to the aforementioned variances:  

 

§ Waste Disposal Sites

The favourable year to date variance of $222K is primarily attributable to additional tipping fees (+$215K). When the annual budget was developed, tipping fees were reduced in anticipation of a large commercial waste collection company diverting a significant proportion of waste from the City’s landfill, thus reducing tipping fees collected. This company was in discussions with the City to lease City land to sort and recycle construction and demolition waste. The associated leasing agreement was finalised in April 2015, whereas the annual budget was predicated on reduced waste tonnage from the first quarter of the financial year.

 

Current projections are that tipping fees will exceed budget estimates by up to $285K at financial year end, albeit this figure could potentially be higher depending on several other external matters. Notwithstanding this, pursuant to Council Policy 007 (Waste Management Facility and Plant Reserve – Management of year end position), waste disposal site revenue forms part of the end of financial year reconciliation and subsequent transfer to/ from the Waste Management Facility and Plant Reserve. Consequently, performance in this activity will not have any net impact of the closing surplus/ deficit position.

 

§ Statutory Planning

The current favourable variance is primarily due to additional development application and advertising fees. Based on current activity, the Planning and Development Services Directorate projects that the annual budget allocations for these fees will exceed annual budget estimates by up to $60K at financial year end. Whilst variances are also expected in relation to other Planning related fees and charges as at 30 June 2015, the net effect of these is considered to be immaterial.    

 

§ Kookaburra Caravan Park

The actual revenue received as at 31 March 2015 is favorable as compared to the year to date budget projection. This indicates a positive summer tourist season with occupancy rates recorded slightly above average. The monthly occupancy rates and hence revenue for the last quarter are expected to decrease due to winter weather conditions, however the end of financial year revenue is still projected to meet the annual budget figures.

 

§ Animal Control (dog and cat registration fees)

The favourable year to date variance of $74K in dog registration fees is attributable to a significant increase in statutory fees and a higher number of dog registrations than were originally projected for the 2014/15 financial year. Additionally, the favourable year to date variance of $8K in cat registration fees is primarily due to the introduction of mandatory registration for cats under the new Cat Act 2013, albeit current year registrations are also higher than originally estimated. The Planning and Development Services Directorate projects that the annual budget allocations for dog and cat registrations will be exceeded by up to $64K and $6K respectively as at 30 June 2015.

 

§ Waste Collection and Waste Disposal Rate charges

The favourable year to date variance is primarily due to additional residential collection and recycling charges, and also additional Waste Disposal Rate charges. These increases can be directly associated with property growth and development within the City (e.g. new residential dwellings).       

 

Pursuant to Council Policy 007 (Waste Management Facility and Plant Reserve – Management of year end position), collection and recycling charges form part of the end of financial year reconciliation and subsequent transfer to/ from the Waste Management Facility and Plant Reserve, whilst all funds levied under the Waste Disposal Charge are automatically transferred to the reserve. Consequently, performance in this activity will not have any net impact of the closing surplus/ deficit position.

 

§ Cemetery Services

The 2014/15 Cemetery revenue figures, on a year to date basis, show a significant variation for two reasons.

Firstly the tax (GST) requirements for various cemetery fees changed just prior to July 1, 2014. There was a significant shift from items that were tax inclusive to tax exclusive. The new tax alignment moved the Grants of Right of Burial revenue from tax inclusive to tax exclusive. This accounts for the majority of tax exclusive revenue variance.

 

Secondly, while every effort is made to project the community’s cemetery requirements, ultimately it is impossible to do this with a high degree of accuracy due to the nature of the service being provided. An example is a recent pre-need sale of seven ashes placements in Dunsborough to a family from the Perth metropolitan area. Their only local tie is memorable holidays in the region and a desire to return as a family to a region they love.

 

The end of the financial year coincides with a historically busy time for cemeteries, the onset of winter. Should the winter be mild, there may be considerably fewer service requirements. If the historical trend holds true for 2015, then it is likely revenue will exceed the budget by up to $65K (or 73%) as at 30 June 2015. It should be noted that over the last twelve months Officers have conducted a future needs assessment which involved the assessment of historical trend data and the review of industry standards and resulted in the establishment of some projected need data.  This data is being utilised for projection of the 2015/16 Cemetery revenue. 

 

§ Building Services

The current favourable variance is primarily due to additional building application fees. Based on current activity, the Planning and Development Services Directorate project that the annual budget allocation for building application fees will exceed annual budget estimates by up to $30K as at financial year end.

 

§ Geographe Leisure Centre (GLC)

The majority of the adverse year to date variance can be attributed to the vacant café and health suites, which were forecast to be leased from January 2015. As at 31 March 2015 this equated to $23.6K.

 

In addition, GLC operations were impacted (more than anticipated) by the expansion and upgrade works to the Centre, which occurred in the first half of the year. Revenue was down by $21.5K compared to the same time in the previous year. The two areas most affected were Membership Sales and Aerobics (group fitness). A number of actions were implemented to return revenues in affected areas to budget forecast and it is expected that by the end of the financial year that the total GLC revenue will achieve, and possibly exceed, annual budget forecasts.

 

§ Engineering Services (supervision and clearance fees)

The adverse year to date variance of -$49K is primarily attributable to subdivision supervision fees and early clearance fees, which reflect variances of -$40K and -$9K respectively. The reduced revenue from supervision fees can be attributed to a reduced number of sub-division approvals the City has received this financial year to date, which directly impacts on early clearance requests. The Engineering and Works Services Directorate projects that revenue from subdivision supervision fees and early clearance fees will fall short of annual budget estimates by up to -$27K and -$13K respectively as at 30 June 2015.   

 

§ Airport Operations

The revenue figures recorded for the Airport as at 31 March 2015 are under the projected year to date budget. This is due to a number of factors including revenue owed to the City for landing fees to a value of $78K, and passenger facilitation and security fees to a value of $67.5K. Officers are liaising with operators to ensure that all revenue is receipted by the end of the financial year. Revenues projected for Airport Fuel Agency Fees ($30K) and Fuel Facility Leasing fees ($7K) will not be realised due to the delays of the Jet Fuel project. However it is projected that the collective fees and charges budget allocation for the Airport Operations will be achieved by 30 June 2015. 

§ Environmental Health Fees (inc. holiday home renewals)

The current adverse year to date variance of -$76K is primarily attributable to holiday home renewal fees, and to a lesser extent water sampling fees. The Planning and Development Services Directorate advises that the current variance is primarily due to timing differences, with invoices for holiday home renewals to be issued in May 2015. The collective Environmental Health fees budget is expected to be achieved as at 30 June 2015.      

 

As detailed above, current projections are that the ‘Fees and Charges’ operating revenue category will reflect a collective favourable variance in excess of $470K as at 30 June 2015. However, approximately $285K of the variance relates of waste disposal site fees, which form part of the end of financial year reconciliation and subsequent transfer to/ from the Waste Management Facility and Plant Reserve. Consequently, for the purpose of this review, the remaining estimated favourable variances totalling $185K will favourably impact of the closing surplus/ deficit position. 

 

Other Revenue (YTD variance: -$19K)

This category includes a range of revenue types including fines and penalties, the sale of miscellaneous items and other sundry revenue. The current variance is overstated by approximately $100K in accounting entries, which will clear during April 2015. With this in mind, the performance in respective activities is summarised as follows:

 

§ Fines and Penalties Revenue

As at 31 March 2015, there is an adverse variance of approximately -$71K in this area, with the main contributors being Bushfire related fines (-$33K) and Parking fines (-$36K). The Planning and Development Services Directorate projects that an adverse variance of up to $100K will be evident as at 30 June 2015, with Bushfire related fines and parking fines falling short of annual budget estimates by up to $45K and $55K respectively. The main reasons for the revenue shortfalls are due to the continued education of landowners in respect of fire related matters, and also the ongoing presence of the City’s parking inspectors.

 

§ Sale of Miscellaneous Items

As at 31 March 2015, there is an adverse variance of approximately -$58K in this area, primarily due to scrap metal sales. Against an annual budget of $162K, the Engineering and Works Services Directorate projects revenue to be in the order of $80K, representing a shortfall of $82K. The fall in demand for scrap metal is largely due to the continued fall in the iron ore price. It should be noted however that this revenue forms part of the overall waste activities, and associated end of financial year transfer to/ from the Waste Management Facility and Plant Reserve. Consequently the revenue shortfall has no direct impact on the closing surplus/ deficit position.  

 

§ Other Revenue

As at 31 March 2015, there is a favourable variance of approximately $110K in this area. As previously mentioned this includes accounting entries to the value of $100K, and also unbudgeted revenue of approximately $11K pertaining to the Mayoral Prayer Breakfast. The accounting entries represent the trade in value on two plant items being replaced, and will be reversed during April. Additionally, the Mayoral Prayer Breakfast funds are fully offset as any residual funds held (after covering event expenses) were donated.

 

In summary of the above, current projections are that an overall shortfall of approximately -$170K will be evident in this category as at 30 June 2015. However, the only activity directly impacting on the City’s closing surplus/ deficit position relates to Fines and Penalties revenue (-$100K), with this included in the closing position calculation.

 

 

 

 

Interest Earnings (YTD variance: -$97K)

The ‘Interest Earnings’ operating revenue category not only includes credit interest earnings on municipal and reserve funds, but also rates related interest revenue. The year to date, and projected end of financial year, performance in each of these areas is summarised as follows:

 

§ Municipal & Reserve Interest

There is a current adverse variance of approximately $110K in collective municipal and reserve interest earnings, with individual variances of approximately -$175K and +$65K respectively. Based on current projections, it is anticipated that by financial year end, municipal interest earnings will fall short of annual budget estimates by up to $280K, albeit reserve interest earnings are estimated to exceed annual budget estimates by up to $70K. This represents a combined shortfall of approximately $210K. The overall shortfall is primarily attributable to the prolonged duration of the depressed interest rate market, wherein rates have continued to fall over the past twelve months.  

 

Reserve interest earnings do not directly impact on the City’s closing surplus/ deficit position, as this revenue is reallocated to the ‘Transfers to Reserves’ capital expenditure category. Notwithstanding this, the additional interest earnings do represent a further injection of funds to the City’s Reserve accounts. Conversely, municipal interest earnings form part of the City’s general revenue and consequently, the estimated shortfall of up to $280K will directly impact on the closing surplus/ deficit position.

 

§ Rates Related Interest (Instalment Plan and Late Payment)

There is a current favourable variance of approximately $14K in relation to rates related interest charges. Whilst late payment interest charges are tracking marginally below year to date budget estimates, it is projected that the annual budget allocation will be achieved by financial year end. Instalment plan interest charges are currently tracking approximately $16K above year to date budget projections, and $10K above the annual budget allocation. This interest is predominantly raised early in the financial year (subsequent to the initial instalment payment date), and as such, the current annual budget variance is not expected to materially increase above $10K. For the purpose of this review, it is projected that rates related interest earnings may exceed annual budget estimates by up to $10K by financial year end.                  

 

In summary of the above, it is anticipated that the overall ‘Interest Earnings’ activity will fall short of annual budget estimates by up to $200K as at 30 June 2015. However, for the purposes of estimating a closing surplus/ deficit position, a net shortfall of some $270K is projected, comprising -$280K in municipal interest and +$10K in rates related interest.     

 

Non-operating Grants, Subsidies and Contributions (YTD variance: -$639K)

The year to date variance in this category includes a range of individual (favourable and adverse) variances, which collectively contribute to the net adverse variance. Whilst total grant funding reflects an adverse variance of -$1.23M, this is offset in part by the recognition of additional developer contributions of +$470K and donated assets of +$123K.    

 

With regards to the grant funding variance, this is primarily due to timing differences. However it must be noted that a number of significant projects are not proposed to be commenced in 2014/15, and as such, the associated grant funding will not be raised. Grant funding yet to be received includes approximately -$528K in roadwork related funding, -$398K in beach restoration projects (e.g. Locke Estate, Abbey groyne refurbishment) and -$297K in Busselton Regional Airport related Infrastructure works. Conversely, grant funding received in advance of budget projections includes bridge funding of +$112K, the Busselton Regional Airport Terminal building of +$100K and the Barnard Park East project of $84K.    

 

 

The above variances will not have any direct impact on the closing surplus/ deficit position however, so long as grants for works completed are raised on or before 30 June 2015. Conversely, where grants are received in advance of works being completed (by 30 June 2015), any unspent component of the associated grant funding will be required to be quarantined (to restricted assets).        

 

With regards to the favourable variances in contributions and donated assets, these will also not have any direct impact on the closing surplus/ deficit position. An adjusting entry is made to exclude Donated Assets from the net current position, whilst an equity transfer is processed to move contribution funds to restricted assets (via the ‘Transfers to Restricted Assets’ capital expenditure category).                  

Profit on Asset Disposals (YTD variance: +$22K)

The current variance remains primarily attributable to book profits on the sale, through auction, of obsolete computer equipment and sundry plant items. In most cases, the items had a zero written down value, with any funds received representing a book profit on disposal. It should be noted that this is an accounting entry only, and has no direct impact on the surplus/ deficit position.       

 

OPERATING EXPENDITURE

 

As at 31 March 2015, there is a variance of approximately -$1.1M (or -2.6%) in respect of total operating expenditure activities.  This variance is detailed as follows:

 

Description

Actual

YTD

$

Amended Budget YTD

$

Amended Budget

$

Variance

YTD

$

Variance YTD

%

Employee Costs

 

19,101,699

19,070,629

24,930,623

+31,070

+0.2%

Materials and Contracts

 

9,153,349

11,457,216

15,189,738

-2,303,867

-20.1%

Utilities (Gas, Electricity, Water etc.)

 

1,530,280

1,676,160

2,234,664

-145,880

-8.7%

Depreciation on Non-current Assets

 

9,030,456

7,527,760

10,002,780

+1,502,696

+20.0%

Insurance Expenses

 

695,850

783,947

785,076

-88,097

-11.2%

Other Expenditure

 

2,208,944

2,212,577

3,282,609

-3,633

-0.2%

Allocations

 

-1,503,896

-1,427,361

-1,875,168

+76,535

+5.4%

Interest Expenses

 

777,315

862,984

1,221,098

-85,669

-9.9%

Loss on Asset Disposals

 

115,357

42,392

65,915

+72,965

+172.1%

TOTAL

41,109,354

42,206,304

55,837,335

-1,096,950

-2.6%

 

An overview of the financial performance in each category is provided as follows:

 

Employee Costs (YTD variance: +$31K)

Whilst reflecting an overall nominal adverse variance as at 31 March 2015, this category presently includes numerous individual variances (both favourable and adverse), which essentially net each other off. For example, whilst wages expenditure presently exceeds year to date budget estimates, this is offset by under-expenditures in recruitment costs, conference and training costs and other employee costs.

In order to project an end of financial year variance, the current expenditure in each activity has been extrapolated, either by the number of fortnightly pays remaining, or months left in the financial year. On this basis, and noting other impacting factors (such as current vacant positions and historical expenditure patterns), it is projected that a nominal favourable variance will be evident in the ‘Employee Costs’ operating expenditure category as at 30 June 2015. There are a range of matters however that can directly impact on the ‘Employee Costs’ financial performance, and as such it must be reiterated that this projection is based on available information at the time of compiling this report.  

 

Materials and Contracts (YTD variance: -$2,304K)

The ‘Materials and Contracts’ operating expenditure category comprises a wide range of expenditure types, and presently incorporates in the order of 140 separate accounts. The current variance is attributable to both favourable and adverse variances (of varying magnitudes) across a range of diverse activities. Consequently, this report will only highlight those material variances which are expected to have a direct impact on the City’s closing surplus/ deficit position as at 30 June 2015.

 

§ Maintenance of Buildings

There is a favourable variance of approximately $200K in this activity on a year to date basis, with the major contributors being building maintenance services (-$98K) and contract cleaning costs (-$73K).

The Engineering and Works Services Directorate projects that the building maintenance services expenditure will fall short of annual budget estimates by up to $80K as at 30 June 2015. An equivalent saving is also projected from the contract cleaning budget, primarily due to an overall decrease in tender rates achieved this financial year.                   

 

§ Maintenance of Plant and Equipment

There is a favourable variance of approximately $112K in this activity on a year to date basis, with the major contributors being fuel (-$91K) and replacement parts (-$21K). The Engineering and Works Services Directorate projects that, based on current usage patterns, the costs associated with fuel and oil will be approximately (-$120K) under annual budget estimates as at financial year end. This variance is due to the significant reduction in the cost per barrel of oil that is not likely to be sustainable over the longer term. With regards to replacement parts, it is anticipated that all of the available budget will be spent, with the year to date variance attributable to timing differences only.

 

§ Contractors

There is a favourable year to date variance of approximately $1.1M in collective contractors’ expenditure. This expenditure type is comprised within a significant range of individual projects, and individual variances (favourable and adverse) are evident throughout. However, for the purposes of this review, the following contractor expenditure variances have been highlighted for comment. 

 

Busselton Jetty contractor costs are under year to date budget estimates by approximately -$177K. It is anticipated that approximately $95K of the Jetty Contingency budget ($110K) will not be required this financial year. This budget is assigned annually and is only accessed in certain circumstances, in the event of damage, unforeseeable events or urgent repair requirements.  Conversely, the full budget assigned for timber pile wrapping will be fully appropriated by year end. As jetty maintenance works are funded from the Jetty Maintenance Reserve, the projected contingency underspend will not have any net impact on the closing surplus/ deficit position. 

 

A further favourable variance of -$195K is associated with numerous Coastal Studies that are currently under-way. There is $116K in commitments that represent orders raised to suppliers for these works yet to be receipted. These studies are jointly funded by Grants and City contributions from the Beach Protection Reserve, thus any end of financial year variance will not have any net impact on closing surplus/ deficit position.

 

There is a favourable variance of $150K associated with the Nautical Lady project. It is envisaged that this budget will be fully expended on the demolition of the structure prior to the end of June.

 

Contractor costs associated with urban street lighting installation are falling short of the year to date budget by approximately -$127K. The variance represents a timing difference only, with these funds to be allocated to the installation of new street lights along Queen Street.

 

There is a favourable variance totalling $169K attributable to Provence Estate Maintenance. This estate has not been handed over to the City even though the five year landscape maintenance agreement has ceased, with this area effectively being maintained by the developer. Whilst these works were partly reserve funded, unfortunately there will be no overall budget saving arising from this activity, as the funds have been required to be expended elsewhere within the overall parks and gardens expenditure program.      

 

Finally, there is a favourable year to date variance of approximately $319K in recycling refuse activities. The associated budget allocation is primarily attributable to concrete crushing, with the current variance being as a result of timing differences only. The project is underway, with completion, and payment, expected imminently.   

 

§ Legal Expenses

As at 31 March 2015, collective legal expenses are falling short of year to date budget estimates by approximately -$120K. This includes a variance of approximately -$96K (excluding commitments) in the ‘organisational’ legal budget. Current projections are that the subsidiary legal budgets, including Rates and Ranger Services will be expended by 30 June 2015. However, it is estimated that a saving may be achieved in the organisational legal budget as at financial year end.

 

The Finance and Corporate Services Directorate advises that the 2014/15 organisational legal budget was predicated on, amongst others:

 

§ An allocation for various major development projects anticipated to substantially progress during the 2014/15 financial year including Railway House, the Civic and Administration Centre, the Busselton Foreshore project and the Busselton Regional Airport redevelopment. While it was expected that the City’s legal team would provide legal assistance in relation to the majority of these projects, it was also considered that certain specialised work would have been required to be outsourced. The delay in the progress/ implementation of some of these projects has however impacted on the timing of required legal assistance.

 

§ An allocation of funds for legal advice and support in relation to a potential compensation claim against the City.

 

The favourable year to date variance is largely due to the delay in the aforementioned projects, coupled with the City not having to engage the service of external lawyers in respect of the potential compensation claim. Based on current commitments and other matters requiring attention prior to financial year end, a saving of up to $110K in the ‘organisational’ legal expenses budget may be achieved as at 30 June 2015.    

 

§ Consultancies

As at 31 March 2015, the collective consultancies budget reflects a favourable year to date variance of approximately -$420K, with the variance attributable to a range of individual consultancy allocations. Based on projections to 30 June 2015, it is estimated that the annual budget allocation of approximately $1.0M will be underspent by up to $500K.

 

 

The major contributors to the projected variance include Rubbish Site Development (-$330K) and Cultural Planning related consultancies (-$60K).With regards to the Rubbish Site Development, the Engineering and Works Services Directorate advises that while the City has been progressing new site investigations, the adopted waste strategy includes development and operation of Vidler Road for the next 20+ years. This strategy was adopted by Council late last year, after the budget had been established. The $350K budget was for progressing environmental impact assessments and additional due diligence at the Ridge Road site, which was the target site at the time and has since been abandoned on the basis that the public drinking catchment area was not down-graded and the site geotechnical assessment indicates it is not a very good site from a long term perspective (site development overly expensive for the potential airspace yield). Other sites are currently progressing and due to be funded by the Caperoc budget. The current year’s City budget will only complement the assigned Caperoc budget as required. As the $350K consultancy allocation is fully funded from the Waste Management Facility and Plant Reserve, the projected expenditure shortfall will not have any net impact on the closing surplus/ deficit position.

 

With regards to the Cultural Planning related consultancy budget of $60K, the total expenditure budget was predicated on being fully funded by operating grants. In several instances, grant funding has not been successful. However in other instances, the associated projects have been taken on by other parties. Whilst it is not expected that any of the Cultural Planning budget allocation will be expended in 2014/15, due to the allocations being fully grant funded, there will be not net impact on the closing surplus/ deficit position as a result.     

 

With regards to the remaining consultancy budget, a number of allocations are subject to grant funding, or will be requested to be relisted as part of the 2015/16 annual budget. With this in mind, for the purposes of this report, it is projected that whilst a significant variance will be evident in the overall consultancies budget as at 30 June 2015, this will not have any material impact on the closing surplus/ deficit position as at financial year end.   

 

In summary of the above, current projections are that there will be a material favourable variance in ‘Materials and Contracts’ expenditure as at 30 June 2015. Whilst expectations are that a range of individual favourable and adverse variances will be evident in this category, for the most part these will notionally cancel each out. However, excluding these, and also those variances that are fully offset, savings of up to $390K in building maintenance, plant and equipment maintenance and legal expenses will be achieved by financial year end; which will favourably impact on the closing surplus/ deficit position.     

 

Utilities - Gas, Electricity, Water etc. (YTD variance: -$146K)

The current variance is attributable to favourable variances in electricity charges (-$88K), telephone charges (-$32K) and water charges (-$25K). Whilst due in part to timing differences in the receipt and payment of utility invoices, end of financial year savings are nonetheless projected in several of the utility categories.

 

§ Electricity Charges

Whilst the overall electricity charges variance is due to a range of individual variances, the more significant savings are reflected in the major electricity users, including the Geographe Leisure Centre (-$25K), the Administration Building (-$23K) and the Busselton Regional Airport (-$19K). Resulting from the repealing of the carbon tax, it is estimated is that the City’s electricity charges will reduce by up to $70K during 2014/15, subject to overall performance against budget. The year to date carbon tax savings are reflected in the above figures. The Busselton Regional Airport budget has been impacted by its transfer to contestable energy charges through Perth Energy, which will result in further savings. Additionally, the Geographe Leisure Centre budget was overstated this current financial year, until such time as the energy initiatives introduced at the Centre could be validated. Based on current projections, it is estimated that, inclusive of the carbon tax repeal saving, that a favourable variance of up to $120K will be evident in electricity charges as at financial year end.

§ Telephone Charges

The telephone charges variance is primarily due to the application of invoice credits received throughout the financial year, and also the reduction in mobile phone costs emanating from the introduction of a new process for administering mobile phones provided to eligible staff. Whilst a financial year saving of up to $40K may be evident as at 30 June 2015, the majority of this will be offset by an increase in the ‘Employee Costs’ operating expenditure activity, due to the payment of staff mobile phone allowances.         

 

§ Water Charges

The current variance in water charges is primarily attributable to timing differences in the issue and subsequent payment of water related invoices. With the exception of several areas (including the beachfront), there are presently no areas whereby water charges are significantly exceeding year to date budget estimates. It is therefore considered that the water budget will be achieved as at financial year end.

 

In summary of the above, it is projected that the ‘Utilities’ activity will reflect a favourable variance of up to $160K as at 30 June 2015. However, this figure includes mobile phone savings of approximately $30K which will be expensed in the ‘Employee Costs’ operating expenditure activity. Consequently, for the purposes of the Annual Budget Review, it is projected that a collective saving of $130K in this activity will be achieved as at 30 June 2015.   

 

Depreciation on Non-current Assets (YTD variance: +$1,503K)

This variance, which will further increase by 30 June 2015, is primarily attributable to the Buildings fair value valuation (as at 30 June 2014), coupled with the significant value of donated assets also brought to account as at 30 June 2014.

 

The depreciation budget is required to be calculated reasonably early in the annual budget development process, and has historically been predicated on financial year end projections, along with other known (material) asset movements. Whilst generally accurate, this approach has this year been impacted by the aforementioned activities, the outcomes of which were not known until very late in the 2013/14 financial year.

 

Whilst depreciation is an expense that the City needs to be fully mindful of, due to its accounting nature, this operating expense is reversed as a non cash adjustment in the Statement of Financial Activity, and as such has no net effect on the surplus/ deficit position.                       

 

Insurance Expenses (YTD variance: -$88K)

The current variance in this activity is primarily attributable to property and plant insurance premiums, which reflect favourable year to date variances of -$46K and -$48K respectively. As with depreciation expenses, the insurance budget is required to be developed early in the budget process, to enable other necessary budget activities to progress. Whilst the City’s insurer provides preliminary premium ratios, these are subject to subsequent amendment.      

 

Whilst additional insurances expenses are expected to be incurred prior to 30 June 2015, primarily via insurance schedule additions and amendments, along with excess payments, these are not expected to be material in value. Consequently, a favourable variance of approximately $85K is projected in this activity by financial year end. 

 

Other Expenditure (YTD variance: -$4K)

Whilst reflecting a nominal favourable variance as at 31 March 2015, the year to date expenditure includes the (unbudgeted) return of a portion of the Women’s Refuge grant payment, to the value of approximately $225K. This expenditure is offset by a range of current under-expenditures, with the major contributors being Contributions and Donations (-$152K) and Members Expenses (-$55K).

 

With regards to the Contributions and Donations activity, it is presently projected that the annual budget allocation will be fully expended by financial year end. Similarly, the Members Expenses variance is due in most part to timing differences (e.g. allowances and sitting fees alone currently reflect a favourable variance of -$32K).

Excepting the above activities, a range of other individual year to date variances (both favourable and adverse) is evident throughout this category. Whilst expectations are that these will largely cancel each other out by financial year end, a saving of $50K has potentially been identified in relation to the fair value valuation expenses. Whilst initial views were that external valuations would be required in respect of specialised Infrastructure assets, these may not be required this financial year. For the purpose of this review it is projected that the ‘Other Expenditure’ operating expenditure category will reflect a net saving of $50K as at 30 June 2015.     

 

Allocations (YTD variance: +$77K)

This category incorporates numerous internal accounting allocations. Whilst the majority of individual allocations are administration based (and clear each month), the activity also includes plant and overhead related allocations. Due to the nature of these line items, the activity reflects as a net offset against operating expenditure, in recognition of those expenses that are of a capital nature (and need to be recognised accordingly). Due to its ‘accounting transaction’ nature, performance in this activity has no net impact on the surplus/ deficit position.                 

 

Interest Expenses (YTD variance: -$86K)

The current variance is attributable to timing delays in the drawdown of two budgeted loan facilities, namely the self-supporting loan of $30K in favour of the Busselton Football and Sportsman’s Club Inc. (-$1K), and also the Busselton Foreshore loan of $6.8M (-$85K).

 

The nominal variance pertaining to the self-supporting loan is fully offset by an equivalent reduction in the ‘Operating Grants, Subsidies and Contributions’ operating revenue activity, as the Football Club has not been required to reimburse the City for (budgeted) interest repayments whilst the loan facility remains undrawn.

 

The delay in drawdown of the Busselton Foreshore loan facility will however result in a favourable variance in this category as at 30 June 2015. This facility includes budgeted loan repayments in March and June, with the total interest component for the financial year equating to approximately $169K.

Whilst approximately $3.4M in loan funding will be required to meet financial current year expenditure, the full $6.8M borrowing is to proceed in 2014/15, with the remaining $3.4M to  quarantined as at 30 June 2015.  As drawdown of the loan is not expected to occur until June 2015, any current financial year interest repayment will be minimal only. Consequently, for the purposes of this review, a notional saving of approximately $165K is projected as at 30 June 2015. This is in addition to a saving in principal repayments of approximately $150K, as is further discussed in the ‘Total Loan Repayments – Principal’ capital expenditure category.           

 

Distinct from the above, it is also worthy of noting that the ‘Interest Expense’s budget has previously been amended this financial year. Due to lower interest rates secured for the Civic and Administration Centre borrowing of $18M, approximately $84K in (budgeted) principal and interest repayments were able to be transferred to the Infrastructure Development Reserve as savings.

 

Loss on Asset Disposals (YTD variance: +$73K)

This variance is due to book losses on the sale, through auction, of obsolete computer equipment, sundry plant items and a range of light vehicles. It should be noted that this is an accounting entry only, and has no direct impact on the surplus/ deficit position.       

 

 

 

 

CAPITAL REVENUE

 

As at 31 March 2015, there is an adverse variance of approximately -$6.1M (or -21.8%) in respect of total capital revenue activities.  This variance is detailed as follows:

 

Description

Actual

YTD

$

Amended Budget YTD

$

Amended Budget

$

Variance

YTD

$

Variance YTD

%

Proceeds from Sale of Assets

 

533,818

722,850

867,850

-189,032

 

-26.2%

Proceeds from New Loans

 

18,000,000

24,830,000

24,830,000

-6,830,000

-27.5%

Self-Supporting Loans –Repayment of Principal

 

50,338

51,541

69,456

-1,023

-2.3%

Transfers from Restricted Assets

 

3,337,352

2,416,993

3,999,589

+920,359

+38.1%

Transfers from Reserves

 

0

0

14,180,022

0

0.0%

TOTAL

21,921,508

28,021,384

43,346,917

-6,099,876

-21.8%

 

An overview of the financial performance in each category is provided as follows:

 

Proceeds from Sale of Assets (YTD variance: -$189K)

The ‘Proceeds from Sale of Assets’ category is directly aligned with the ‘heavy and light plant’ component of the ‘Plant and Equipment’ capital expenditure budget, insofar as it recognises the estimated sale/ trade-in value of plant items budgeted to be replaced during the financial year. Consequently, the current adverse variance in this category is largely reflective of the lower than projected level of expenditure in the ‘Plant and Equipment’ budget on a year to date basis.

 

Furthermore, and due to the aforementioned alignment, any shortfall in this revenue budget will predominantly be offset by an under-expenditure in the associated capital expenditure budget line items.

 

As discussed in the ‘Plant and Equipment’ capital expenditure category, the Engineering and Works Services Directorate advises that the ‘Plant and Equipment’ budget will be fully expended as at 30 June 2015, and as such, the current variance in this category should clear by financial year end. Notwithstanding this, and due to the nature of this category, any resulting end of financial year variance should not have any material direct impact on the closing surplus/ deficit position, as the initial expenditure would not have been incurred.

 

Proceeds from New Loans (YTD variance: -$6,830K)

The 2014/15 amended budget includes $24.83M in newly proposed borrowings, detailed as follows:

 

Description

Actual

YTD

$

Amended Budget YTD

$

Amended Budget

$

Variance

YTD

$

Civic and Administration Centre

 

18,000,000

18,000,000

18,000,000

0

Busselton Foreshore Project

 

0

6,800,000

6,800,000

-6,800,000

Busselton Football & Sportsman’s Club – Self Supporting Loan

 

0

30,000

30,000

-30,000

TOTAL

18,000,000

24,830,000

24,830,000

-6,830,000

 

With regards to the Busselton Foreshore loan facility, the $6.8M has been allocated to the following individual projects:

 

Description

Amount

$

Foreshore East - Coastal Defences (Jetty to Brown St)

 

3,000,000

Foreshore East - Foreshore Promenade (Jetty to Brown St)

 

2,000,000

Foreshore East - Brown Street Extension

 

800,000

Foreshore East - Spine Road and Ancillary Council Works

 

1,000,000

TOTAL

6,800,000

 

Whilst the $30K self supporting loan will be drawn during April 2015, current projections are that the $6.8M Busselton Foreshore loan will not be drawn until June 2015. Consideration could be given to reducing the amount of the loan that is drawn and utilising amounts allocated for loan repayments to fund these works. Whilst only $3.4M in Busselton Foreshore loan funds are expected to be utilised to fund current financial year activities, the remaining $3.4M will be quarantined to fund expenditure in the following financial year.    

 

Self-Supporting Loans –Repayment of Principal (YTD variance: -$1K)

This nominal variance is attributable to the delay in the drawdown of a self-supporting loan facility of $30K in favour of the Busselton Football and Sportsman’s Club Inc. As the loan is yet to be drawn, there is no requirement for the Club to reimburse the City for associated (principal) loan repayments. It should be noted that this variance is fully offset by an equivalent variance in the ‘Total Loan Repayments – Principal’ capital expenditure activity.   

 

Transfers from Restricted Assets (YTD variance: +$920K)

The ‘Transfers from Restricted Assets’ capital revenue category represents the equity transfer of previously quarantined monies (e.g. grants, contributions and unspent loans) to assist in funding specified works within the current financial year, along with the refund of bond and deposit payments. Due to the nature of this category, the annual budget allocation is generally spread evenly across the financial year, excepting June, where a higher allocation is made to reflect specific end of financial year transactions. Consequently, budget variances will be evident throughout the financial year.

 

The transfers from Restricted Assets made to 31 March 2015 primarily comprise $1.69M in bond and deposit refunds, and also the transfer of $1.56M in unspent loan funds for the Barnard Park and Geographe Leisure Centre Gymnasium Extensions projects. These transactions do not have any net impact on the closing surplus/ deficit position. Firstly, bond and deposit transactions (both payments and refunds) are excluded from cash position calculations. Secondly, the transfer of unspent loan funds represents unspent borrowings quarantined as at the end of the previous financial year, due to the associated works not being completed. As the works are finalised, the loan funds can be utilised to offset the current financial year expenditure. This is also the case for grants and contributions.

 

In reiteration, the performance in this category has no net impact on the closing surplus/ deficit position.  

 

Transfers from Reserves (YTD variance: $0K)

Similar to ‘Transfers from Restricted Assets’, this capital revenue category represents equity transfers utilised to fund identified capital and operating expenditures. The annual budget reflects the total

 

value of transfers from reserves occurring in June, to minimise budget variances arising as a result of timing differences.

 

As with the ‘Transfers from Restricted Assets’ category, performance in this category has no direct impact on the closing surplus/ deficit position. Where a transfer is not made, it will be due to the associated works not having incurred any expenditure within the financial year. It should be noted however that the timing of transfers does have an impact on associated interest earnings. That is, where transfers can be deferred, this provides the capacity for additional earnings on the respective reserve accounts (albeit this does not impact on the closing surplus/ deficit position).

 

CAPITAL EXPENDITURE

 

As at 31 March 2015, there is a variance of approximately -$13.0M (or -24.8%) in respect of total capital expenditure activities.  This variance is detailed as follows:

 

Description

Actual

YTD

$

Amended Budget YTD

$

Amended Budget

$

Variance

YTD

$

Variance YTD

%

Land & Buildings

 

3,602,359

5,920,957

9,080,220

-2,318,598

-39.2%

Plant & Equipment

 

1,938,768

2,911,805

3,510,130

-973,037

-33.4%

Furniture & Office Equipment

 

271,878

403,254

610,535

-131,376

-32.6%

Infrastructure

 

8,007,520

18,170,093

26,660,303

-10,162,573

-55.9%

Total Loan Repayments- Principal

 

1,067,604

1,145,577

1,565,146

-77,973

-6.8%

Advances to Community Groups

 

0

30,000

30,000

-30,000

-100.0%

Transfers to Restricted Assets

 

1,402,623

777,514

1,036,685

+625,109

+80.4%

Transfers to Reserves

 

23,135,154

23,043,735

26,675,617

+91,419

+0.4%

TOTAL

39,425,905

52,402,935

69,168,636

-12,977,030

-24.8%

 

 

 

 

An overview of the financial performance in each category is provided as follows:

 

Land & Buildings (YTD variance: -$2,319K)

The ‘Land and Buildings’ capital expenditure budget of approximately $9.1M comprises a number of major projects areas, including:

§ Busselton Foreshore Works - $5.2M

§ Civic and Administration Centre - $0.9M

§ Geographe Leisure Centre extensions - $0.9M

§ Busselton Regional Airport Terminal extensions - $1.0M

§ Remainder of Buildings Program - $0.9M

With the exception of the Busselton Foreshore works, the majority of other projects are expected to be completed by financial year end. The Engineering and Works Services Directorate does advise however that minor anomalies will include the Busselton Beachfront ablutions upgrade of $22K, which has been deferred pending the outcome of a development application, and the Busselton Waste Transfer Station Shed of $60K which will be relisted as part of the 2015/16 budget due to a delay in gaining environmental approvals.

With regards to the Busselton Foreshore projects, the Executive Services Directorate advises:

 

§ Foreshore East - Youth Precinct - Community Youth Building (budget $2.9M)

This project comprises of Lotterywest Grant (421006734) and a further Lotterywest grant which is pending approval. Presently there is an ‘in-principle agreement’ between the City and Lotterywest for grant 421006734 as it is dependent upon the successful completion of grant number 421006640; relating to the Youth Precinct Skate Park. Construction of this project is expected to commence in April 2016, and as such will be relisted as part of the 2015/16 draft budget.

 

§ Railway House (budget $2.0M)

This project has been delayed due to further negotiations between BJECA and GBTA regarding the concept design. Construction of this project is expected to begin in August 2015 and therefore it is anticipated that the significant majority of funding will be relisted as part of the 2015/16 draft budget.

 

§ Jetty Depot – Maintenance Compound ($325K)

The Jetty Depot is now operational, will full completion expected by 30 June 2015.

 

Based on the above, it is projected that the ‘Land and Buildings’ capital expenditure category will fall short of annual budget estimates by up to $5M. However, excepting the Busselton Beachfront ablutions upgrade ($22K), the remaining projects are fully funded from grants, contributions and/ or reserve transfers. Coupled with the fact these all of the projects are to be relisted as part of the 2015/16 draft budget, the projected under-expenditure will not have any net impact on the closing surplus/ deficit position.

 

Plant & Equipment (YTD variance: -$973K)

The ‘Plant and Equipment’ capital expenditure budget of approximately $3.5M comprises $3.3M in heavy and light plant replacements and acquisitions, with the balance of the budget including the Kookaburra Caravan Park onsite cabin project, along with other sundry plant and equipment procurements.

 

At 31 March 2015, the majority of the current variance is primarily attributable to timing differences in the delivery of the heavy plant replacement program (-$0.9M); including the following:

 

§ An Isuzu 9 tonne truck, budgeted at $150K, will be delivered in April and not January as originally anticipated

§ The purchase of a Toro Groundmaster mower budgeted at $110K for acquisition in January has been delayed owing to stock availability and import issues. Delivery is expected for May.

§ A replacement Caterpillar Grader valued at $300K scheduled for delivery in March is now expected for delivery in April.

 

The Engineering and Works Service Directorate advises that the Plant and Equipment budget will be fully achieved as at 30 June 2015.  

 

Furniture & Office Equipment (YTD variance: -$131K)

The current variance in this category is primarily due to Information Technology expenditure (-$200K), and also a range of unbudgeted expenditures incurred (+$60K).

 

With regards to the Information Technology expenditure, the variance is currently attributable to timing differences in relation to specific projects, including the fibre optic joint venture with Busselton Water. Whilst this, and the majority of scheduled projects, will be finalised by financial year end, it is nonetheless projected that up to $110K of the current year’s Information Technology budget will be required to be carried over to 2015/16. Projects requiring relisting include the first stage of the Technology One Works and Assets implementation, and also works associated with the Civic and Administration Centre project of $58K, due to the project being deferred into the 2015/16 financial year.

With regards to the unbudgeted expenditure component, this is predominantly due to the accounting need to reallocate budgeted expenditures to the correct asset classification. For example, $36K has been allocated to Busselton Regional Airport Furniture and Equipment for items that were budgeted for as part of the overall Terminal expansion (e.g. chairs, counters, baggage handling equipment etc.). Clearly, savings in the primary projects should effectively offset any unbudgeted expenditures elsewhere. Other unbudgeted expenditures include the replacement of stolen/ damaged equipment under insurance claims, and necessary air conditioning replacements/ upgrades, which have been notionally funded from savings in respective (operating) maintenance budgets.

 

As mentioned, it is anticipated that approximately $110K of the Information Technology budget will need to be carried over to the 2015/16 financial year. A component of the Cultural Planning budget (Settlement Art Project) may also require relisting. Whilst this may artificially inflate the closing surplus/ deficit position for 2014/15, this will be offset by the need to relist the unspent funds in the following year’s budget. At this stage, all other expenditures are anticipated to be fully expended by 30 June 2015. Therefore, for the purposes of this review, performance in the Furniture and Office Equipment budget is not projected to have any net impact on the closing surplus/ deficit position.  

 

Infrastructure (YTD variance: -$10,163K)

For the purposes of this review, the ‘Infrastructure’ capital expenditure category will be broken down to three specific areas. The year to date performance in each area is summarised as follows:

 

Description

Actual

YTD

$

Amended Budget YTD

$

Amended Budget

$

Variance

YTD

$

Variance YTD

%

Busselton Foreshore

 

2,997,280

7,119,452

11,253,158

-4,122,172

-57.90%

Busselton Regional Airport

 

330,021

1,142,116

1,624,159

-812,095

-71.10%

Infrastructure - Other

4,680,219

9,908,525

13,782,986

-5,228,306

-52.77%

TOTAL

8,007,520

18,170,093

26,660,303

-10,162,573

-55.93%

 

 

 

 

Comments relating to the performance in each of the above areas are provided as follows:

 

§ Busselton Foreshore

The Executive Services Directorate advises that the majority of infrastructure cannot be installed until the Coastal Defence works have been undertaken, which have been put on hold to follow the event season. These coastal defences have been tendered and construction (Jetty abutment through to Brown St) commenced in February 2015; taking breaks for major events.

 

Construction completed or underway includes the Geographe Bay Road / Brown St Extension, the relocation of the City (Jetty) Depot, both Barnard Park Oval East and West and smaller scale capital works.

The year to date variance has mainly arisen through planning and preparation of detailed design of service infrastructure including (not limited to) Western Power, Water Corporation and Telstra, whose design application and approvals process are ongoing. These negotiations with service providers should be finalised very shortly before the capital works including the Foreshore promenade and Youth Precinct area commences.

 

All materials, street furniture and ancillary equipment have been ordered and contractor works have been tendered, and in some cases awarded, in accordance with the construction schedule.

 

§ Busselton Regional Airport 

As at 31 March 2015, $330K had been expended, against a year to date budget estimate of $1.1M. The Community and Commercial Services Directorate advises that the variance is primarily attributable to three projects, as follows:

 

§ The jet fuel installation project reflects a variance of -$525K as at 31 March 2015. Officers are attempting to finalise negotiations on the commercial arrangements with the preferred supplier. Officers will commence with quotations and engage contractors once the contracts have been signed.

 

§ The new apron project reflects a variance of -$266K as at 31 March 2015. The Tender was awarded to BMD construction as per Council resolution (C1411/294) to the value of $695,167.  The project has now completed at a final project cost of $712,355. Officers are requesting from the Department of Transport that unspent funds from the RADS projects (GA Taxiway and Hangar extension and Noise modelling and integration into land use planning) totalling $53,809, in addition to the City's unspent allocation ($53,809) be transferred towards the Apron Extension project to cover the overspend of $17,188 and reduce the draw from the Airport Infrastructure Reserve.

 

§ The Taxiway/Hanger extension reflects a variance of -$28K as at 31 March 2015. This project is now complete with the final project expenditure at $145,744, leaving an amount of $71,718 outstanding (50% being RADS contribution). Officers are requesting the Department of Transport approve the transfer of unspent from this project to the aforementioned Apron expansion project.

 

§ Infrastructure - Other

Against an annual budget of approximately $13.8M and a year to date budget of approximately $9.9M, $4.7M has been expended to 31 March 2015. This component of the ‘Infrastructure’ capital expenditure budget is largely managed by the Engineering and Works Services Directorate and covers a range of different activities. The Engineering and Works Services Directorate provides the following commentary on financial performance:

 

The majority of Infrastructure projects administered by the Engineering and Works Services Directorate are progressing well, which is contradictory to the fact that only 44% of the (total) annual Infrastructure budget has been outlaid at this time. It is prudent to note that there is a further $2M in committed costs raised against projects that represent orders made to suppliers anticipated to be receipted and paid in the short to medium term.

 

Although total expenditure to date is less than originally estimated for this time of the year, the following major items are contributing to the variance;

 

§ As at the end of March there remains $2.2M in road capital works yet to be completed. This represents 24% of the year to date budgeted unexpended variance. The Puzey Road Reconstruction Project valued at $831K commenced in March and is scheduled for completion by 30 June 2015. An asphalt-overlay and intersection improvement project on Commonage Road valued at $193K is scheduled to commence in April after being deferred whilst the construction crew worked on the Brown Street extension earlier in the year. The $300K State Government funded project for the construction of Bus Bays has been delayed due to clearing permit approval matters and will represent a carry-over/relist into the 2015/16 financial year.

 

§ $1.6M, representing 31% of the unexpended annual budget variance, is attributable to Sanitation (waste) Infrastructure. The majority of these works consist of;

 

1. Phase one of the New Cell Development is scheduled to begin upon awarding of the successful tendered supplier in May. 

2. The Busselton Transfer Station Development whereby DER approvals have taken longer than anticipated. This said, the construction of access roads is scheduled to begin in late April. 

 

§ $510K, representing 10% of the year to date budget unexpended variance, is attributable to Jetty Capital works. The installation of a permanent Marine Berthing Facility was postponed pending a temporary trial of Cruise Ship passenger landings on the West Swim Jetty.  A Grant application for a more permanent facility is currently awaiting confirmation.

 

§ $503K, representing 10% of the year to date budget unexpended variance is attributable to Car Park and Townscape construction projects. The resealing of the Coles Car Park in Busselton was scheduled for completion earlier in the year; however this will now be completed prior to June. Delays have also been encountered with the Meelup Car Park project with this now scheduled to be carried over into the following financial year. The Kent Street townscape project has presented some challenges and will now be finalised after the April school holidays.    

 

§ $663K, representing 13% of the year to date budget unexpended variance, is attributable to Coastal Protection and Boat Ramp Capital works. All of these projects are now under way and scheduled to be completed by financial year end.

 

§ $933K in budgeted Capital Bridge works will not go-ahead this financial year. These works are carried out and invoiced by Main Roads WA. The Main Roads bridge construction team is marginally behind schedule, causing this variance. 

 

In summary of the above, the Engineering and Works Services Directorate estimate that only a small number of projects may be required to be carried over or relisted into the 2015/16 financial year. Whilst this may artificially inflate the final closing surplus/ deficit position for 2014/15, this will be offset by the need to re-list these projects in the ensuing draft budget. Additionally, other projects being deferred (and particularly in respect of sanitation related expenditure) are reserve funded and as such, will have no net impact on the closing surplus/ deficit position.

 

Due to the nature of the ‘Infrastructure’ projects, unless savings can be achieved in municipal funded projects, the extent to which the annual budget is expended has a limited direct impact on the surplus/ deficit position. Shortfalls in capital expenditure are generally accompanied by equivalent reductions in revenue categories such as ‘Non-operating Grants, Subsidies and Contributions’, ‘Proceeds from New Loans’ and ‘Transfers from Reserves and Restricted Assets’. Furthermore, and as mentioned above, unspent funds will generally be carried over to the following year’s budget, thereby negating any saving.       

 

Total Loan Repayments- Principal (YTD variance: -$78K)

The current variance is attributable to timing delays in the drawdown of two budgeted loan facilities, namely the self-supporting loan of $30K in favour of the Busselton Football and Sportsman’s Club Inc. (-$1K), and also the Busselton Foreshore loan of $6.8M (-$77K).

 The nominal variance pertaining to the self-supporting loan is fully offset by an equivalent reduction in the ‘Self-Supporting Loans – Repayment of Principal’ capital revenue activity, as the Football Club

 

has not been required to reimburse the City for (budgeted) principal repayments whilst the loan facility remains undrawn.

 

The delay in drawdown of the Busselton Foreshore loan facility will however result in a favourable variance in this category as at 30 June 2015. This facility includes budgeted loan repayments in March and June, with the total principal component for the financial year equating to approximately $155K.

Whilst approximately $3.4M in loan funding will be required to meet financial current year expenditure, the full $6.8M borrowing is to proceed in 2014/15, with the remaining $3.4M to  quarantined as at 30 June 2015.  As drawdown of the loan is not expected to occur until June 2015, any current financial year principal repayment will be minimal only. Consequently, for the purposes of this review, a notional saving of approximately $150K is projected as at 30 June 2015. This is in addition to a saving in interest repayments of approximately $165K, as is further discussed in the ‘Interest Expenses’ operating expenditure category.           

 

Distinct from the above, it is also worthy of noting that the ‘Total Loan Repayments - Principal’ budget has previously been amended this financial year. Due to lower interest rates secured for the Civic and Administration Centre borrowing of $18M, approximately $84K in (budgeted) principal and interest repayments were able to be transferred to the Infrastructure Development Reserve as savings.

 

Advances to Community Groups (YTD variance: -$30K)

This allocation relates to a self-supporting loan facility of $30K in favour of the Busselton Football and Sportsman’s Club Inc., to carry out essential roof repairs to the Bovell Park football clubrooms. The Club has recently lodged a building application for the proposed works, and as such, the loan facility is expected to be drawn imminently. The delay in drawdown has resulted in immaterial variances in several other expenditure/ revenue activities; however these are fully offsetting.     

 

Transfers to Restricted Assets (YTD variance: +$625K)

The ‘Transfers to Restricted Assets’ budget comprises an estimation of funds that could potentially be received during the financial year, primarily from developer contributions. Included are cash in lieu of parking, community and recreation facilities contributions and contributions to works. Due to the nature of the category, the annual budget allocation is spread evenly throughout the financial year. The performance in this category does not have any direct impact on the surplus/ deficit position, as whilst recognised as operating revenue upon receipt (via ‘Non-operating Grants, Subsidies and Contributions’), these funds are subsequently quarantined to Restricted Assets; essentially offsetting the initial transaction.

 

In addition to the above, the ‘Transfers to Restricted Assets’ category also includes the payment of bonds and deposits, albeit no specific budget allocation is made for these funds.  

 

The favourable financial year to date variance of approximately $0.6M is primarily attributable to the receipt of developer contribution payments totalling $0.9M, and bond and deposit payments totalling approximately $0.3M. Whilst performance in this category does not directly impact on the closing surplus/ deficit position, interest earnings on a range of restricted asset funds do contribute to the City’s municipal interest earnings.     

 

Transfers to Reserves (YTD variance: +$91K)

The ‘Transfers to Reserves’ budget includes both a base transfer and a projected interest component, which collectively equate to the respective annual budget allocations. Whilst the base transfers are made in terms of the adopted/ amended budget, the overall financial performance in any year is impacted by the associated interest earnings performance. 

 

The current favourable variance is attributable to interest earnings on Reserve funds. Whilst the budget variance in this category (+$91K) is higher than the budget variance in the ‘Interest Earnings’ operating revenue category (+$65K), this is simply due to the year to date budget figures in each instance.

 

Current projections are that reserve interest earnings will exceed annual budget estimates by approximately $70K as at 30 June 2015, which will be reflected in the end of financial year ‘Transfers to Reserves’ performance. Whilst this will not directly impact on the closing surplus/ deficit position, the additional revenue will supplement the projected balance of the City’s reserve funds at financial year end.   

 

CONCLUSION

 

As detailed within this report, it is considered that the City’s overall financial performance to 31 March 2015 is satisfactory, with current projections indicating a surplus closing position in the order of $900K as at 30 June 2015. Additionally, the Annual Budget Review has not identified any specific adverse financial trends; for which remedial action is required to be instigated prior to financial year end. The projected surplus closing position is primarily due to operating expenditure savings, coupled with (current financial year) savings of over $315K pertaining to the delayed drawdown of the Busselton Foreshore loan facility of $6.8M.  

 

As this report also identifies, it is projected that overall capital expenditure will fall well short of annual budget estimates, with this primarily attributable to the Busselton Foreshore project. However, as the individual Foreshore projects are essentially fully funded in one form or another, a corresponding shortfall in capital revenue will be evident as at 30 June 2015.      

 

Whilst components of the unspent capital and operating expenditure budgets may need to be considered for re-listing in the Council’s 2015/16 draft budget, the projected surplus closing position of $900K represents (net) underspends or additional revenues directly associated with the current financial year’s financial performance.

 

Whilst acknowledging the potential surplus closing position at financial year end, it is considered that the utilisation, or quarantining of these funds, be fully considered as part of the Council’s 2015/16 draft budget deliberations.   

 

OPTIONS

 

The Finance Committee/ Council may determine that additional recommendations are required to be made, or alternatively that the Annual Budget Review not be adopted by the Council at this time, pending clarification of any further matters.

 

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

 

Consequent to endorsement by the Council, with or without amendment, a copy of this report (and the associated Council Resolution) will be forwarded to the Department of Local Government and Communities within 30 days of the date of the Council Resolution. 

 

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

ABSOLUTE MAJORITY DECISION OF COUNCIL REQUIRED

 

That, pursuant to Regulation 33A of the Local Government (Financial Management) Regulations, the Council adopts the 2014/15 Annual Budget Review, compiled as at 31 March 2015.

 

Note:                 The Chief Executive Officer discussed with the Committee, the potential of reducing the principle loan amount the City is borrowing for the Busselton Foreshore from $6.8M to $6.5M and reducing the  term of the loan to take advantage of  current low interest rates. The Committee were supportive of this and gave the Chief Executive Officer verbal approval to lock the reduced loan in as soon as possible due to the risk of interest rates increasing. 

 

COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

ABSOLUTE MAJORITY DECISION OF COUNCIL REQUIRED

 

1.            That, pursuant to Regulation 33A of the Local Government (Financial Management) Regulations, the Council adopts the 2014/15 Annual Budget Review, compiled as at 31 March 2015.

2.            That the Finance Committee recommends that the Council endorse the CEO’s actions to draw a new loan from State Treasury for Busselton Foreshore capital works for $6.5m at a reduced term subject to negotiations with State Treasury concerning prevailing interest rates.

 

 

 


Council                                                                                      83                                                                      27 May 2015

10.4           Finance Committee - 7/05/2015 - REVIEW OF THE CITY OF BUSSELTON'S DEBT STRUCTURE

SUBJECT INDEX:

Financial Plans and Strategies

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE:

An organisation that is managed effectively and achieves positive outcomes for the community.

BUSINESS UNIT:

Finance and Information Technology

ACTIVITY UNIT:

Finance

REPORTING OFFICER:

Manager, Finance and Information Technology - Darren Whitby

AUTHORISING OFFICER:

Director, Finance and Corporate Services - Matthew Smith

VOTING REQUIREMENT:

Simple Majority

ATTACHMENTS:

Attachment a   Consultant's Report: City of Busselton - Review of the City's Debt Structure   

 

This item was considered by the Finance Committee at its meeting on 7 May 2015, the recommendations from which have been included in this report. 

 

PRÉCIS

 

An external review of the City of Busselton’s debt structure has recently been commissioned. Local Government consultant Mr Ron Back from R J Back and Associates (the ‘consultant’) was appointed to undertake the review. The consultant’s report is presented for review, deliberation and noting by the Finance Committee.   

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

The matter of debt financing has regularly been raised as part of the Council’s Long Term Financial Plan deliberations. With this in mind, a review of the City’s prevailing, and importantly future, debt structuring would be invaluable in guiding the Council in respect of future borrowing decisions; whilst also informing an updated and overarching ‘Borrowings’ policy.

 

To ensure an unbiased report, an external consultant was selected to undertake the review. To guide the context of the review however, the following matters were identified by staff for review and comment by the consultant: 

§ Any applicable industry best practice strategies in relation to borrowings

§ Any benchmarks that the Council could aspire to achieve in relation to borrowings

§ Whether the value of borrowings, and more particularly principal and interest repayments, should be tied to any specific indicators (e.g. debt service coverage ratio, percentage of projected annual rates revenue etc.)

§ The additional borrowing capacity available via additional rate increases in selected years

§ The accumulation of reserve funds and whether these funds, or existing reserve funds, could potentially be utilised to fund capital projects (e.g. long service leave reserve etc.)  

 

Clearly any other matters of relevance as raised by the consultant would also be welcomed as part of the report.

 

In compiling the review document, the consultant was able to reference the Council’s recently endorsed Long Term Financial Plan (2015/16 – 2024/25), ensuring that his report was based on current data.

 

 

 

 

     

STATUTORY ENVIRONMENT

 

Sections 6.20 and 6.21 of the Local Government Act refer to a local government’s power to borrow.

 

Section 5.56 of the Local Government Act refers to the requirement for a local government to plan for the future of its district, in accordance with any associated regulations.

 

RELEVANT PLANS AND POLICIES

 

Council Policy 048 – Loans, provides guidelines for the Council and staff in respect of the utilisation of borrowings to fund the acquisition, construction or renewal of assets.

 

As part of the Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework, the Council’s Long Term Financial Plan is also of direct relevance to this matter.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

 

There are no direct financial implications associated with the recommendation as included in this report.  

 

Long Term Financial Plan Implications

 

The consultant’s report deals with the Council’s future debt financing strategies, and any determinations made by the Council in respect of the report may directly impact on the Council’s future Long Term Financial Plan development.       

 

STRATEGIC COMMUNITY OBJECTIVES

 

This matter principally aligns with Key Goal Area 6 – ‘Open and Collaborative Leadership’ and more specifically Community Objective 6.3 - ‘An organisation that is managed effectively and achieves positive outcomes for the community’. The achievement of the above is underpinned by the Council strategy to ‘ensure the long term financial sustainability of Council through effective financial management’.

 

RISK ASSESSMENT

 

As part of his report, the consultant has identified the requirement to maintain basic standards (at least) in debt related financial ratio performance, and also the impact of borrowing rates. Both of these matters are entirely relevant from a risk perspective and should form an integral component of any strategic borrowing policy.        

 

CONSULTATION

 

In order to provide the Finance Committee with an unbiased report, an expert external consultant was commissioned to undertake the review  on the City’s behalf. Whilst provided with an initial  scope of works document, the findings and associated recommendations are entirely those of the consultant.       

 

OFFICER COMMENT

 

The purpose of the consultant’s report is primarily to provide the Council with, amongst others, an (expert) external viewpoint of the City’s current (informal) debt financing principles, and its capacity to continue to raise debt in the future. Based on the consultants’ findings, the Council could then determine to develop an overarching strategic debt policy.   

In his report, the consultant has discussed a range of relevant matters, including the relevance of the Council’s current Loans Policy, its relative (industry) financial performance in respect of debt and its capacity to continue to raise debt. These matters will assist the council in framing its strategic debt policy.

 

Perhaps most relevant however is the consultant’s summary, commencing on page 13 of the report. This provides a synopsis of the Council’s current borrowing status, and the important matters that require consideration when considering future borrowing decisions.    

 

The consultant will be attending the 07 May 2015 Finance Committee to provide an overview of his findings, and to respond to any questions that Committee members may have in relation to the report.

 

CONCLUSION

 

The consultant’s report has provided an invaluable external viewpoint as to the Council’s prevailing debt position, whilst also highlighting a range of matters that the Council will need to consider  when deliberating future borrowing proposals. 

 

OPTIONS

 

Not applicable.

 

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

 

Not applicable.

 

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

 

That the Finance Committee receives the report “City of Busselton – Review of the City’s Debt Structure”, as prepared by R J Back and Associates, and notes the report’s findings.

 

Note:                 The Committee were in support of the Officer Recommendation, however, felt able to endorce for Council consideration changes to the loan policy in accordance with the recommendations contained in the report. 

 

COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

 

1.            That the Council receives the report “City of Busselton – Review of the City’s Debt Structure”, as prepared by R J Back and Associates, and notes the report’s findings.

 

2.            That the loan policy (policy number 48) be amended in accordance with the recommendations contained in the report from RJ Back and Associates.

 

 


Council

87

27 May 2015

10.4

Attachment a

Consultant's Report: City of Busselton - Review of the City's Debt Structure

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Council                                                                                      107                                                                    27 May 2015

10.5           Finance Committee - 7/05/2015 - VASSE TASKFORCE BUDGET AMENDMENT

SUBJECT INDEX:

Environmental Projects and Programmes

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE:

Our natural environment is cared for and enhanced for the enjoyment of the community and visitors.

BUSINESS UNIT:

Environmental Services

ACTIVITY UNIT:

Environmental planning

REPORTING OFFICER:

Manager, Environmental Services  - Greg Simpson

AUTHORISING OFFICER:

Director, Planning and Development Services - Paul Needham

VOTING REQUIREMENT:

Absolute Majority

ATTACHMENTS:

Nil

 

This item was considered by the Finance Committee at its meeting on 7 May 2015, the recommendations from which have been included in this report. 

 

PRÉCIS

 

This report recommends an amendment to Councils 2014/15 Budget such that $15,000 originally allocated for the purpose of conducting water quality trials in the Lower Vasse River be reallocated to the Environmental Planning salaries budget, for the purpose of engaging appropriate skill and expertise to progress the development of management plans for the Lower Vasse River and Toby Inlet. This is a matter on which Councillors were informally briefed several months ago.

 

BACKGROUND

 

In August 2013, the then Minister for Water, the Honourable Terry Redman MLA, announced the decision to undertake an independent review of waterways management efforts in the Vasse Wonnerup and Geographe catchment. This resulted in Professor Barry Hart being engaged by the Department of Water (DoW) in October 2013 to undertake an independent review of the management of water assets in the Geographe catchment.

 

In October 2014, the then (and current) Water Minister Mia Davies announced, in response to Professor Hart’s independent review, the establishment of a Vasse Taskforce led by the Minister for Water to provide overall leadership and a cross government approach to improve the health of the Vasse Wonnerup and management of water assets in the Geographe catchment.

 

The purpose of the Vasse Taskforce is to drive implementation of a Vasse Geographe Strategy which is structured around four themes comprising the development of long term governance framework, improved water quality management, improved waterway management and communication with community involvement in the process. This approach has involved establishment of designated managers for the different parts of the system to work collectively so that all partners have common objectives and the technical understanding to best manage the water asset.

 

The Vasse Taskforce will provide direction and support to the lead agencies responsible for managing designated water assets and reporting to the community on outcomes of activities undertaken across the catchment to improve waterway and wetland health. The Vasse Taskforce will be chaired by the Hon Minister for Water Mia Davies during its first year, after which it is intended it be chaired by the DoW.

 

The improved waterways management theme in the Vasse Geographe Strategy focuses on projects aimed at understanding specific water assets and the development of strategies and plans to outline how each water assets will be managed and by whom. This work will be undertaken in consultation with the community and key stakeholders towards a shared vision and approach to water way management.

Amongst the many other activities, the Vasse Geographe Strategy improved waterway management theme will result in the following projects being undertaken:

a.    Vasse Wonnerup Wetlands Management

The Vasse Estuary Technical Working Group (comprising stakeholder government agencies and chaired by DoW) has taken  on the role of developing management objectives and plans for the wetlands as well as refining operational procedures for the flood (storm surge) gates and sand bar openings.

b.    Lower Vasse River and Toby Inlet Management

The City of Busselton has been designated as the key stakeholder responsible for coordination and development of management objectives and plans for the Lower Vasse and Toby Inlet catchments.  Management plans will be developed for these water assets with the DoW providing technical assistance.

The City of Busselton will lead a group focussed on managing the Lower Vasse River and Toby Inlet and the development of water management plans outlining an agreed approach across agencies and key stakeholders on how the Lower Vasse River and Toby Inlet will be managed in the future.

The time line set by the Vasse Taskforce requires a number of projects to be completed by 30 June 2015, including the development of a reporting and evaluation framework, communication/ community consultation plan   and development of draft management objectives for the Lower Vasse River and Toby Inlet.                         

STATUTORY ENVIRONMENT

 

Section 6.8 of the Local Government Act refers to expenditure from the municipal fund for an additional purpose that is not included in the annual budget. In the context of this report, where no budget allocation exists, expenditure is not to be incurred until such time as it is authorised in advance, by an absolute majority decision of the Council.

 

RELEVANT PLANS AND POLICIES

 

The City has no specific policy relating to the management of water quality and for the treatment of waterways throughout the district.

 

In November 2010, the Department of Water in partnership with the Geographe Catchment Council, finalized the Vasse Wonnerup Wetlands and Geographe Bay Water Quality Improvement Plan (WQIP). The WQIP, the accumulation of four years data collection and modelling, is a guiding document for managing water quality to protect the internationally recognized Vasse Wonnerup Wetlands and Geographe Bay. Implementation of the WQIP, and protection of these iconic areas will depend on a collaborative effort from government agencies, NRM groups and the community.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

 

Long-term Financial Plan Implications - Nil

 

The City’s 2014/15 Budget includes within the Environmental Planning Administration Contractors account 421-11830-3280-0000, an allocation of $22,500 to enable Council’s Waterways Improvement Reference Group to implement a communication strategy and for conducting water quality improvement trials in the Lower Vasse River.  Following the October 2014 announcement by the Hon. Minister Mia Davies to establish the Ministerial Taskforce, expenditure on the proposed water quality improvement trials in the Lower Vasse River were suspended.

 

This report recommends the realignment of $15,000 from Environmental Planning Administration Contractors account 421-11830-3280-0000 for the purpose of engaging a person with appropriate environmental and water management skills for a fixed term expiring before 30 June 2015, to undertake the initial research and investigations to expedite the initial phases for the development of the Lower Vasse River and Toby Inlet Management Plans.

 

In order to maintain the integrity of Council’s financial reporting, this report recommends an amendment to Council’s 2014/2015 budget to include the operating and capital grant funding as revenue and corresponding expenditure as follows:

 

Description

Account String

2014/2015

Adopted Budget

2014/2015

Amended Budget (Proposed)

2014/2015

Variance

Expenditure

 

Contract (Inc contract staff)

421-10830-3280-0000

55,000

40,000

(15,000)

Salaries - Normal

421-10830-3001- 0000

135,619

149,380

13,761

Salaries Superannuation (SGC)

421-10830-3025-0000

14,698

15,937

1,239

Net Exp/Rev

 

 

 

0

 

STRATEGIC COMMUNITY OBJECTIVES

 

The works to be funded by this budget amendment are considered as relating to Key Goal Area 5 – Cared for and Enhanced Environment and Community Objective 5.1 - Our natural environment is cared for and enhanced for the enjoyment of the community and visitors.

 

RISK ASSESSMENT

 

An assessment of the potential implication of not implementing the officer recommendation has been undertaken using the City’s risk assessment framework. The assessment sought to identify ‘downside’ risks only rather than ‘upside’ risks and where the risk following implementation of controls has been identified is moderate or greater. No such risks were identified.

 

CONSULTATION

 

The City represented on the Vasse Taskforce by Councillor Tarbotton and the Director Planning and Development Services  and City staff are also involved with the  key stakeholder groups involved in the  development of  management plans for the  Vasse Wonnerup Wetlands ,  Vasse Geographe catchment and  also the governance review component of the Vasse Geographe Strategy.

 

OFFICER COMMENT

 

Following the initial meeting of the Vasse Taskforce in November 2014, the lead agencies responsible for managing designated water assets have focused on implementation of the activities and projects outlined in the Vasse Geographe Strategy. These designated managers are currently in the process of identifying issues and management initiatives towards the development of management plans for their respective area of responsibility.

Critical to the development of the management plans is determining the management objectives and community expectations and this process will require extensive consultation with stakeholders and the broader community.

The Vasse Geographe Strategy requires considerable resource in the initial phase to coordinate the development of management plans for the Lower Vasse River and Toby Inlet for the purpose of improving water quality and visual amenity of these water assets.  As part of the City’s role in this process the City  is required to  work closely with agency and community stakeholders to develop a project plan and a series of issues papers to help inform the community and to assist discussions throughout the community consultation phase and to develop the management objectives for Lower Vasse River and Toby Inlet. This process will require the allocation of additional resource to complete the research and a number of activities prior to 30 June 2015.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Interim governance arrangements have designated lead agencies to coordinate the asset management arrangements for waterways management in the Vasse Geographe catchments. These arrangements are to facilitate the development of water asset management plans and improved governance arrangements to improve the management of drainage and water quality. Additional resource is required to complete the research and numerous activities in preparation for an extensive stakeholder and community consultation process and this report seeks to realign funding currently allocated with Councils 2014/15 Budget for the purpose of engaging appropriate skill and expertise to progress the development of management plans for the Lower Vasse River and Toby Inlet.

 

OPTIONS

 

The Council may determine to not endorse the proposed amendment to the 2014/2015 budget.

 

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

 

The Officer Recommendation subject to Council endorsement, will be implemented prior to 30 May 2015.

COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION AND OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

ABSOLUTE MAJORITY DECISION OF COUNCIL REQUIRED

 

That the Council endorses an amendment to the 2014/2015 adopted budget on the following basis:

 

Description

Account String

2014/2015

Adopted Budget

2014/2015

Amended Budget (Proposed)

2014/2015

Variance

Expenditure

 

Contract (Inc contract staff)

421-10830-3280-0000

55,000

40,000

(15,000)

Salaries - Normal

421-10830-3001- 0000

135,619

149,380

13,761

Salaries Superannuation (SGC)

421-10830-3025-0000

14,698

15,937

1,239

Net Exp/Rev

 

 

 

0

 

 

 


Council                                                                                      111                                                                    27 May 2015

10.6           Finance Committee - 7/05/2015 - GEOGRAPHE LEISURE CENTRE - BUDGET AMENDMENT REQUEST - GRANT FUNDING

SUBJECT INDEX:

Geographe Leisure Centre

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE:

A City where the community has access to quality cultural, recreation, leisure facilities and services.

BUSINESS UNIT:

Community Services

ACTIVITY UNIT:

Community Services

REPORTING OFFICER:

Manager, Community Services - Maxine Palmer

AUTHORISING OFFICER:

Director, Community and Commercial Services - Naomi Searle

VOTING REQUIREMENT:

Absolute Majority

ATTACHMENTS:

Nil

 

This item was considered by the Finance Committee at its meeting on 7 May 2015, the recommendations from which have been included in this report. 

 

PRÉCIS

 

The purpose of this report is to seek approval to amend the 2014/15 Geographe Leisure Centre (GLC) budget to include an additional $4,740 (ex GST) received in grant funding and associated expenditure. The funding was applied for under the Royalties for Regions, South West Community Chest Fund to enable a fauna study to be conducted on the land surrounding the GLC. This is one of the first steps in planning for the future expansion of the centre to establish if and how the site can accommodate additional indoor courts, a 50m pool, change and toilet facilities, storage and parking.

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

The Royalties for Regions Community Chest Fund was established to improve economic and community infrastructure and services in the South West Region through funding projects that will assist in attracting investment and increasing jobs or help to improve the quality of life in the region.

 

The City was successful in securing a grant of $4,740 (ex GST) to enable a fauna study which will:

1.    Determine the scope of the surrounding land that can be developed

2.    Establish the timeframes to consider for likely Federal and State government clearing permits and rehabilitation and relocation requirements

3.    Determine how much of the surrounding land can be developed

4.    Dictate the scale of developments on the site

5.    Provide cost estimates for associated processes

 

The above will enable the City to progress the Master Plan for the expansion of the GLC facility to potentially in the future add three indoor courts, a 50m pool, more change and toilet facilities, storage and parking.

 

STATUTORY ENVIRONMENT

 

Section 6.8 of the Local Government Act refers to expenditure from the municipal fund that is not included in the annual budget. In the context of this report, where no budget allocation exists, expenditure is not to be incurred until such time as it is authorized in advance, by an absolute majority decision of the Council.

 

 

 

 

RELEVANT PLANS AND POLICIES

 

The Geographe Leisure Centre expansion is listed as a Corporate Plan action and priority of Council. Master Planning for the GLC’s future expansion is also an identified project in the Council endorsed GLC Business Plan 2014/15-2018/19.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

 

The following budget amendments would be required to receive the $4,740 funding plus GST in the 2014/15 budget, noting this results in a net neutral outcome to Council and no implications for the Long term Financial Plan.

 

Description

 Account String

2014/15 Adopted Budget  $

 2014/15 Amended Budget (PROPOSED)  $

Variance $

GLC Operating Grants – Dept of Sport & Rec.

336-10591-1233-0000

$0

-$4,740

-$4,740

GLC Contractors (Incl Contract staff)

336-10591-3280-0000

$3,230

$7,970

$4,740

Net Variance

 

$0

$0

$0

 

Long Term Financial Plan Implications

Nil.

 

STRATEGIC COMMUNITY OBJECTIVES

 

This proposal aligns to the City’s Strategic Community Plan of 2013:

 

Key Goal Area 2:               Well planned, Vibrant and Active Places

Objective:                           2.1 A City where the community has access to quality cultural, recreation,                                             leisure facilities and services.

                                                2.3 Infrastructure assets are well maintained and responsibly managed to                                              provide for future generations.

 

RISK ASSESSMENT

 

An assessment of the potential implications of implementing the officer recommendations has been undertaken using the City’s risk assessment framework. The assessment identifies ‘downside’ risks only, rather than ‘upside’ risks as well. There were no risks identified.

 

CONSULTATION

 

Consultation took place with Environmental Planning staff and contractors to establish the required scope of works, in addition to discussions with the South West Development Commission prior to the submission of the grant application.

 

 

 

OFFICER COMMENT

 

This funding supports the next steps towards planning the future expansion of the GLC. As the City’s population has grown the GLC has also experienced significant growth in all areas of team sports, aquatics, gym use, exercise classes, vacation care and crèche. Basketball, in particular, has outstripped growth expectation.  In 2014/15 the Busselton Basketball Association has 161 teams in the local competition, 134 more than the previous season. Team sports and any other growth are now restricted by the capacity of the indoor facilities with courts at the GLC and schools being used. Due to a shortage of indoor courts the Basketball Association is unable to continue running Aussie Hoops, a successful national entry level winter program. The association believes that if the facilities were available they would attract a five percent increase in membership in 2015/16, and similar growth in the following seasons. Extra stadium space would also support growth in netball, volleyball, indoor soccer, hockey and gymnastics in the future. All of these sports are growing in participation rates and are popular with youth and working age adults.

 

The pools are also becoming increasingly congested and are used by all ages for many purposes such as swimming lessons, aquatic programs, swim clubs, school carnivals, children’s parties, competitions, training, rehabilitation and general swimming. The GLC indoor pool has reached capacity. The geothermal investment has enabled the outdoor pool to be heated and open all year which has addressed the immediate need but not the longer term need which would be an expansion of the existing outdoor to a  50m pool.

 

The fauna study will be entirely funded by the grant. The grant requires no matching funding contribution from Council but must be paid to the recipient by 30 June 2015.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Officer’s recommend the 2014/15 budget is amended to enable the grant funded fauna study to be conducted on the land surrounding the GLC.

 

OPTIONS

 

Council may determine not to support the Officer’s recommendation to amend the budget and accept the funds awarded for the fauna study for the land surrounding the GLC, in which case the South West Development Commission would need to be informed of this decision and the reasons for it. This could affect the City’s success in future funding opportunities.

 

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

 

Should the officer recommendation be endorsed, the study will commence in May/June 2015 and the project and acquittal will be completed by August 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION AND OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

ABSOLUTE MAJORITY DECISION OF COUNCIL REQUIRED

 

That the Council approves an amendment to the 2014/15 budget as follows:

 

Description

 Account String

2014/15 Adopted Budget  $

 2014/15 Amended Budget (PROPOSED)  $

Variance $

GLC Operating Grants – Dept of Sport & Rec.

336-10591-1233-0000

$0

-$4,740

-$4,740

GLC Contractors (Incl Contract staff)

336-10591-3280-0000

$3,230

$7,970

$4,740

Net Variance

 

$0

$0

$0

 

 

 

 

  


Council                                                                                      115                                                                    27 May 2015

11.             Planning and Development Services Report

11.1           PROPOSED EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRY (SAND) - ADDITIONAL AREA TO EXISTING EXTRACTION AREA

SUBJECT INDEX:

Planning/Development applications

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE:

Growth is managed sustainably and our environment is protected and enhanced as we develop.

BUSINESS UNIT:

Development Services and Policy  

ACTIVITY UNIT:

Planning and Development services

REPORTING OFFICER:

Planning Officer - Sturt  McDonald  

AUTHORISING OFFICER:

Director, Planning and Development Services - Paul Needham

VOTING REQUIREMENT:

Simple Majority

ATTACHMENTS:

Attachment a   Final revised plan

Attachment b    Plans as advertised

Attachment c    Application letter

Attachment d   Dust Managment plan

Attachment e    Social Impact Statement

Attachment f    Schedule of Submissions  

  

 

PRÉCIS

 

The Council’s determination is required for a proposed extractive industry (additional sand mining area) on Lot 4079 Chambers Road (“the site”), Yelverton.

 

The subject land contains an active extractive industry, the proposal extends the extraction activity towards the site’s north western corner.

 

The proposal has been placed before Council due to the history of extractive industry proposals within this area and also given the nature of submissions received as a result of the consultation process. 

 

Approval of the application, subject to conditions, is recommended.

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

The City received an application (DA15/0007) for extractive industry (sand mining) at Lot 4079 Chambers Road, Yelverton.

 

The application for planning consent as advertised is at Attachments B,C, D & E.

 

The site is located on the southern side of Haag Road, but access is through Chambers Road, which borders the site’s north-eastern corner.  It is zoned ‘Agriculture’ and has a total size of 97 hectares.

 

The proposal ‘Area G’ is in addition to areas A - F already approved for Sand Extraction (see Attachment A).

 

A total of 62,000m3 of sand is proposed to be removed from the proposed extraction cells over a 5 year period.

 

 

 

 

STATUTORY ENVIRONMENT

 

The key statutory environment is set out in the City of Busselton Local Planning Scheme No. 21 (‘the Scheme’), which classifies ‘Extractive Industry’ as development requiring planning consent and an ‘A’ use within the Agricultural zone.  The ‘A’ permissibility means that the proposed land use can be approved at the discretion of the City, following a compulsory consultation process as outlined in clause 10.4.3 of the Scheme. Agriculture zoning typically requires a 30m lot boundary setback to development. Extractive industry policy however specifies a 20 metre setback from all boundaries.

 

RELEVANT PLANS AND POLICIES

 

The assessment of the proposed extractive industry is guided by a number of policies which relate to the zoning and proposed use of the land.  The key policy implications are outlined below.

 

Local Rural Planning Strategy

The site is contained within the ‘Primary Rural’ Precinct in the Local Rural Planning Strategy. An extractive industry is identified as being a conditional land use within this precinct, subject to local planning policies. The removal of sand has led to an improvement in the quality of pasture in previously extracted cells. It is anticipated similar improvements will occur post-extraction in Cell G. With the implementation of suitable conditions regarding the protection and improvement of the adjacent creekline, the proposal is considered to be consistent with the objectives of the strategy.

 

Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge Statement of Planning Policy

The LNRSPP places a very high priority on the protection of Prime Agricultural Land with the overriding criterion being to ensure the predominant use of land will be agriculture.  Other uses, including uses of interspersed lands with lesser agricultural potential, will be compatible with and not jeopardise, agricultural use of adjoining Prime Agricultural Land. The LNRSPP requires that development of mineral and basic raw material resources will be subject to programmed rehabilitation which will be recommended as a condition of any Planning Consent granted. The proposal is consistent with this policy.

 

Local Planning Policy 5A: Extractive Industries

The Extractive Industry Policy recognizes that extractive industries have the potential for incompatibility with other land uses.  It also recognizes that this is particularly the case west of Bussell Highway where sensitive land uses such as tourist accommodation and tourist-oriented land uses are most often located. 

 

The Policy suggest that extractive industry may not be approved within 500 metres of a residence where the resident objects, but it further provides that extractive industry should not be located closer than 300m from a sensitive land use,  dependent on the scale and nature of the operation and noise and dust control.

 

This is discussed further in the consultation and officer comment parts of this report. In summary, however, the proposal is inconsistent with provisions of the Policy; however recommended conditions of approval are considered to make the proposal consistent with the objectives of the policy.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

 

There will be no significant financial implications to the City arising from the staff recommendation in this report.

 

Long-term Financial Plan Implications

 

Nil

 

STRATEGIC COMMUNITY OBJECTIVES

 

The recommendation of this report reflects Community Objective 5.2 of the Strategic Community Plan 2013, which is; “Growth is managed sustainably and our environment is protected and enhanced as we develop.”

 

RISK ASSESSMENT

 

An assessment of the potential implications of implementing the Officer Recommendation has been undertaken using the City’s risk assessment framework.  The assessment identifies ‘downside’ risks only, rather than ‘upside’ risks as well.  Risks are only identified in Council reports where the residual risk, once controls are identified, is ‘medium’ or greater.

 

Risk

Controls

Consequence

Likelihood

Risk Level

Environmental, reputational and/or risk arising from the proposal not being implemented in accordance with conditions of approval and generally in an environmentally appropriate manner.

*       Ensure appropriate design and conditions are applied to approval; and

*     That controls are properly enforced by appropriate governance being in place

Minor

 

Possible

 

Medium

 

CONSULTATION

 

The proposal was referred to landowners within one kilometer of the proposed extractive industry and to relevant Government agencies.  It was also advertised in local newspapers. 

 

Eight submissions were received — Four from Government agencies, four from adjacent landowners (see Attachment F — Schedule of Submissions). 

 

Agency comment

 

The Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) had no specific comments regarding this proposal. It did, however, advise that sand is a scarce and important resource in the South West region and that supplies of it are needed for affordable development and infrastructure projects. It has also been requested we notify the Geological Survey of Western Australia of all extractive industry applications to assist/contribute towards their database.

 

The Department of Water (DoW) has requested more detailed water management information is required from the applicant to gain its support.   It requested that 12 months of groundwater levels be provided.  The City considered that given this is an operating extraction that an upfront survey would be unreasonable. The City is of the opinion that safeguards can be provided by condition, and that conditions of approval state;

 

•           the extractive industry will not intercept the water table,

•           there will be no dewatering of the extraction area permitted,

•           no standing water will occur at the end of mining / post rehabilitation,

To protect water resources against potential contamination, the following specific conditions are also proposed to be applied:

 

•           there will be no additional storage of hydrocarbons on-site,

•           on-site refuelling of equipment will be from a mobile service vehicle carrying appropriate spill prevention and clean-up equipment,

•           no major repairs or maintenance will take place on site.

 

The Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) advised the proposal borders a Multiple Use (MU) Wetland which feeds into Conservation Class Wetland (CCW), Priority Ecological Community (PEC) and Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) and that the wetland provides an important ecological function and should be protected.  DPaW do not support the proposal unless a 50metre wetland buffer is provided, that Peppermint trees which fall within this buffer are protected, and that these trees are given a demarcation barrier of 15m from the crown drip zone of the trees (no development within 15m of the canopy of this stand of trees).

 

It was also noted that a WAPC subdivision approval for this lot includes a condition requiring fencing to be installed to protect the CCW and associated watercourse.  It is recommended that this fencing be required to be installed and approved by DPaW prior to commencement of any extraction works.  It is also recommended that the creekline to the south and east of proposed Area G be re-vegetated with local endemic species to enhance and further protect the PEC, CCW and watercourse areas.

The Department of Environment and Regulation, which may otherwise be consulted about potential removal of native vegetation has issued an in principle agreement pending the decision of the City to approve this extractive industry proposal

 

Public Comment

 

Three public submissions objected to the proposal. One of the public submissions stated that they would not object on the condition that extraction cells A-F were completed and rehabilitated prior to the commencement of Cell G.

 

The City’s Extractive Industry Policy states that where minimum separation distances specified by EPA guidance statement No 3, Separation Distances between Industrial and Sensitive Land Uses, the proposal should be referred to the EPA for comment. The only dwellings located within 300m of the proposal are those on Lot 75. This is addressed further in the ‘Officer Comment’ section of this report.

 

The owner and resident of this lot has sought and received planning approval for sand extraction within 100m of his residence. This was noted, as the land use of this lot might not fall within the categorization of what a ‘sensitive’ land use is.  As a measure of prudence, the proposal was referred to the EPA for comment.  Comments received stated that the proposal was not significant, and therefore an Environmental Impact Assessment is not required.  Furthermore, it advised the City of Busselton was the correct decision making authority to determine whether Lot 75’s land use should be classified as sensitive, whether generic buffer distances are an appropriate management tool or if conditions regarding noise mitigation can be applied – to serve the purpose a separation may otherwise provide.

 

OFFICER COMMENT

 

Five key issues affecting the consideration of this proposal, including that made in the submissions, are outlined below:

 

1.         Environmental impact;

2.         Noise and dust emissions (separations);

 

3.         Impact on visual amenity of the locality;

 

4.         Traffic and access; and

 

5.         Basic raw material supply.

 

Environmental Impact

 

The applicant was provided with a summary of submissions and has subsequently provided a revised site plan which increases the buffer (not quite 50m) between it and the wetland/creekline to the east of cell G.

 

Although this is not entirely consistent with DPaW’s recommendations, it is considered that the proposal sufficiently minimises its environmental impact.  It should also be noted that these changes have reduced the projected material yield from 74,000m3 down to 62,000m3.

 

The condition requiring fencing and the planting of native species has been incorporated into the recommendation of this report, however completion of this will be to the satisfaction of the City as we are unable to delegate the clearing of conditions to external agencies.  These measures are considered to be important in protecting and enhancing the PEC and CCW associated with this watercourse area.

 

Noise and Dust Emissions

 

There are a number of controls within the Extractive Industry Policy which aim to control the impact of extractive industries on amenity. Noise and dust generated from extractive industry are the primary concerns which require addressing in this regard. One of the ways by which the overall impact may be reduced is by reducing the timeframe during which this area may be extracted. The other measure is by a comprehensive noise and dust management plan.

 

The dwellings of Lot 75, Lot 50 and Lot 102 Haag Road are located within 500m of the extraction area.  In accordance with City policy (LPP) provision 6.2.3, stricter monitoring of noise and dust is recommended as a condition of approval in the form of revised noise and dust management plans. These are to be prepared in accordance with the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 and DEC guidelines “A Guideline For Managing The Impacts of Dust and Associated Contaminants From Land Development Sites, Contaminated Sites Remediation and Other Related Activities” (DEC 2011) respectively.

 

Whilst these measures will not entirely achieve no impact on the amenity of the locality, the impacts will not be unreasonable, or inconsistent with the established extractive industry at the site.

 

While the residences located on Lot 50 and Lot 102 are located just over 300m from the proposal, Lot 75 has a residence and a rural workers dwelling located approximately 263m and 125m, respectively, from the proposed extraction area. 

 

These dwellings, however, are located within 100m of an approved sand extraction proposal on the property on which they are located.

 

As discussed with the EPA, whether the collective land uses present on Lot 75 should be considered to be ‘sensitive’ is a question left to the City to decide. Further to that question is whether mitigating measures applied to dust and noise would be adequate in the context of the locality.

 

The Officer’s recommendation reflects the position taken that whilst housing is considered a sensitive use, Lot 75’s dwellings are located within existing circumstances that cannot be considered sensitive. These circumstances include an approved extractive industry on the site and an extractive industry of long standing being located on the adjacent lot. Measures/interventions regarding noise, dust and operating hours can be applied to reduce the impact of the proposal.  The City also notes the context of the overall environment is agriculture and noises can be expected from typical agricultural operations.

 

Impact on amenity of the locality

 

The issue of amenity at a localised level has been addressed above. In regards to the potential impact on the greater area, it is necessary to consult the landscape provisions of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge Statement of Planning Policy.  The site is classified as ‘General Character’.  General character is the lowest level of significance within the policy.

 

The proposal also does not fall within an area that may be viewed from an identified ‘travel route corridor’.

 

The applicant has incorporated a 2m high bund screening the proposed extraction area from Haag Road.  Lastly, the proposal states that the extraction area will be reinstated as pasture. This measure, combined with the implementation of a suitable rehabilitation plan, reduces the visual impact of the proposal and ensures there will be no significant impact on landscape values.

 

Traffic and Access

 

Current sand extraction on the property uses Chambers Road to access Bussell Highway. The impact of truck movements has been a point of objection during previous approvals, but has not been considered to be a substantial issue by the City. The application letter submitted (Attachment C) estimates that this proposed cell will contribute an average of just four additional truck movements per day. This estimate, however, is based on the extraction period being undertaken over five years, and this number is likely to fluctuate. An estimate forwarded to the City by Busselton Civil Plant Hire suggests that the Vasse Bypass sand contract awarded to the landowner could entail a total of 120 truck movements per day from the property.

 

The applicants estimate for the lot’s total haulage requirements, taking into account a reduced timeframe, produces a much lower number. An assessment of the capacity of the road by the City indicates that the daily haulage numbers should be capped at 60 laden trucks per day or 120 total truck movements. This level of truck traffic is acknowledged to be a noticeable difference to residents using this road, however, it is within the expected capacity of the road.

 

A bridge located on Haag Road has also been identified by a nearby landowner as a point of concern, as the road surface is reduced in width down to 5.7metres. The City is currently in discussions with Main Roads, requesting the regulatory controls to reduce this bridge to a single lane with associated give way signage, false curbing and line marking.  These changes will improve the safety of vehicles using this road.  This is not a consequence of the proposal but recognition of the overall capacity of the road and commensurate measures at the bridge.

 

Chambers Road is a school bus route. The officers recommendation accounts for this and includes a condition as recommended by the City’s Policy (LPP) that the operation is prohibited from using the road when regular school buses are in use. The applicant has indicated they are already aware of this requirement, and avoid haulage along these roads during the required times.

 

Basic Raw Material Supply

 

As noted by the submission received from Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP), sand is an important and scare resource in the South West region, and supplies of it are needed to facilitate affordable housing and infrastructure projects. In this particular instance, we have been informed a contract has been awarded by Main Roads to the sand extraction operator to supply sand for the Vasse Bypass project currently underway.

 

CONCLUSION

 

It is accepted that sand is an important resource and finding such accessible resources are becoming increasingly difficult.

 

The proposal is an extension of an existing extractive industry of long standing in the area.

 

A number of submissions regarding the proposal have been received, concerning a range of issues, and the applicant has responded to these issues satisfactorily. 

 

It is also recognized that the purpose of the separation distances normally provided can be achieved by a range of readily practical interventions that can minimize the potential disturbance from the proposed sand extraction to within a comparable level to the context of the immediate environment.

 

The City is satisfied that the road network, and measures investigated for the bridge are satisfactory to accommodate this proposal, and haulage time will be restricted to avoid a potential to conflict with school bus travel times.

 

OPTIONS

 

The Council could resolve to refuse the application or modify proposed conditions of approval.

 

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

 

The proponent will be advised of the Council decision within two weeks of the Council making a resolution consistent with the officer recommendation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

 

That the Council approve application for planning consent DA15/0007 with the following conditions:

 

General Conditions:

 

1.    The development hereby approved is permitted to operate for two years from the date of this Decision Notice or until 62000 cubic metres volume of material has been extracted, whichever is sooner. The site shall be rehabilitated in accordance with an approved Rehabilitation Plan by the expiry date of this planning consent and shall be operated in a manner consistent with all associated detailed plans, including but not limited to the Noise Management Plan and Dust Management Plan.

 

2.    The development hereby approved shall be limited to: the extraction of sand from the site; screening of material; associated drainage works; and rehabilitation works.  At no time shall any processing, crushing or blasting works be carried out.

 

3.    Working hours within the pit area and transportation of materials shall be restricted to the hours between: 7.00am and 6.00pm Mondays to Fridays; 7.00am and 1.00pm Saturdays for rehabilitation works only; and at no time on Sundays or public holidays.

 

4.    No more than 2 hectares shall be worked at any one time; this area shall then be rehabilitated in accordance with the approved details pursuant to Condition 7.4 concurrently with the extraction of the following 2 hectare area.

 

5.    The lowest level of excavation shall always be a minimum of at least 1 metre above the maximum water table level.

 

6.    The minimum setback from all boundaries shall be 20 metres.

 

Prior to Commencement of Any Works Conditions:

 

7.    The development hereby approved, or any works required to implement the development, shall not commence until the following plans or details have been submitted to the City and have been approved in writing:

7.1.  A Noise Management Plan. The plan is to be prepared using the prescribed standards for noise emissions as set down in the Environmental Protection (noise) Regulations 1997.

7.2.  A Dust Management Plan. This plan is to be prepared using the DEC guidelines “A Guideline For Managing The Impacts of Dust and Associated Contaminants From Land Development Sites, Contaminated Sites Remediation and Other Related Activities (DEC 2011).

7.3.  A Landscaping Plan, incorporating, at a minimum, the following:

-           Fencing off the area (inclusive of the creekline) immediately west of Cell G;

-           Planting of riparian species and Peppermints in this fenced area;

-           Temporary demarcation barriers to be erected 15m from the crown drip zone of peppermint trees adjacent to the extraction area to protect root systems from accidental machinery damage.

7.4.  A Rehabilitation Plan, incorporating, at a minimum, the following:

-           Embankments not to be steeper than 1 in 5;

-           Contour ripping the bottom and sides of the pit area;

-           Spreading of stockpiled topsoil;

-           Spreading of stockpiled branches and undergrowth;

-           Seeding with an appropriate agriculture seed mix, and / or planting native species of trees,

-           Shrubs and ground covers;

-           Topsoil is to be stockpiled and re-established;

-           Reuse of timber;

-           Staging of rehabilitation process.

7.5.  A Drainage Management Plan, incorporating the installation of detention and silt / nutrient stripping ponds.  The measures incorporated into the Plan shall be implemented prior to the commencement of excavation and maintained at all times.

7.6.  A Dieback Hygiene Management Plan addressing the issue of dieback spread from, or to, the property by transfer of the disease by plant and vehicles, and the material being transported.  All operations related to the extractive industry shall be carried out in accordance with the approved Plan.

7.7.  A Traffic Management plan, incorporating, at a minimum, the following:

-           Road signage to be erected along the transport route.  The installation of the signs shall be completed by the City of Busselton for which fees are payable;

-           Truck operating hours that avoid conflict with school bus services;

-           A maximum of 60 laden truck movements departing the property on any given day;

-           A designated haulage route along Chambers Road and onto Bussell Highway.  Access to the Northern leg of Chambers Road is to be prohibited.

Prior to Occupation/Use of the Development Conditions:

8.    The development hereby approved shall not be occupied, or any works required to implement the development shall not commence until the landscaping plan required by Condition 7.3 has been implemented to the satisfaction of the City.

9.    The development hereby approved, or any works required to implement the development, are subject to the following bonds (accompanied by an executed legal agreement with the City at the full cost of the owner) which shall be paid to the City within 2 months of the date of this planning consent :

9.1.  A road maintenance bond of $10,000.00 in the form of an unconditional bank guarantee to ensure that the surrounding road network is maintained to the satisfaction of the City for the term of the extractive industry.  Those portions of public roads affected by the activities related to the approval shall be maintained to a standard acceptable to the City at the applicant’s cost; such bond may be utilised for road maintenance purposes where necessary as a result of the operation;

9.2.  A performance bond to the value of $5,000.00 in the form of an unconditional bank guarantee to ensure that the impacts on surrounding properties as a affected by the activities related to the subject Extractive industry are managed to a standard acceptable to the City;

10.  The crossover to be constructed to a sealed and drained standard to the specifications and satisfaction of the City. Existing access off Chambers Rd to be sealed and drained for a minimum of 20m from the edge of seal on Chambers Road into Lot 4079.

On-Going Conditions:

11.  The works undertaken to satisfy Condition(s) 7.1-7.7 shall be subsequently maintained for the life of the development including:

11.1. The approved Rehabilitation Plan shall be carried out in accordance with the approved details.

11.2. All operations related to the extractive industry shall be carried out in accordance with the approved Dieback Management Plan.

11.3. The approved Dust Management Plan shall be implemented and carried out in accordance with the approval details.

11.4. The approved Noise Management Plan shall be implemented and carried out in accordance with the approval details.

11.5. The approved Traffic Management Plan shall be implemented and carried out in accordance with the approval details.

11.6. The approved Drainage Management Plan shall be implemented and maintained at all times.

 


Council

123

27 May 2015

11.1

Attachment a

Final revised plan

 


Council

123

27 May 2015

11.1

Attachment b

Plans as advertised

 


 


Council

127

27 May 2015

11.1

Attachment c

Application letter

 


 


 


 


 


 


Council

133

27 May 2015

11.1

Attachment d

Dust Managment plan

 


 


 


 


 


Council

139

27 May 2015

11.1

Attachment e

Social Impact Statement

 


 


 


Council

141

27 May 2015

11.1

Attachment f

Schedule of Submissions

 


 


Council                                                                                      143                                                                    27 May 2015

11.2           PROPOSED AMENDMENT 12 TO LOCAL PLANNING SCHEME NO. 21 - LOT 1992 DOWNS ROAD, LUDLOW - CONSIDERATION FOR INITIATION FOR PUBLIC CONSULTATION

SUBJECT INDEX:

Town Planning Schemes and Amendments

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE:

Growth is managed sustainably and our environment is protected and enhanced as we develop.

BUSINESS UNIT:

Strategic Planning and Development

ACTIVITY UNIT:

Strategic Planning and Development

REPORTING OFFICER:

Strategic Planner - William Hosken

AUTHORISING OFFICER:

Director, Planning and Development Services - Paul Needham

VOTING REQUIREMENT:

Simple Majority

ATTACHMENTS:

Attachment a   Location Plan

Attachment b    Aerial Photograph

Attachment c    Proposed Scheme Amendment Plan

Attachment d   Proposed Development Guide Plan  

  

 

PRÉCIS

 

The Council is requested to consider initiating, for public consultation, proposed Scheme Amendment No. 12 to Local Planning Scheme No. 21 (LPS21) and an accompanying Development Guide Plan (DGP). The proposal seeks to rezone a portion of Lot 1992 Downs Road, Ludlow from ‘Agriculture’ to ‘Bushland Protection’ and facilitate subdivision of one additional lot under the City’s Biodiversity Incentive Strategy.

 

Officers recommend that the Council adopt the proposed Amendment and DGP for the purpose of consultation, which will include referral to the EPA and subsequent advertising and referral to relevant State Government agencies.

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

The City’s Biodiversity Incentive Strategy (BIS) was adopted by the Council in 2011 and provides a voluntary subdivision incentive for the conservation of large and/or poorly represented areas of remnant vegetation.

 

The proposed Amendment and accompanying DGP relates to Lot 1992 Downs Road, Ludlow, a lot of approximately 42.5 hectares located approximately 17 kilometres east of the Busselton City Centre (Attachment A). The lot has been substantially cleared for pastoral grazing but retains approximately 13.5 hectares of remnant vegetation in the north eastern corner (Attachment B). This vegetation has been identified as representing the Abba vegetation complex which is classified as endangered (less than 10% of pre-European extent remaining), and with approximately 11 hectares assessed as being in ‘good’ condition (in accordance with the Keighery Scale).

 

The subject site is therefore eligible for a voluntary subdivision incentive of one additional lot under the BIS, and in accordance with the following ‘fast track’ approval criteria:

10 or more hectares of remnant vegetation that is classified as ‘good’ or better condition, including 4+ ha of an ‘endangered’ or a ‘critically endangered’ vegetation complex where the development proposal does not impact on biodiversity values.

 

In accordance with the BIS, a proposed Local Planning Scheme Amendment (Attachment C) and accompanying Development Guide Plan (Attachment D) have been submitted which propose subdivision of Lot 1992 into two lots. The proposed western lot (Lot 100) is to retain its ‘Agriculture’ zoning, while the proposed eastern lot (Lot 101) is to contain the area of remnant vegetation and will therefore be rezoned to ‘Bushland Protection’ and subject to a restrictive (conservation) covenant.

A Fire Management Plan, Environmental Assessment, and Pest & Weed Management Plan have also been lodged in support of the proposal to demonstrate environmental values, priorities for ongoing management by the landowner, and compatibility with the requirements of the Western Australian Planning Commission’s Planning for Bushfire Protection Guidelines.

 

STATUTORY ENVIRONMENT

 

The Planning and Development Act 2005 outlines the relevant considerations when preparing and amending local planning schemes. The relevant provisions of the Act have been taken into account in the preparation of the proposed Amendment.

 

The proposed Amendment is considered to be consistent with the policies, objectives and provisions of the ‘Bushland Protection’ Zone as identified at Clauses 4.2.11 and 5.39 of the City of Busselton Local Planning Scheme No. 21. Environmental surveys have been submitted in accordance with the requirement at Clause 5.36, and should the Council resolve to initiate the proposed Amendment these will be referred to the Department of Parks and Wildlife for assessment.

 

RELEVANT PLANS AND POLICIES

 

The proposal has been submitted subject to the City’s Biodiversity Incentive Strategy (BIS), and is consistent with the criteria and operational guidelines provided in this document including the number of allowable additional lots.

 

The subject site is located within ‘Precinct 1 – Primary Rural’ in the City’s Local Rural Planning Strategy. In seeking to conserve an area of significant remnant vegetation, the proposed Amendment and DGP are consistent with the objectives of this Precinct.

 

The proposal has been submitted with an accompanying Fire Management Plan, with related provisions included on the proposed DGP, which is considered to meet the requirements of the Planning for Bushfire Protection Guidelines and the City’s Local Planning Policy 9B – Bushfire Protection Provisions while having no impact on biodiversity conservation on the subject lot. Further discussion is provided in the ‘Officer Comment’ section of this report.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

 

There are no direct financial implications arising from the recommendations of this report.

 

STRATEGIC COMMUNITY OBJECTIVES

 

The proposed amendment is considered to be consistent with the following objectives of the City’s Strategic Community Plan 2013 – ‘5.2 Growth is managed sustainably and our environment is protected and enhanced as we develop’.

 

RISK ASSESSMENT

 

An assessment of the potential implications of implementing the Officer Recommendation has been undertaken using the City’s risk assessment framework. The assessment identified ‘downside’ risks only, rather than upside risks as well. Officer assessment identified no significant risks associated with this proposal.

 

 

 

 

CONSULTATION

 

There is no requirement under the Planning and Development Act 2005 to advertise a proposed scheme amendment prior to it being initiated by the Council. Accordingly, no advertising has occurred to date.

 

If the Council resolve to initiate the proposed Amendment, being of the opinion that it is consistent with Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2005 and regulations made pursuant, the proposal and accompanying documentation will be referred to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for consideration of the need for formal assessment under Part IV of the Environmental Protection Act 1986. Should the EPA determine that the proposed Amendment does not require formal assessment it will be advertised for a period of 42 days in accordance with the Town Planning Regulations 1967, and including referral to relevant state government agencies. In the event that the EPA determines that the proposed Amendment is to be subject to formal environmental assessment, this assessment is to be prepared by the proponent prior to consultation.

 

Prior to lodging the proposed Amendment the applicant has consulted with the National Trust, which has offered in-principle support for providing a conservation covenant as required by the BIS to protect remnant vegetation on the subject site.

 

OFFICER COMMENT

 

The proposed Amendment and accompanying DGP do not present any substantial issues or complications on account of:

                *             Subdivision of Lot 1992 being into two lots only;

                *             Vegetation being contained within a single, contiguous area;

*             Sufficient access being provided by the existing road network (the subject site has dual frontage);

*             Sufficient cleared areas being available on the site to allow for development with little or no bushfire risk.

 

The Fire Management Plan (FMP) submitted in accompaniment of this proposal will be implemented through relevant conditions contained in the DGP, including the placement of a notification on newly created titles. The FMP provides for building protection zones and minimum BAL ratings for the proposed building envelopes, such that fuel reduction is not required within the conservation area for the purpose of protecting future residential development.

 

A building envelope is shown within the FMP for proposed Lot 100 for assessment purposes, however a building envelope is not shown for this lot on the proposed DGP. Lot 100 is proposed to retain its current ‘Agriculture’ zoning and land use, and designation of a building envelope would therefore have no head of power and be unnecessarily restrictive. Future residential development on Lot 100 will nonetheless be required to comply with the construction requirements of Australian Standard 3959:2009 to minimize the risk from bushfire if it is proposed to be located within close proximity to the vegetated area contained within proposed Lot 101.

 

CONCLUSION

 

The proposed Amendment and DGP provide for the subdivision of Lot 1992 in accordance with the City’s Biodiversity Incentive Strategy, and will therefore secure conservation of remnant vegetation within the lot. Officers therefore recommend that the Council adopt the proposal for the purpose of consultation, which will include referral to the EPA and subsequent advertising and referral to relevant state government agencies.

 

OPTIONS

 

Should the Council not support the Officer Recommendation the Council could instead resolve –

1.            To decline the request to initiate the proposed Amendment in its entirety (and provide a reason for such a decision). It should be noted that under the relevant legislation there is no right of appeal against a Council decision not to initiate an amendment.

 

2.            To seek further information before making a decision.

 

3.            To initiate the proposed Amendment subject to further modification(s) as required.

 

Officer assessment has not revealed any substantive issue or reasonable grounds that would support any of these options.

 

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

 

The implementation of the Officer Recommendation would involve provision of advice of the Council resolution to the applicant and referral of the proposal to the Environmental Protection Authority, which will occur within one month of the resolution.

 

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

 

That the Council:

 

1.    In pursuance of Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2005, initiates proposed Amendment No. 12 to the City of Busselton Local Planning Scheme No. 21 for the purpose of rezoning a portion of Lot 1992 Downs Road, Ludlow from ‘Agriculture’ to ‘Bushland Conservation’ and amending the Scheme map accordingly.

 

2.    Upon preparation of the necessary documentation, refer the proposed Amendment to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) as required by the Planning and Development Act 2005. On receipt of a response from the EPA indicating that the draft Amendment is not subject to formal environmental assessment, the proposed Amendment will be advertised for a period of 42 days in accordance with the Town Planning Regulations 1967 and referred to relevant state government agencies for comment. In the event that the EPA determines that the proposed Amendment is to be subject to formal environmental assessment, this assessment is to be prepared by the proponent prior to consultation.

 

3.    Adopts the draft Development Guide Plan for Lot 1992 Downs Road, Ludlow for public consultation pursuant to Clause 7.5 of the City of Busselton Local Planning Scheme No. 21.

 

 


Council

147

27 May 2015

11.2

Attachment a

Location Plan

 


Council

147

27 May 2015

11.2

Attachment b

Aerial Photograph

 


Council

149

27 May 2015

11.2

Attachment c

Proposed Scheme Amendment Plan

 


Council

149

27 May 2015

11.2

Attachment d

Proposed Development Guide Plan

 


Council                                                                                      151                                                                    27 May 2015

11.3           APPLICATION FOR PLANNING CONSENT FOR USE NOT LISTED (TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITY), LOT 201, BALMORAL DRIVE, QUINDALUP

SUBJECT INDEX:

Development/Planning Applications

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE:

A community that is well connected to its neighbours and the broader world.

BUSINESS UNIT:

Development Services and Policy  

ACTIVITY UNIT:

Development Services

REPORTING OFFICER:

Planning Officer - Sturt  McDonald  

AUTHORISING OFFICER:

Director, Planning and Development Services - Paul Needham

VOTING REQUIREMENT:

Simple Majority

ATTACHMENTS:

Attachment a   Revised location plan

Attachment b    Previous location plan

Attachment c    Summary of submissions

Attachment d   Proposal as advertised

Attachment e    Figure 3 of LNRSPP  

  

 

PRÉCIS

 

The Council is asked to consider an application seeking approval for a telecommunications facility on Lot 201, Balmoral Drive, Quindalup (“the site”).

 

The proposal (Attachment B and D) came before the council on 22/04/15 due to the potential impact on the locality and the nature of submissions received as a result of the consultation process. On this date, Council agreed to defer the determination of the proposal, allowing the applicant to investigate alternative locations for the tower.

 

The applicant has undertaken discussions with the landowner, and an alternate location (Attachment A) has been put forward to the City.

 

This revised proposal is considered to be consistent with the relevant planning framework and is recommended for approval

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

The City received an application (DA14/0528) for a telecommunications facility (use not listed) at Lot 201 Balmoral Drive, Quindalup. The application for planning consent as advertised is provided at Attachment D.

 

The site is located on the western side of Balmoral Drive, the southern side of Biddle Road and the eastern side of McLachlan Road.  It is zoned ‘Rural Residential’ and has a total size of 13.7 Ha. The site is currently occupied by Yallingup Woodfired Bakery and the property is accessed through both Balmoral Drive and McLachlan Road.

 

The proposal is a 40m tall fixed-wireless telecommunications tower with two ancillary equipment cabinets and an 8x12m fenced enclosure. The applicant’s planning consultancy are applying on behalf of Crown Castle Australia, who will develop the communications tower on behalf of NBN Co. This facility, named “Dunsborough South”, is intended to fulfil the function of a fibre to wireless transmissions hub which connects similar fixed wireless transmission towers named “Dunsborough”, “Dunsborough North” and “Yallingup”, to the wider National Broadband Network. This is depicted in Figure 1 of Attachment D.

 

The majority of properties surrounding the site are rural residential properties, some vacant but many with dwellings. The closest dwelling is to the original proposal was approximately 90m from the proposed tower location. The revised site plan (Attachment A) moves the tower location 70m west, increasing this separation to the closest dwelling to approximately 145m. This decreases the distance the distance to the nearest dwelling to the west from 340m down to 280m.

 

The site forms part of McLachlan Ridge Estate, which encompasses Balmoral Drive. This estate was previously the Rosneath Farm development and, although superseded by a newer Development Guide Plan, Lot 201 retains elements of the original concept in the form of Additional Uses permitting (But not limited to) Guesthouse, Arts & Crafts Studio, Permaculture Education, Bakery, and Chalet Development. This DGP also establishes a greater building setback distance from Biddle Road in addition to a Building-exclusion zone, which prevents development or clearing from taking place on much of the southern half of Lot 201.


Four NBN towers have been approved in the City to date.

 

STATUTORY ENVIRONMENT

 

The key statutory environment is set out in the City of Busselton Local Planning Scheme No. 21 (‘the Scheme’).  The proposed Telecommunications Facility does not fall under any use listed in Table 1 of the Scheme.  It is therefore a ‘use not listed’. The proposed development can be approved at the discretion of the City, in this case following a consultation process as outlined in clause 10.4 of the Scheme. This consultation process outlined in the scheme does not state any requirement to re-advertise proposals that have been modified due to community feedback. It is considered that the revised proposal does not substantially increase the impact on adjoining landowners (compared against the proposal as advertised) and that submissions already received (Attachment C) accurately reflect the position of the community towards this proposal. Further community consultation is therefore considered to be unnecessary.

 

Landscape Value Area

 

City of Busselton Local Planning Scheme No. 21 at part 6 establishes Special control areas.  One such area, the “Landscape Value Area” applies to this proposal’s site.

 

Clause 6.4.1 states that local government shall not grant planning approval for development unless it has considered, amongst other matters, whether the development will be compatible with the existing rural and scenic character of the locality. Other clauses state that local government shall not grant planning approval where development is likely to substantially detract from the visual amenity of the area, and that the local government should make an assessment as to whether it should impose conditions relating to the siting of the proposed building. The deferral of determining this application, issued by the council on 22/04/15, and the subsequent revised location plan is considered to have resulted in a more sensitively located proposal.

 

Rural Residential Zone

The objectives and policies of the Rural Residential zone seek to encourage development that is compatible with the character of a locality and where the rural amenity will not be adversely impacted.

 

Unless otherwise specified by in approved building envelope plan or Development Guidance Plan (neither of which apply in this instance) the side boundary setback for buildings in this zone is 15m.  The proposal that came before the council on 22/04/15 had its fence enclosure coming within 2m of the side boundary, while the communications tower itself was located 7m from the lot boundary. The revised proposal is located approximately 60m from the side lot boundary.

 

11.2 Matters to be considered

 

Clause 11.2 of the scheme lists several matters to give due regard to when considering a planning application. Matters listed, applicable to this proposal, include:

 

(i)     the compatibility of a use or development with its setting;

(n)    the preservation of the amenity of the locality;

(o)    the relationship of the proposal to development on adjoining land or on other land in the locality including but not limited to, the likely effect of the height, bulk, scale, orientation and appearance of the proposal;

(y)    the potential loss of any community service or benefit resulting from the planning approval; and

(z)    any relevant submissions received on the application.

 

RELEVANT PLANS AND POLICIES

 

The assessment of the proposed telecommunications tower is guided by a number of policies which relate to the zoning and proposed use of the land.  The key policy implications are outlined below.

 

Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge Statement of Planning Policy (SPP 6.1)

The LNRSPP places a high priority on the protection of natural and landscape amenity. Figure 3 (Attachment E) of the LNRSPP identifies the proposals site as being located within an area of rural landscape significance. As per policy statement 3.6 “In areas of Rural Landscape Significance, as identified in Figure 3, development or change of use should protect the rural character of the land.”

 

Development of the NBN contributes towards some of the LNRSPP objectives, notably the aim to facilitate a robust, diverse and sustainable economy. The revised proposal is considered to strike a balance between landscape elements/natural values and the social, community and economic benefit.

 

Telecommunications Infrastructure Statement of Planning Policy (SPP 5.2)

This policy applies to the zoning, subdivision and development of land throughout Western Australia in respect to telecommunications infrastructure. Objectives of this policy include facilitating the provision of telecommunications infrastructure in an efficient, cost-effective manner to meet community needs, while also giving consideration to economic, environmental and social objectives.

 

The original proposal was considered to be inconsistent with guiding principles stated in the State Planning Policy, which state that telecommunications infrastructure should be located, sited and designed to minimise any adverse impacts on the visual character and amenity of residential areas. The revised proposal put forward by the applicants is considered to, given the restraints imposed by the landowner, reasonably conform to the guiding principles stated in the policy.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

 

Long-term Financial Plan Implications

 

The recommendation of this report is a planning determination.  It does not impose any direct financial implications upon the City. 

 

STRATEGIC COMMUNITY OBJECTIVES

 

The recommendation in this report reflects Community Objective 4.2 of the City’s Strategic Community Plan 2013 – ‘A community that is well connected to its neighbours and the broader world.’

RISK ASSESSMENT

 

An assessment of the potential implications of implementing the Officer Recommendation has been undertaken using the City’s risk assessment framework.  The assessment identifies ‘downside’ risks only, rather than ‘upside’ risks as well.  Risks are only identified in Council reports where the residual risk, once controls are identified, is ‘medium’ or greater.

 

No such risks have been identified.

 

CONSULTATION

 

Clause 10.4.1 b) requires that any development application for a use not listed shall be referred to the public for comment. This proposal was publically advertised from a period of 14 days ending on the 30th January 2015.

 

A total of 51 submissions were received, including 1 from government agencies and 50 from the public. 4 of these submissions were in support of the application, 46 objected to the proposed telecommunications facility.

 

Western Power did not support, object or make comment on the proposal, instead simply requesting to be kept informed of any further developments.

 

A Schedule of Submissions is provided at Attachment C.

 

The concerns raised can be summarized as:

·    Impact on amenity/landscape

·    Proposal not compatible with the areas character;

·    Inconsistent with rural residential setback and building envelope requirements

·    Insufficient fire safety measures

·    Misleading Plans;

·    Perceived/Potential Health Impacts; and

·    Property devaluation.

 

Support for the proposal can be summarized as commenting on the benefit of the NBN services for:

·    Businesses;

·    Emergency Services; and

·    Residents/Individuals.

 

OFFICER COMMENT

 

A number of key issues were seen to be affecting the consideration of the proposal put to the council on the 22/04/15. These issues were:

 

1.         Setback variation

2.         Impact on amenity and character of locality

3.         Possibility of an alternate location


The revised proposal eliminates issue of setback requirements, being approximately 60m from the nearest lot boundary. Negotiations with the owner of lot 201 and the applicant have also ruled out any alternative sites on this lot other than the initial site and the revised location (Attachment A).

The key issues regarding this revised proposal under consideration therefore are:

1.    Impact on amenity and character of locality

2.    Community benefit

 

Impact on amenity and character of locality

 

The City accepts that it is not possible to hide an NBN tower. Transmission towers are exempt from height restrictions under clause 5.8.4, but should be sensitively located as per the objectives of the rural residential zoning, the Landscape value area requirements and the guiding principles of SPP 5.2.

 

As stated in the previous council report, the City considered the original location to be too conspicuous and prominent from Balmoral Drive. Furthermore the proposed location was closer to one dwelling more than any other and the tower would be prominent to it, as such the burden for the community facility is not equally shared. The revised location for the proposal is considered to be slightly more sensitively located and marginally reduces visual presence and impact of the tower on adjoining landowners to the east of Lot 201.

 

It is acknowledged that alternative locations for the tower inevitably bring it closer to other residents than where it has been proposed. Ideally, a central location would be found that protected the amenity of the locality with an ‘even’ distance between houses. The landowner has, however, considered other issues in terms of the future development potential of the site, and is not prepared to consider sites even further to the west. Officers are of the view that, having, considered all the issues, the site now proposed is appropriate.

 

Community Benefit

 

This NBN tower, named Dunsborough South, is designated as being the areas fibre to wireless hub. This connects itself and two other wireless towers in the area to the fibre optic network. The applicant estimates that a refusal of the proposal would deprive 937 premises from being able to connect to the NBN. The benefits of the City being fully connected to the NBN directly align with key goal areas of the strategic community plan, including a robust local economy and a connected city. Emergency services, notably firefighting services, also present the potential for great community benefit from connection to high speed internet services.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Following a detailed assessment of the proposal against the scheme and relevant policy, it is considered that there is scope to support the proposal subject to standard conditions. 

 

OPTIONS

 

The Council could resolve to refuse the application or modify proposed conditions of approval.

 

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

 

The proponent will be advised of the Council decision within two weeks of the Council making a resolution.

 

 

 

 

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

 

That the Council approve application for planning consent DA14/0528 with the following conditions:

 

1.    The development hereby approved shall be substantially commenced within two years of the date of this decision notice.

 

2.    The development hereby approved shall be undertaken in accordance with the signed and stamped, Approved Development Plan(s) (enclosed), including any notes placed thereon in red by the City.

 

 


Council

157

27 May 2015

11.3

Attachment a

Revised location plan

 

 

 



Council

157

27 May 2015

11.3

Attachment b

Previous location plan

 


Council

161

27 May 2015

11.3

Attachment c

Summary of submissions

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Council

169

27 May 2015

11.3

Attachment d

Proposal as advertised

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Council

181

27 May 2015

11.3

Attachment d

Proposal as advertised

 


Council

185

27 May 2015

11.3

Attachment d

Proposal as advertised

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Council

201

27 May 2015

11.3

Attachment d

Proposal as advertised

 


 


 


Council

205

27 May 2015

11.3

Attachment d

Proposal as advertised

 


 


 


Council

207

27 May 2015

11.3

Attachment d

Proposal as advertised

 


 


Council

211

27 May 2015

11.3

Attachment d

Proposal as advertised

 


 


 


Council

213

27 May 2015

11.3

Attachment d

Proposal as advertised

 


 


 


 


 


Council

219

27 May 2015

11.3

Attachment e

Figure 3 of LNRSPP

 


Council                                                                                      221                                                                    27 May 2015

11.4           DRAFT DETAILED AREA PLAN FOR THE VASSE TOWNSITE - CONSIDERATION FOR ADOPTION FOR FINAL APPROVAL

SUBJECT INDEX:

Development Guide Plans and Detailed Area Plans

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE:

A City of shared, vibrant and well planned places that provide for diverse activity and strengthen our social connections.

BUSINESS UNIT:

Strategic Planning and Development

ACTIVITY UNIT:

Strategic Planning and Development

REPORTING OFFICER:

Principal Strategic Planner - Louise Koroveshi

AUTHORISING OFFICER:

Director, Planning and Development Services - Paul Needham

VOTING REQUIREMENT:

Simple Majority

ATTACHMENTS:

Attachment a   Draft Vasse Townsite Detailed Area Plan

Attachment b    Location Plan

Attachment c    Vasse Development Guide Plan

Attachment d   Draft Local Planning Strategy Map

Attachment e    Schedule of Submissions

Attachment f    Vasse Village Centre Detailed Area Plan  

  

 

PRÉCIS

 

The Council is requested to consider adopting for final approval a draft Detailed Area Plan (DAP) for the Vasse townsite. The draft DAP will provide guidance for the potential future redevelopment of the subject land for commercial and residential land uses and fulfils the requirement for detailed planning of this area in accordance with the overall Vasse Development Guide Plan.

 

The DAP was advertised for 42 days and in response thirteen submissions were received, of which six outlined objections to elements of the draft DAP, for a variety of reasons. In response to the matters raised in submissions, and in particular the submission lodged on behalf of the developer of Vasse and the planned, new Vasse Village Centre (the Vasse J.V/Perron Group), a number of issues need to be considered in relation to the draft DAP.

 

The draft DAP proposes that ‘mainstreet’ retail, commercial and residential development could occur on either side of Bussell Highway, based on a relatively small retail floorspace allowance of 1,150m2 net lettable area (NLA). This would permit the development of shops within the old Vasse townsite and this is the key aspect of the draft DAP that requires consideration. Reasonable arguments can be made for and against particular aspects of the draft DAP in its current form.

 

The key arguments for the draft DAP are:

 

·    the planning framework has, for a long time, indicated a mixed use (i.e. residential and commercial) outcome for the townsite and landowners have long held that expectation;

·    there has been little or no change within the townsite for many years and not allowing some shops to develop is likely to stifle any impetus for redevelopment, revitalisation and activation;

·    improvement in the streetscape and character of the townsite through redevelopment will complement the Vasse Village Centre and positively contribute to the overall presentation of urban development at Vasse; and

·    the distribution and allocation of shop retail floorspace within the townsite as proposed in the draft DAP would not meet the minimum spatial requirement for the development of a second viable supermarket in Vasse and/or more broadly undermine the Village Centre in the long term, or increase the risk that development at Vasse will undermine the Busselton City Centre or Dunsborough Town Centre.

 

The key arguments against the draft DAP are:

 

·    any shop retail activity allowed to develop within the Vasse townsite may jeopardise the successful establishment in the near-term of the planned, new Vasse Village Centre mainstreet;

·    the success of the Village Centre is reliant on the consolidation of as much retail and commercial activity as possible in order to attract a sustainable level of visitation and trade; and

·    the townsite may, for the provision of some goods and services, function in direct competition to the Vasse Village Centre mainstreet.

 

Officers have carefully considered these reasonable arguments put for and against the proposal. On balance, officers are supportive of the draft DAP, because the impetus to revitalise the townsite is considered to be warranted and allowing a mixed use outcome is seen as a key component to allow that to occur. Officers are also of the view that, although there may be an initial effect, the scale of development and land uses that might establish in the townsite are unlikely to undermine the successful establishment and sustainability of the Vasse Village Centre mainstreet. Officers are, however, of the view that an increase in the overall scale of retail activity allowed in the townsite would affect the broader planning objective of seeing the Village Centre develop and succeed.

 

There is uncertainty in some peoples’ minds about the effect that a retail floorspace allocation in the townsite will have on the allowable retail floorspace in the Village Centre. Whilst this issue has arisen very late in the assessment process, after the completion of the formal consultation period, and there is no uncertainty as far as City officers are concerned, it is recommended the Council confirm a willingness to resolve any perceived uncertainty that may exist.

 

Officers are therefore recommending that the draft DAP be adopted for final approval, subject to minor modifications only.

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

The proposal comprises a Detailed Area Plan for Lots 8 and 9 Dowell Road, Lots 21, 4, 3, 2, 50, 51, 19, 21, 2, 74 and 75 Bussell Highway and Lot 22 Newtown Close, Vasse (Attachment A). The total DAP area is 1.889 hectares and is located within the Vasse townsite (Attachment B). The Vasse townsite is located approximately 10km west of the Busselton City Centre.

 

Land immediately west of the DAP area is residential and to the south lies Newtown Oval and the Vasse Primary School. The residential village of Birchfields also adjoins the southeast boundary of the DAP area. The northern boundary of the DAP area abuts the Rails to Trails (Wardandi Track) reserve. The proposed Vasse Village Centre is located on the opposite (northern) side of the Rails to Trails reserve.

 

The subject land is relatively flat and is cleared apart from a scattering of native and non-native species. Existing land uses within the DAP area include: a service station; shop (Vasse General Store); bus depot; hardware store; sheds; single residential dwellings and a telecommunications exchange.

 

Planning for a new town at Vasse commenced in the 1990’s. The land surrounding the Vasse townsite was zoned ‘Vasse Development’ and ‘Deferred Vasse Development’ via Amendment 1 to District Town Planning Scheme No. 20 (the scheme preceding Local Planning Scheme 21) to facilitate urban and related development. As part of that process a Development Guide Plan (DGP) was adopted that set out land use designations (zones and reserves). Amendment 1 and the DGP were finally adopted in 2004 (although the DGP has been periodically amended since that time). At the time that Amendment 1 and the DGP were being progressed, the lots the subject of the DAP were variously zoned ‘Residential R15’, ‘Business’ and ‘Industrial. The DGP illustrated all of the lots the subject of the DAP within the ‘Business’ zone, although the DGP at that time did not legally affect the townsite. Six other land parcels within the DGP area were also assigned a ‘Business’ zoning. A broad range of retail and commercial land uses are permissible and discretionary within the ‘Business’ zone.

 

Subsequent modifications to the Vasse DGP in 2010 included relocating the Village Centre to its current location, rationalising the amount of land having ‘Business’ and ‘Restricted Business’ zonings and placing the Village Centre in a ‘Special Purpose’ zone, with land uses to be in accordance with a DAP. The Vasse townsite lots continued to be illustrated as ‘Business’. 

 

The DAP area was also previously the subject of Amendment 140 to District Town Planning Scheme No. 20 (Gazetted in 2012), which rezoned the Vasse townsite lots to ‘Vasse Development’ zone and as a result they became legally subject of the DGP. The amendment was progressed in parallel with a revised Vasse DGP which changed the designation of the townsite lots from ‘Business’ to ‘Special Purpose’ zone, with land uses to be determined through the preparation of a DAP (as per the Village Centre). This removed the zoning inconsistency between two applicable planning instruments (i.e. the townsite lots were zoned ‘Business’, ‘Residential R15’ and ‘Industry’ pursuant to the Scheme, however the endorsed DGP illustrated all of the lots as ‘Business’), but was not intended to diminish opportunities for a mixed use outcome for the townsite. Under the previous zoning (i.e. ‘Residential’, ‘Industrial’ and ‘Business’) land use permissibilities within the DAP area included: shop, office, medical centre (including pharmacy, where a pharmacy is part of a medical centre), professional consulting rooms, convenience store, corner shop, market, showroom and tavern.

 

On the basis of the history of planning for Vasse generally the applicant, on behalf of some of the landowners within the Vasse townsite, has progressed proposals (through Amendment 140 and the current DAP application) on the expectation that the planning framework provided for a mixed use (i.e. residential and commercial) outcome for the townsite.

 

The draft DAP is accompanied by technical appendices on the following matters: servicing, environmental assessment; commercial analysis, traffic management and Aboriginal heritage.

 

The key elements of the DAP are summarised as follows -

 

1.            Main Street – the core of the townsite would be focused around Bussell Highway and based         on traditional ‘main street’ principles. 

 

2.            Built Form and height - potentially up to four storeys with retail/commercial land uses on the       ground floor to promote street activation, with scope for office/residential uses           comprising          the next two floors and residential occupying the fourth floor, should buildings that high                actually eventuate.

 

3.            Carparking and access – off street parking ‘sleeved’ behind buildings in accordance with main      street principles.

 

4.            Retail (shop) floorspace allocation of 1,150m2 net lettable area (NLA). Net lettable area is the       area of floorspace for retail display and sales between the internal finished surfaces of   permanent walls, but excludes areas such as stairs, toilets, lobbies, plant rooms etc. Gross       lettable area (GLA) is the area of all floors capable of being occupied by a tenant and includes            things such as storage areas.

 

5.            Residential – the DAP applies an R-AC3 density coding, which means that density of          residential development is determined by plot ratio, with a maximum allowable plot ratio of               2.0 (e.g. up to 2,000m2 floorspace on a 1,000m2 site).

 

The key findings of the technical assessments are summarised below under appropriate subheadings.

Commercial Analysis

 

The key findings of the commercial analysis provided by the proponent are as follows -

 

·    There would be sufficient retail spend in the catchment to warrant the expansion of existing retail and commercial land uses in the townsite.

·    Commercial and retail opportunities could include a small convenience store; bakery, deli, café, restaurant, newsagent, hairdresser and offices. The analysis suggests that passing trade is a significant contributing factor to spending in the townsite.

·    The analysis considered floorspace by type (shop retail, office and medical) and suggests that the following levels would be sustainable (assuming Vasse has a residential population of 5000 by 2026) –

 

Land Use

2011

2026

Retail (shop) GLA

1,300m2

2,500m2

Office GLA

922m2

1,912m2

Medical GLA

200m2

200m2

Total GLA

2,422m2

4,612m2

 

The commercial analysis is discussed further under the Officer Comment section of the report.

 

Servicing

 

The key findings of the servicing report are as follows –

 

·    Sewer infrastructure exists adjacent to the DAP area. Future development within the DAP area could be connected to a reticulated sewerage system.

·    The DAP area could also be serviced with reticulated water, power and natural gas, subject to the extension and/or upgrading of existing infrastructure.

·    There is no existing stormwater drainage infrastructure and currently stormwater generated from Bussell Highway sheets off the pavement into roadside swales which create trapped low points.

 

Environmental Assessment

 

The key findings of the environmental assessment are as follows –

 

·    There are no proclaimed surface water or groundwater protection areas within the DAP area, although the land is within the surface water management sub-area for the Buayanup drain.

·    The risk of Acid Sulphate Soils is assessed as moderate to low risk.

·    Vegetation within the DAP area is assessed as completely degraded and has no habitat value for significant fauna.

·    There are no Declared Rare or Priority Flora.

·    The potential for mosquito breeding habitat exists in proximity to the DAP area.

·    None of the lots within the DAP area are listed on the Department of Environmental Regulation’s contaminated sites register, however potential contamination sources may include Lot 19 (existing petrol station) and Lots 21, 8 & 9 (diesel fuel pump and bus depot).

 

Aboriginal Heritage

 

A registered Aboriginal heritage site (ID676) being the Busselton Fringe Camp is in the vicinity of the DAP area.

 

Transport Impact Assessment

 

The Transport Impact Assessment (TIA) provides base information on the regional road network, including the future extension of the Busselton Bypass around Vasse and the ‘downgrading’ of the section of Bussell Highway within the Vasse townsite to cater for local traffic only, and traffic volumes/flows along Bussell Highway. The TIA makes assumptions about access/egress points from Bussell Highway and the number of trips and carparking requirements that might be generated by different land uses by anticipated floorspace.

 

Given the fragmented land ownership within the DAP area, there is no certainty when redevelopment will occur, the extent of any redevelopment and/or the land uses that might result. Any future development proposal within the townsite may be required to provide either a traffic statement or a TIA, depending on the scale of development, in accordance with Local Planning Policy 2C – Traffic Assessment.

 

STATUTORY ENVIRONMENT

 

The key elements of the statutory environment with respect to this proposal are set out in the relevant objectives, policies and provisions of the City of Busselton Local Planning Scheme No. 21 and the Vasse Newtown Development Guide Plan.  Each is discussed below under appropriate subheadings.

 

Local Planning Scheme No. 21

 

The subject land is zoned ‘Vasse Development’ and, pursuant to Schedule 11 of the Scheme, subdivision and development of the land is to be addressed through the preparation of a DGP and a DAP (where that need is identified by an applicable DGP). The DAP has been processed in accordance with the provisions of Clause 7.6 of the Scheme, including advertising and consideration of submissions.

 

Vasse Newtown Development Guide Plan

 

The endorsed DGP for Vasse Newtown establishes land use designations (zones) pursuant to the Scheme and provides the overarching framework for subdivision and development (Attachment C). The DGP zones the subject land Special Purpose with land uses to be determined through the preparation of a DAP. The DGP establishes 4,650m2 of retail floorspace across the whole of the DGP area.

 

RELEVANT PLANS AND POLICIES

 

The key policies relevant to the proposal are State Planning Policy 6.1 – Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge, State Planning Policy 4.2 – Activity Centres for Perth and Peel, Liveable Neighbourhoods, draft Local Planning Strategy, Local Commercial Planning Strategy and the Residential Planning Codes of WA. Each is addressed below under appropriate subheadings.

 

State Planning Policy 6.1 - Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge

 

State Planning Policy 6.1 - Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge (LNRSPP) is a high order policy that provides the strategic planning framework for the sustainable growth and development of the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge area for the next 30 years. The policy establishes an urban settlement pattern based on a hierarchy of villages, hamlets and enclaves.

 

The LNRSPP identifies Vasse as a village with a population of 2000, with scope for further residential growth to around 5000, where supported by demonstrable employment generation. Justification of growth should conform to the principle aims of Liveable Neighbourhoods, particularly as it relates to employment, transport and community design. This policy position is supported by the Scheme objectives and policies relevant to the Vasse Development zone.

 

The LNRSPP sets out principles to be incorporated in settlement design including: innovative building styles; reinforcement of townscape principles; commercial (especially retail) development being located within designated commercial zones; integration with its local environment; water sensitive urban design; efficient servicing and energy use and identity/sense of place.

 

State Planning Policy 4.2 – Activity Centres for Perth and Peel

 

State Planning Policy 4.2 Activity Centres for Perth and Peel (SPP 4.2) is a high order policy that outlines broad planning requirements for the planning and development of new activity centres and the redevelopment of existing centres. Activity centres are community focal points and should include a mix of land uses that, in the case of local centres, should provide for work/living opportunities, day to day shopping and community needs, walkable access to services and facilities and provide a focus for medium to high density housing.

 

The policy encourages justification of the mix of commercial floor space considered to be sustainable in the context of a hierarchy of centres, the projected population, socio-economic characteristics, household expenditure and required retail floor space. The DAP will facilitate the redevelopment of the Vasse townsite based on activity centre principles.

 

A critical aspect of achieving the community development and urban design objectives of SPP 4.2 is the need to prevent leakage of shop and office floorspace from planned centres into out-of-town, service commercial and highway strip locations.

 

State Planning Policy 3.1 - Residential Design Codes

 

State Planning Policy 3.1 – Residential Design Codes (R-Codes) set out the principal objectives and controls for residential development in WA and is applicable to residential components of mixed use development and activity centres. The R-Codes set out three R-AC zones to encourage housing supply and diversity in activity centres, whilst recognising the commercial and mixed use environment.

 

Liveable Neighbourhoods

 

Liveable Neighbourhoods (LN) is an adopted operational policy of the WA Planning Commission to guide structure planning and subdivision of new and infill urban areas. Element 7 of LN outlines the key principles for the planning of activity centres and mixed use developments that embrace a predominantly traditional main street based format located and designed to encourage a broad mix of land uses that includes residential, commercial and office uses. Design elements of the draft DAP are generally consistent with the principles contained in Element 7 of LN. 

 

Draft City of Busselton Local Planning Strategy

 

The draft City of Busselton Local Planning Strategy (LPS) sets out the long term planning direction for the City and provides an overarching, strategic rationale for decisions related to the planning and development of the District (Attachment D). The LPS establishes an urban growth area framework that identifies current (land that is already zoned and development is progressing), medium term (land not currently zoned or subject to structure planning) and long term (land also not currently zoned or subject to structure planning) locations for growth and for each of the identified medium/long term future growth areas describes the key issues to be addressed through comprehensive structure planning and rezoning.

The LPS identifies the growth areas of Vasse East (11) and Vasse South (12), which would expand the existing planned footprint of Vasse, as well as Abbey South (10). Vasse would function as the service centre for all of those growth areas. The LPS also establishes an activity centres framework that identifies Vasse as a neighbourhood level centre with an approximate maximum potential shop retail floorspace of 5,000m2.

 

Local Commercial Planning Strategy

 

The Local Commercial Planning Strategy (LCPS) recommends a commercial hierarchy for the District and identifies Vasse Village Centre as a neighbourhood centre with a future retail floorspace of 4,650m2. The LCPS also notes that there are a number of service stations on main roads into Busselton which have convenience stores attached that largely serve the travelling public. The service station in the Vasse townsite performs such a role.

 

Vasse Newtown Developer Contributions and Staging Plan

 

The Developer Contributions and Staging Plan (DCSP) applies to the Vasse development area and provides for developer contributions towards the provision of community and service infrastructure and facilities. The upgrading of Bussell Highway through the Vasse townsite (i.e. between the Busselton Bypass roundabout and the proposed western link road) is listed in Schedule 1 – Infrastructure of the DCSP. At present the DCSP does not apply to the land the subject of the proposed DAP, however there is a clear nexus between future redevelopment opportunities that will be facilitated by the DAP and benefits to land adjoining this section of Bussell Highway, once the upgrade works are completed.

 

The DCSP has recently been revised (and adopted by the Council for advertising on 25 March 2015) to, amongst other things, include the Vasse townsite lots. The revised DCSP has been referred to affected landowners within the DAP area for the opportunity to comment during the advertising period, with no submissions having been received. It is anticipated the DCSP will be subject of a further report to the Council in June 2015.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

 

There are considered to be no direct financial implications arising from the implementation of the Officer Recommendation.

 

Long term financial plan implications

 

Nil.

 

STRATEGIC COMMUNITY OBJECTIVES

 

The Officer Recommendation is consistent with community objective 2.2 of the City’s Strategic Community Plan 2013, which is – ‘a City of shared, vibrant and well planned places that provide for diverse activity and strengthen our social connections’. 

 

RISK ASSESSMENT

 

An assessment of the potential implications of implementing the Officer Recommendation has been undertaken using the City’s risk assessment framework. The assessment identified ‘downside’ risks only, rather than upside risks as well. The implementation of the Officer Recommendation will involve adopting the draft DAP for final approval. In this regard, there are no significant risks identified. 

 

CONSULTATION

 

The DAP was advertised for 42 days and advertising closed on 16 January 2015. As a result of advertising seven government agency and six public submissions were received (a Schedule of Submissions is provided at Attachment E). Each of the public submissions objected to elements of the draft DAP and the main areas of concern relate to –

 

1.            Retail (shop) floorspace allocation within the Vasse townsite and potential impacts on the             planned, Vasse Village Centre mainstreet.

2.            ‘Downgrading/upgrading’ of Bussell Highway within the townsite.

3.            Impact on the amenity of adjoining residential land.

4.            Exclusion of Lots 74 and 75 Bussell Highway from retail/commercial opportunities.

 

The matters raised in points 1 and 2 are discussed further under the Officer Comment section of the report.

 

With respect to point 3, the planning framework for Vasse has consistently provided for a mixed use outcome for the townsite lots and reinforced an expectation that a level of redevelopment and revitalisation could be facilitated. Consultation with landowners adjoining the DAP area during the advertising of Amendment 140 (which contained an indicative land use concept plan showing potential redevelopment of the townsite lots for mixed commercial, retail and residential uses) did not reveal any concerns.

 

It is acknowledged that should any redevelopment occur within the DAP area, there will be some level of change to the current amenity of some of the landowners within the townsite. In response the draft DAP includes a condition requiring equivalent setbacks within the DAP area to the setbacks applicable to adjoining residential development to assist with amenity. Clause 11.3 of the City’s Local Planning Scheme 21 sets out a range of matters that should be given due regard in considering any future application for planning consent within the DAP area including, but not limited to:

 

(i)            The compatibility of a use or development with its setting;

(ii)           Any social issues that have an effect on the amenity of the locality;

(iii)          The preservation of the amenity of the locality;

(iv)         The relationship of the proposal to development on adjoining land including the likely effect        of the height, bulk, scale, orientation and appearance of the proposal;

(v)          The amount of traffic likely to be generated; and

(vi)         Any relevant submissions received on the application.

 

With respect to point 4, Lots 74 and 75 (located on the western side of Bussell Highway) are designated on the draft DAP as having a residential interface with Bussell Highway. No commercial opportunity or retail floorspace is allocated to these lots.

 

Amendment 140 (as described in the ‘Background’ section to this report) was advertised in 2011 and included an Indicative Land Use Concept Plan for residential and mainstreet commercial development within the Vasse townsite. The mainstreet commercial was limited to Lots 2, 21 and a portion of Lot 19 on the western side of Bussell Highway (and did not include Lots 74 and 75) and Lots 2, 3, 50 and 51 on the eastern side of Bussell Highway.  Lots 74 and 75 were identified as having residential redevelopment opportunities only.

 

Consultation with landowners when Amendment 140, the Indicative Land Use Concept plan and the modified DGP were advertised did not result in any submissions from the owners of Lot 74 and 75 in support or objection to the proposal, nor was there a request for an opportunity for commercial development on Lots 74 and 75.  Proposals incorporated in the draft DAP have been formulating for the past several years and officers are of the view that it is now too late in the process to request such changes, particularly as they may negatively affect other landowners who have contributed to the evolution of the draft DAP.

 

Officers are also of the view that a commercial/retail allowance for these two lots will serve to further extend the length of the mainstreet (currently proposed on the draft DAP at approximately 125m). Given that the frontage of Lot 75 and approximately half of frontage of Lot 74 are located opposite the Newtown Oval reserve, activation along mainstreet principles will potentially be even more challenging, as it would involve creation of a one sided street, something which is not often successful.

 

Should retail/commercial opportunities be positively viewed for Lots 74 and 75, officers consider there are two options. The first option is to redistribute a specified amount of the retail allocation proposed by the draft DAP for Lots 2, 21 and 10 and share that amount between Lots 74 and 75. This option would have an obvious negative effect on the owners of Lots 2, 21 and 19, who have not have been consulted on such an option.

 

A second option would be to contemplate an increase in the 1,150m2 NLA proposed by the draft DAP with the extra floorspace allocated to Lot 74 and 75. Officers are of the view that should this be considered the increase should be no more than 150m2 NLA. This is because the western half of the DAP area already has a proposed allocation of 631m2 NLA retail. An additional 150m2 would increase this to 781m2 which could potentially accommodate a reasonably sized mixed use development over two storeys. Increase above this figure could also potentially allow for land assemblage and the opportunity to develop a land use such as a small supermarket that would have negative implications for the Vasse Village Centre mainstreet (for the reasons outlined earlier in the Officer Comment section). This option is also likely to be perceived as unreasonable from other landowners within the DAP area, who may have sought a larger share of the retail floorspace allocation, had a larger, overall cap been contemplated.

 

OFFICER COMMENT

 

As a result of the consultation process and consideration of the proposal by officers, there are considered to be four key questions arising. These are outlined and discussed below -

 

1.            Is an expansion of retail and commercial opportunities at Vasse within the old Vasse townsite      likely to have a negative impact on the primacy or vitality of the Busselton City Centre and/or the Dunsborough Town Centre?

 

2.            Is the expansion of retail opportunities within the Vasse townsite likely to have a negative             impact on the establishment of the planned, new Vasse Village Centre mainstreet?

 

3.            What would be the likely impact of not allowing retail and flexibility in land use more broadly       within the Vasse townsite?

 

4.            How will the planned, future ‘downgrading/upgrading’ works for Bussell Highway within the         Vasse townsite be managed and funded?

 

The rest of the Officer Comment section of the report below also describes recommended minor changes to the draft DAP.

 

Primacy of Busselton and Dunsborough

 

The longstanding and recently reaffirmed strategic planning direction as set out in the City’s draft Local Planning Strategy and Local Commercial Planning Strategy reinforces the primacy of Busselton as the City Centre for the whole of our district and provider of the greatest range of higher order retail and commercial goods, services and employment. The strategic direction for Dunsborough is for it to be the major town principally servicing the western part of the City. A fundamental strategy for Busselton in particular is to stimulate redevelopment and consolidate intensive commercial development, especially key retail anchors such as Discount Department Stores (DDS), in the City Centre. There are currently two very credible proposals for the development of Discount Department Stores in Busselton, one being for Lot 17 West Street and the other for the Busselton Central Shopping Centre.

 

The allowable retail floorspace within the ‘Business’ and ‘Special Purpose’ land use designations on the endorsed Vasse DGP is set at 4,650m2 NLA. This is a broad strategy to guide the provision of retail facilities for the residential population at Vasse, without detracting from the primacy of Busselton and Dunsborough as the principal commercial centres and hubs of community life in the City.

 

The endorsed DAP for the planned, new Vasse Village Centre (provided as Attachment F) supports this premise by limiting the amount of land available for retail uses to the extent that higher order uses such as a DDS are unable to establish within the Village Centre. This is achieved by spatially, amongst other things, restraining retail development by specifying where shop uses are allowed and where they are not. Shop uses are only allowed in the areas identified on the Village Centre DAP as ‘Type 1 – Large Format with Liner Buildings’ and ‘Type 2 – Main Street Retail’. The areas allocated for shop retail are sufficient to accommodate a full line supermarket of around 3,000m2 and a range of supporting specialty shops, and it would actually be possible to see more than 4,650m2 of shop floorspace develop in the Village Centre, notwithstanding the guidance that the DGP provides for lower order planning.

 

The establishment of a new, full line supermarket at Vasse is likely to be a strong attractor for residents in Abbey and Broadwater, who might otherwise shop in Busselton. It is also likely to attract residents from the western part of the City, who might normally shop in Dunsborough. Therefore the Vasse Village Centre is likely to have some impact on both Busselton and Dunsborough, but not sufficient to undermine the primacy of those two centres.

 

Expansion of commercial opportunities at Vasse would be more likely to have a significant impact on the primacy of Busselton and Dunsborough if the planning framework was altered to permit the development of a DDS or a second supermarket.  Residents living in the western part of the City especially would then be relatively more likely to shop at Vasse, rather than Dunsborough or Busselton. Any potential for a  DDS at Vasse would most likely have a negative impact on the current proposals for the development of the two DDS in Busselton and would discourage the development of a small DDS in Dunsborough, possibly indefinitely. 

 

An increase in the retail floorspace at Vasse by 1,150m2 NLA (with that allowance being within the townsite and essentially split in half by Bussell Highway) will not enable a DDS to develop at Vasse. Land ownership is fragmented, as is the distribution of the retail floorspace on both sides of Bussell Highway and lot specific allocations proposed by the DAP. This will also restrict the ability to develop a second supermarket at Vasse.

 

Should redevelopment occur within the townsite for retail purposes, it is likely that such uses would provide some of the convenience needs of residents in and around Vasse, but not sufficient to have any significant impact on Busselton and Dunsborough.

 

Impact on the Vasse Village Centre Mainstreet

 

The key concern raised in the submission on behalf of the developer of the Vasse Estate is that any shop retail activity allowed to develop within the Vasse townsite will jeopardise the successful establishment and sustainability of the planned, new Vasse Village Centre mainstreet.

 

A key anchor for the Vasse Village Centre will be a full line supermarket. Advice received from the developer of the Vasse Estate is that Coles is anticipated to open in 2016 (and the City anticipates receiving a development application in the fairly near term). The supermarket will have direct frontage to the mainstreet with a design response to that context.

 

Supermarkets play a pivotal role in influencing mainstreet success by working in concert with other land uses and urban spaces to generate pedestrian flows of central importance to the vitality, and therefore the viability of a mainstreet. The establishment of the supermarket as a mainstreet tenant at the Vasse Village Centre will be a significant attractor and supporter of a range of specialty shops and related commercial activity that will contribute to the broader evolution of the Village centre and the success of its mainstreet. In this regard, the Village Centre will have a significant ‘pull away’ effect from the Vasse townsite.

 

A related concern raised is that land within the Vasse townsite could be assembled to enable the establishment of a second supermarket in direct competition to the Vasse Village Centre. Even under a scenario where land assemblage into single ownership was possible (although considered by officers to be unlikely) the DAP splits the retail allocation either side of Bussell Highway (519m2 to the east and 631m2 to the west). Typically the floorspace required for the smallest sized supermarket (such as an IGA Express) is in the range of 900m2 to 1,000m2 NLA. In other words, the DAP will not facilitate the development of a second supermarket in Vasse.

 

Without a key anchor, officers consider that investment decisions to establish new retail and commercial uses are more likely to be made in favour of the Village Centre rather than the townsite. It is also likely that should a level of retail development occur in the townsite in the short term (within the next 5 years and assuming a supermarket opens in Vasse in that timeframe) there is likely to be some effect on the Village Centre mainstreet. On balance, officers are of the view that a mixed use outcome in the townsite is warranted (for reasons set out in the next section of this report) and that the Village Centre mainstreet will establish successfully and remain sustainable and viable.

 

The planning framework specifies a population of 5,000 at Vasse, however that is likely to be exceeded. The Vasse Village Centre DAP allows for a residential density of R-AC3 (as does the draft townsite DAP), planning for the residential areas of Vasse is, and is likely to continue to deliver more medium density development and the City’s draft Local Planning Strategy identifies future growth areas at Vasse East, Vasse South and Abbey South for which Vasse would be the service centre (medium term urban growth areas identified as 11, 12, and 10 respectively on Attachment D).

 

Separate commercial analyses were included in the Vasse Village Centre DAP and the Vasse townsite DAP that estimated retail demand in comparison with the shop retail cap on the Vasse DGP. Findings suggested that even if the Village Centre retail area was fully developed and operating today (and the same for the Vasse townsite), there would be sufficient supporting demand and that demand will increase in the future. This would suggest that there is capacity for the townsite to accommodate a relatively small retail component. 

 

The allowance of a small retail component in the townsite does not mean that the land identified in the Vasse Village DAP for retail uses should be commensurately reduced by 1,150m2 in order to comply with the 4,650m2 NLA figure. The Vasse DGP and the Vasse Village Centre DAP operate quite differently. The DGP describes 4,650m2 NLA retail as a strategy to protect the primacy of the Busselton City Centre and the Dunsborough Town Centre for the reasons set out above in the ‘Officer Comment’ section. The Vasse Village Centre DAP sets spatial controls on land use permissibilities, that is where retail uses are allowed and not allowed, as a strategy to activate the mainstreet. The Vasse Village Centre DAP does not establish a retail allowance of 4,650m2 NLA for its mainstreet. At some point, although not forming part of this proposal, consideration could be given to modifying the Vasse DGP to address any perceived uncertainty. That cannot, however, be done at this time, as it requires a separate statutory process. The final point in the Officer Recommendation addresses this issue.

 

Impact on the Vasse Townsite

 

Landownership within the DAP area is fragmented (9 different landowners own 14 lots). Given this, there is no certainty around when, or if, redevelopment might occur, the extent of any redevelopment and/or the land uses that might result. Fragmented landownership has the potential to reduce rather than enhance opportunities for redevelopment. This is demonstrated by the fact that there has been little or no change within the townsite for many years, including those land use permissibilities provided for by the planning framework.

 

The impact of not allowing some retail and flexibility in land uses within the DAP area is likely to be that the impetus for redevelopment within the townsite will be stifled. It is fair to say that the townsite is in need of some level of revitalisation and activation, and allowing shops to develop could be an important component to assist this.

 

Redevelopment and revitalisation would deliver improvements to the streetscape and character of the townsite (particularly when the section of Bussell Highway within the townsite eventually undergoes ‘downgrading/upgrading’ works as described in the following section of this report). Officers view this as being complementary to the Vasse Village Centre and would be a positive contribution to the overall presentation of urban development at Vasse.

 

Bussell Highway ‘Downgrade/Upgrade’

 

Two submissions suggested that the draft DAP is deficient as it does not address responsibilities for funding the downgrade/upgrade works for Bussell Highway within the Vasse townsite and contains no binding requirements for landowner/developer contributions.

 

The western termination of the Busselton Bypass occurs at the intersection with Bussell Highway at Vasse. The Bypass is planned to extend around Vasse (becoming in part a portion of the planned Vasse-Dunsborough Link Road), thus providing an alternative route for regional, heavy haulage and through traffic, so that the existing Bussell Highway alignment can be used as an internal subdivision road to service Vasse. A new connection between the Bypass extension and Bussell Highway will be realised via the ‘western link road’ that will form the western boundary of the Vasse Light Industrial Area. The portion of Bussell Highway within the Vasse townsite (i.e. between Orlando Boulevard and Kaloorup Road) will be downgraded from highway status once the Bypass extension is completed (anticipated in 2016) to cater for local traffic only. The main reason the works are required is also because of the broader Vasse development.

 

The City holds a bank guarantee for $975,000 for outstanding works in relation to the Bussell Highway downgrade/upgrade. The works include: land acquisition and transfer costs for road widening to the front of Lots 21 & 4 Bussell Highway; undergrounding of existing overhead power; service relocations generally; drainage works; street lighting and construction of the Kaloorup Road/Bussell Highway/Newtown Close intersection (new roundabout). The developer has responsibility for completing these works.

 

Works have recently commenced on the construction of the new roundabout intersection between Orlando Boulevard, Bussell Highway and Napoleon Promenade, anticipated for completion by mid-2015. Napoleon Promenade will be the main street through the proposed Vasse Village Centre and will form the neighbourhood distributor through Dawson Village to connect with the north-south industrial road on the eastern boundary of the Light Industrial Area. There are also likely to be other changes to Bussell Highway at its intersections with Kaloorup Road/Newtown Close and Vasse-Yallingup Siding Road. Draft plans previously prepared for the downgrade/upgrade works will require reviewing in response to the above. 

 

The Vasse Developer Contributions and Staging Plan (DCSP) has recently been revised (and adopted by the Council for advertising on 25 March 2015) to, amongst other things, include the Vasse townsite lots. However, given the small number of landowners and the inherent uncertainty over the timing and form of any redevelopment, the value of any contributions collected towards the Bussell Highway downgrade/upgrade works will be relatively low and their timing would be so uncertain as to critically affect their practical value, if they were planned to be collected. Contributions towards funding improvements to the distributor road network and footpath and cycle networks will be required in accordance with the City’s Local Planning Policy 6E Roads, Footpaths and Cycle Network Upgrading Contributions.

 

DAP Changes

 

A number of relatively minor changes to the DAP are recommended (as set out in the Officer Recommendation) that respond to some of the matters raised in submissions and provide further clarification on the interpretation of DAP conditions.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Officers have carefully considered the arguments put forward and against the proposal. On balance, officers are supportive of the DAP, as an impetus to redevelop and revitalise the townsite is considered to be warranted and allowing a mixed use outcome is seen as a key component for this to occur. Officers are also of the view that, although there may be an initial small effect, the scale of development and land uses that might establish in the townsite are unlikely to undermine the successful establishment and sustainability of the Vasse Village Centre mainstreet.

 

Officers are recommending that the draft DAP be adopted for final approval subject to the minor modifications set out in the recommendation below.

 

OPTIONS

 

Should the Officer Recommendation not be supported the following options could be considered –

 

1.            Resolve to adopt the draft DAP for final approval, subject to the imposition of a condition              that prevents planning consent being issued for ‘Shop’ retail development within the   Vasse townsite until a specified number of years after the date of the opening of a supermarket in the Vasse Village Centre – although officers do not consider there would be a              reasonable planning basis to do so.

2.            Resolve to adopt the draft DAP for final approval, subject to including a mainstreet           commercial and retail opportunity (up to 150m2 NLA) for Lots 74 and 75 – although officers       do not consider there would be a reasonable planning basis to do so.

3.            Resolve to adopt the draft DAP for final approval, subject to modifications other than that set      out in options 1 and 2.

4.            Resolve not to adopt the draft DAP for final approval and provide reasons for that decision.

 

The applicant, if aggrieved by the decision of the Council, will have a right of appeal to the State Administrative Tribunal.

 

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

 

Implementation of points 1 and 2 of the Officer Recommendation will occur within one month of the date of the delegated decision. Implementation of point 3 will occur within three months.

 

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

 

That the Council:

 

1.    Adopts the Vasse Townsite Detailed Area Plan for final approval subject to the following modifications:

a)         Amend Condition 3 to read:

 

“3.      The ‘Shop’ retail floorspace shall be limited to a net lettable area of          1,150m2 to be allocated across the eastern and western precincts of the DAP                as follows:

 

DAP PRECINCT/ALLOCATED SHOP RETAIL FLOORSPACE (m2 NLA)

LOT No.

EAST

WEST

Lot 3

100m2

 

Lot 21 (eastern side of Bussell Highway)

100m2

 

Lot 2, 50 & 51

319m2

 

Lot 2 & 21 (western side of Bussell Highway)

 

437m2

Lot 19

 

194m2

TOTAL (1,150m2)

519m2

631m2

 

           ‘Shop’ retail shall have the same definition as that set out in the Scheme.”

          

b)        Amend the first sentence of Condition 4 to read:

 

“4.      The permissibility of land uses within the DAP area shall be in accordance              with the ‘Business’ zone, with the exception that clause 5.19 of the Scheme       does not apply. The following uses will not be permitted:”

 

c)         The correct identification of Dowell Road and Orlando Boulevard.

d)        The secondary access from Arnup Drive to be relocated to Lot 51 Bussell Highway.

e)        Delete the green shading from the Bussell Highway, Orlando Boulevard and Dowell Road reserves.

f)         Remove the ‘Indicative Bussell Highway Cross-Section’.

 

2.    Endorses the Schedule of Submissions prepared in response to the public consultation undertaken in relation to the draft Vasse Townsite Detailed Area Plan.

 

3.    Requests, with the aim of providing greater certainty to landowners, that officers initiate an amendment to the Vasse Development Guide Plan to increase the recommended maximum total shop retail floorspace to reflect the combined total floorspace as set out in the adopted Detailed Area Plans for the Vasse Village Centre and Vasse Townsite (i.e. to increase the Development Guide Plan recommended maximum from 4,650m2 to 5,800m2).

 

 

 


Council

229

27 May 2015

11.4

Attachment a

Draft Vasse Townsite Detailed Area Plan

 


Council

235

27 May 2015

11.4

Attachment b

Location Plan

 


Council

231

27 May 2015

11.4

Attachment c

Vasse Development Guide Plan

 


Council

237

27 May 2015

11.4

Attachment d

Draft Local Planning Strategy Map

 


Council

241

27 May 2015

11.4

Attachment e

Schedule of Submissions

 

 

No

NAME & ADDRESS

NATURE OF SUBMISSION

OFFICER COMMENT

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

1.

 Western Power

 

 No objection subject to the following advice being noted and addressed in the future subdivision and development of the land -

Comments –

·      Future subdivision and development within the areas identified should have conditions imposed to protect Western Power’s easements and restriction zone requirements for existing and new infrastructure.

·      New distribution infrastructure or upgrades and modifications may be required in the future to meet the demand from infill development.

Noted

That the submission be noted.

2.

Department of Health

No objection subject to the following advice being noted and addressed in the future subdivision and development of the land -

·      All proposed developments are to be connected to scheme water and reticulated sewerage in accordance with the draft Country Sewerage Policy.

·      The subject land is in a region that regularly experiences significant problems with nuisance and disease carrying mosquitoes.

Noted

That the submission be noted.

3.

Department of Fire and Emergency Services

No objection. Any future development would be subject to DFES operating guidelines in relation to emergency access and effective firefighting operations.

Noted

That the submission be noted

4.

Department of Water

No objection.

Noted

That the submission be noted.

5.

Main Roads WA

No objection.

Noted

That the submission be noted.

6.

Water Corporation

No objection subject to the following advice being noted and addressed in future subdivision and/or development within the DAP area –

The Corporation has adopted long term wastewater infrastructure planning for this area which is a guide for the future servicing of the land. A new wastewater line will be required from the existing system to the east, along Orlando Boulevard and along Bussell Highway. Future development proposals will need to determine if the existing system has the capacity to accept additional flows and what upgrades may be required.

Noted

That the submission be noted.

7.

Department of Parks and Wildlife

South West Highway

Bunbury WA 6230

DEC datasets indicate that the proposal is located within an area known to support Western Ringtail Possum (WRP) and is expected to contain native vegetation which is potential habitat for WRP and Black Cockatoos. Given that the proposal may involve clearing of native vegetation it is recommended that a Fauna Management Plan be prepared and implemented to minimise impacts on fauna during the clearing of vegetation.

 

The Vasse town site is a developed urban area that includes residential, commercial and industrial land uses. Vegetation is restricted to a scattered mix of individual native and non-native species. The town site does not contain native vegetation that has structural integrity and density because of the level of disturbance (clearing) that has occurred historically through urban development, therefore its value as habitat for species such as the Western Ringtail Possum and Black Cockatoos is highly compromised. The Detailed Area Plan, in and of itself, will not result in any clearing and it is considered that, should further development or redeveloped occur within the town site, there may be scope to retain individual trees. 

 

That the submission be noted.

8.

Roberts Day

130 Royal Street

East Perth WA

Objection.

 

This submission considers the impacts of the Draft DAP on the development of the Vasse Estate, and specifically on the viability of the new Village Centre. The Village Centre is scheduled to be fully serviced by June 2015 and buildings constructed and businesses open by December 2016.

 

The Vasse Village Centre is a significant long-term undertaking. Its success relies on providing a critical mass of diverse uses and activities, not just to ensure that it attracts the necessary trade to be commercially successful, but also for the successful branding and promotion required to attract traders and tenants. To preserve this critical mass requires the consolidation of as much activity as possible in the Village Centre, particularly retail and ancillary commercial uses. The loss of any of these uses to the Hamlet will fragment the offer provided in the Village Centre to its long-term detriment.

 

The competition provided by a second retail centre in close proximity to the Village Centre will fundamentally weaken the prospects of this success, with serious impacts for the residents, visitors, employees/employers and the developer of the Village. This review explores this issue in detail, and finds a range of negative commercial, planning, design and community impacts associated with the proposal that are not accounted for in the supporting report or justified with reference to the existing planning and commercial hierarchy. These are detailed below, resulting in the conclusion that the Draft DAP should be refused by Council.

 

1.0  PLANNING CONTEXT

 

The Vasse Estate has been the subject of extensive planning, investment and development since its identification as a new settlement in State Planning Policy No. 6.1 – Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge Policy (SPP6.1). The relevant planning instruments guiding development and investment are detailed below, with commentary relative to Council’s consideration of the Draft DAP.

1.1 State Planning Policy No 6.1 - Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge Policy

 

SPP6.1 provides direction for future land use in the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge region. It sets the settlement pattern for the region with Vasse identified as a ‘Village’ in the hierarchy of centres.  SPP6.1 states that Vasse may grow to 2,000 people and provides scope for growth to 5,000 people, subject to sufficient employment creation to support the additional growth. The creation of a viable, economically productive Village Centre is the key driver to ensuring this economic target can be achieved, and maintained.

 

SPP6.1 supports the consolidation of commercial activity within each settlement as follows:

 

1.     The ‘Statement of Intent’ for Settlement at Section 4.1 includes “the principle of commercial (especially retail) development being located within designated commercial zones, with major retail development being located in the principal centres”; and

2.     This intent is then reinforced by ‘Settlement Design - Planning Statement 1.7’ that states “the location of commercial centres should reinforce the central focus, function and character of the settlements”.

 

The creation of a competing main street centre, 150 metres from the designated Village Centre, conflicts with both the strategic intent and specific guidance provided by these requirements. Therefore, as the Draft DAP compromises the consolidation of retail activity in the Village Centre and thereby undermines its viability, it should be rejected as contrary to the objectives of SPP6.1.

 

1.2 Vasse Development Guide Plan

 

1.2.1 Zoning and Land Use

The Vasse Development Guide Plan (DGP) was endorsed by the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) on 8 October 2004 as part of the wider rezoning of the land to the ‘Vasse Development’ and ‘Deferred Vasse Development’ zones. The DGP has been periodically modified, with the most recent Modification No.6 (Revision P) being endorsed by the WAPC on 24 July 2014.

 

The DGP depicts Vasse as a series of residential villages, a light industrial area and a centrally located Village Centre. The Village Centre is designated as ‘Vasse Village Centre Special Purpose Zone’. Previous iterations of the DGP showed the Village Centre as an area zoned ‘Business’ and ‘Restricted Business’ located west of the Buayanyup Drain Reserve on Bussell Hwy. This location was modified to the current Special Purpose zone as part of DGP Modification No.4 (Revision K) endorsed 16 July 2010, with the removal of the proposed hospital from the core of the settlement.

 

The Vasse Hamlet was originally zoned ‘Business’ in the DGP, before being modified to ‘Vasse Townsite Special Purpose Zone’ as part of DGP Modification No.5 (Revision M) endorsed 10 August 2012. The DGP designation clearly shows the Hamlet as subordinate in the overall hierarchy, with the zoning reflecting existing low-key commercial uses, rather than any denoting any significant expansion, and the Village Centre being the focus of retail and commercial activity.

 

The commercial planning for Vasse is predicated on the success of the Village Centre, which requires the consolidation of all retail and commercial activity, particularly at the establishment phase. Progressive modifications to the DGP have reflected this approach by contracting the ‘Business’ and ‘Restricted Business’ land use designations within the DGP and consolidating all retail activity within the Village Centre. The forthcoming DGP Amendment associated with the Dawson Residential Village is the culmination of this approach, involving the removal of the remaining ‘Business’ and ‘Restricted Business’ land use designations west of Buayanyup Drain.

 

1.2.2 Retail Floorspace

Planning Policy Statement No.3 of the DGP prescribes a total 4,650sqm NLA of retail floorspace for the Business and Special Purpose land use designations within the DGP area. This retail floorspace has been fully allocated through the endorsed Village Centre DAP in the form of a large supermarket of approximately 3,000sqm NLA of retail floorspace, supported by a range of specialty shops comprising the balance of the 4,650sqm retail allocation.

 

Planning Policy Statement No.3 also requires that “total retail floorspace within the Special Purpose land use designation shall not exceed the total floor space allocated to non-retail uses so that retail becomes an ancillary and not the predominant land use within the designated Special Purpose areas.” Recent amendments to the DGP have used the Special Purpose designation as a means “(t)o provide a zone capable of accommodating a land use or combination of land uses which do not fall within the objectives of other zones or reserves and which, by their nature or location, require specific consideration.” While the Village Centre Special Purpose zone is a special case, comprising the neighbourhood centre for Vasse, the Draft Hamlet DAP should comply with the requirement of Planning Policy Statement No.3 with any retail allocation being a subordinate and ancillary use, not exceeding the sum of existing approvals.

 

The City has consistently rejected requests by the successive developers of the Vasse Estate to consider an increase in the retail allocation at Vasse, on the basis that this will compromise the viability of the Busselton Town Centre. The City’s consideration and advertising of the Draft DAP represents a fundamental and unprecedented change to this long-standing position, proposing an almost 25% increase in retail floorspace within the DGP area and without direct consultation with the Vasse Estate developers. As the purpose of these planning instruments is to guide long term planning and provide certainty for development and investment, we strongly object to this modification in the absence of a compelling retail assessment and the consolidation of this additional retail in the Village Centre mainstreet, where programmed retail uses are already near capacity based on the restrictive retail cap established in the DGP.

 

1.3 Local Commercial Planning Strategy (City of Busselton, February 2011)

 

In considering the potential impact that development of a second retail centre will have on the Vasse Village Centre, it is useful to reflect on the City’s longstanding position to limit retail floospace at Vasse to the 4,650sqm prescribed in the DGP and documented in the City’s Local Commercial Planning Strategy (LCPS).

 

The LCPS allocates retail floorspace of 41,173sqm to the Busselton Town Centre and 4,650sqm to Vasse (consistent with the DGP allocation). This represents a ratio of almost 9:1 retail floorspace in favour of the Busselton Town Centre. Based on this ratio, the City has consistently rejected requests to consider an increase to the retail allocation at the Vasse Estate on the basis that this will compromise the viability of the Busselton Town Centre.

 

By comparison the City is now considering a 1,150sqm retail allocation for the Hamlet, which translates to a ratio of 4:1 retail floorspace in favour of the Village Centre. Applying the City’s current logic, the development of the Hamlet as a second retail centre will have a demonstrably greater impact on the viability of the Village Centre. This impact will be further exacerbated as the Hamlet is only 150 metres away from the entrance to the Village Centre on Bussell Hwy, which experiences significantly greater traffic volumes and passing trade than will be found on Napoleon Promenade.

 

If the Draft DAP is to be given serious consideration, then this must occur as the result of a comprehensive, independent review of the distribution and allocation of retail floorspace at Vasse as a whole. The review should be directed at determining the long term interest of the community and whether this is better served by continuing to consolidate retail activity at the Village Centre consistent with SPP6.1 and the DGP, rather than dispersing activity into an additional, competing location.

 

1.4 Amendment No.140 (Town Planning Scheme No.20)

 

Amendment No.140 was lodged under Town Planning Scheme No.20 to facilitate the rezoning of the Vasse Hamlet to the ‘Vasse Development’ zone. Amendment No.140 was gazetted on 15 May 2012. Prior to its rezoning, the Scheme zoning of the Vasse Hamlet accurately reflected its historic land use and approvals, with Lot 19 zoned ‘Restricted Business’, Lots 3, 4, 21, 8 and 9 zoned ‘Industry’ and the rest of the land zoned ‘Residential R15’.

 

The rezoning was predicated on an Indicative Land Use Concept Plan (Concept Plan) that “provides the foundation (to) guide future detailed planning and development”. The Concept Plan is a significantly more modest and well-considered proposal for development of the Hamlet than the Draft DAP (noting however that there are still concerns regarding the retail allocation and the overall scale of development proposed in the Concept Plan). The Concept Plan depicts a centralised retail/commercial core on Bussell Hwy with integrated access and parking, supported by a continuation of the existing residential land-uses characteristic of the existing precinct. The Draft DAP is a significant departure from the Concept Plan in terms of its land-use, form and scale, the quantum of proposed retail and its design philosophy and elements.

 

Relevant to this submission, the Amendment Report also refers to:

 

1.     The intention of complementing the future Village Centre. How this is to be achieved is not stated and it is evident from the scale of the proposal in the Draft DAP that the intention is now to directly compete with the Village Centre (see discussion at Section 2.1 below).  Furthermore, as the success of the Village Centre relies on consolidating as many offerings as possible to achieve a critical mass of activity, there are no additional commercial activities that can be undertaken at the Hamlet that will not directly reduce this critical mass to the detriment of the Village Centre’s viability. The only complementary activity would be residential; and

2.     The intent of the Amendment being to facilitate “individual landowners to progress with subdivision and/or development applications”. This highlights a key issue for consideration of the Draft DAP, being the failure of the Amendment to establish any guiding principles or mechanisms to coordinate future development of the Hamlet. The Draft DAP similarly fails to provide the necessary coordinating mechanisms, meaning that critical considerations such as coordinated access and parking, the upgrade of Bussell Hwy and built form development controls are not addressed. The ‘Detailed Area Plan Design Principles’ are not sufficient mechanisms to secure these outcomes.

 

1.5 Vasse Village Centre Detailed Area Plan Stage One (October 2014)

 

The DAP for the Village Centre was endorsed by the WAPC on 16 July 2014, with the most recent amendment approved by Council 29 December 2014. The DAP has been subject to intensive planning and consideration to ensure it will result in a viable and sustainable retail centre, as well as a sought after place in its own right as an exemplar of a south-west township. This is achieved by a series of measures including, but not limited to:

 

1.     Clear objectives, given effect by a suite of detailed Thoroughfare, Public Domain and Built Form / Land Use typologies, to ensure objectives are translated into on ground outcomes;

2.     Planning Policy Statements setting out requirements for design guidelines, easements, management plans and landscaping requirements (amongst other things) to ensure that all aspects of planning and delivery of the centre are addressed through the planning framework;

3.     Detailed plans demonstrating the coordination of the different typologies, in particular the management of parking and access;

4.     Supporting data demonstrating that parking for the centre correlates to development potential;

5.     Prescriptive land use controls ensuring compliance with the DGP retail cap, and ensuring that retail activity is centralised in the key main street area (between Bussell Hwy and the roundabout within the Village Centre); and

6.     Credible retail sustainability modeling demonstrating the retail capacity of the centre in the local and regional context.

 

The planning framework set out in the Village Centre DAP is a highly organised and prescriptive set of controls that ensure that the best possible outcome will be achieved, and can be enforced by the City in the assessment of development applications.

 

2.0   APPLICANT SUBMISSION

 

This part of the submission looks specifically at deficiencies and discrepancies in the Planning Report and Commercial Assessment submitted in support of the Draft DAP.

 

2.1   Detailed Area Plan Submission – Vasse Hamlet (RPS, November 2014)

 

The Draft DAP Report clearly demonstrates the Hamlet functioning in direct commercial competition with the Village Centre. This is stated explicitly at p.8 of the submission, which states “the Vasse Hamlet will concentrate activities and amenities within one location providing the daily needs for the community to which it serves. It will be the central focal point where all amenities create an area of vibrancy and community focus”. The proposal to “concentrate activities and amenities within one location” runs contrary to the express function of the Village Centre and a decade of planning to consolidate activity in a dedicated and sustainable single location.

 

Section 4.1.2 of the Report goes on to describe the range of land uses proposed, being “retail, commercial, medical and ancillary uses such as a café, restaurants, butcher, bakery, clothing store, hairdresser, office premises, newsagency and/or post office.” This range of land-uses directly replicates services proposed in the Village Centre, and that are critical for its establishment and ongoing success.[1] These uses are facilitated by Condition 4 of the Draft DAP that prescribes the permissibility of uses in accordance with the ‘Business’ zone detailed at Table 1 of the Scheme. The range of permissible uses proposed in the Draft DAP is greater and more flexible than the approved Village Centre, which is obviously inappropriate given the Hamlet’s subordinate role in the local commercial hierarchy.

 

Given the established primacy of the Village Centre in the local commercial hierarchy, land-use in the Vasse Hamlet should not be permitted to replicate or compete with the range of land-uses programmed for the Village Centre. Allowable land-use within the Hamlet should be limited to a continuation of the existing approvals and residential activity. This can be achieved by modifying the Draft DAP to:

 

1.      Limit any proposed retail allocation to the quantum of floorspace of existing retail approvals for the subject land;

2.      Restrict the potential for retail/commercial/non-residential use to lots for which there is a current approval for such uses – this applies to Lot 19 Bussell Hwy; Lot 21 on the eastern side of Bussell Hwy; and potentially Lots 8 and 9 Dowell Rd;

3.      With respect to the lots detailed at point 2 above, amend the list of permissible uses at Condition 4 of the Draft DAP to exclude retail and higher order commercial uses, Including but not limited to ‘shop’, ‘medical centre’, ‘pharmacy’ and ‘tavern’, that should be located within the Village Centre; and

4.      Retain the residential use for the balance of lots in the Hamlet – this applies to Lot 22 Newtown Close; Lots 2, 21, 74 and 75 on the western wide of Bussell Hwy; and Lots 51, 50, 2, 3 and 4 on the eastern side of Bussell Hwy.

 

2.2   Vasse Hamlet Commercial Analysis (Hames Sharley, September 2010)

 

The Vasse Hamlet Commercial Analysis (Commercial Analysis) was prepared in support of Amendment No.140 and the Draft DAP. The City’s assessing officer advises that the City does not support the Analysis and it no longer forms part of the formal supporting documentation for the Draft DAP. However, both Amendment No.140 and the Draft DAP have clearly been developed having regard for the findings of the Analysis, and the document therefore remains a relevant consideration in considering the deficiencies of the current application.

 

The Analysis is a flawed basis for establishing a second main street centre at Vasse for the reasons detailed below:

 

1.     The Commercial Analysis fails to consider the planning framework that establishes the primacy of the Village Centre as the retail centre at Vasse, or to address the social and economic impacts of a second main street on the viability of the Village Centre. Instead the Analysis is a standard retail catchment assessment which presumes equitable access to market share between the Village Centre and the Hamlet, despite the commercial hierarchy and expectations established in the DGP and the LCPS;

2.     The Analysis provides no basis for additional retail at the Hamlet, assuming instead that it will comprise part of the 4,650sqm retail allocation in the DGP, and that this floorspace cap will “increase in the future with appropriate justification”. As established at Section 1.2.2 of this submission, the existing retail floorspace has already been allocated in the Village Centre. It should therefore be a mandatory precondition to consideration of the Draft DAP that suitable retail justification is provided to justify any retail increase and allocation to the Hamlet (which increase we strenuously object to);

3.     As a basis for development of the Hamlet, the Analysis presumes the ”development of the Hamlet in the short term represents a logical and practical progression….occurring approximately five years earlier than the Village Centre”. This is demonstrably incorrect, as trading in Stage One of the Village Centre is scheduled to commence in December 2016, which undermines the retail demand assessment on which the Analysis is based; and

4.     Figure 6 ‘Assumed Market Shares of the Trade Area’ of the Analysis shows the clear aspiration for the Hamlet to attract a comparable market share to the Village Centre – 25% and 30% respectively – despite numerous statements in the Draft DAP Report and the Commercial Analysis that the Hamlet will ‘complement’ the Village Centre. The clear intention is for the Hamlet to operate in direct competition contrary to the established planning framework and the successful development of the Village Centre.

 

In light of the deficiencies of the Commercial Analysis and its rejection by the City, it follows that there is no quantified basis to support the request for retail and the establishment of a second retail centre. A proper retail assessment must be a mandatory pre-condition for any consideration of additional retail being provided at the Vasse Hamlet demonstrating that its development will not detract from the viability and successful establishment of the Village Centre.

 

3.0  COMMERCIAL CONSIDERATIONS

 

3.1 Retail Considerations 

The long-term success of the Vasse Estate relies on the vitality created by a sustainable retail centre. While the retail component is not the only aspect of the centre critical to its success, it will generate the visitation and trade to underpin the non-retail aspects of the centre, and transform the settlement as a whole into something more than a residential development, as envisaged in SPP6.1.

 

The success of the Village Centre relies on providing a critical mass of diverse uses and activities that will attract traders and shoppers. To preserve this critical mass requires the consolidation of as much activity as possible in the Village Centre, particularly retail and ancillary commercial uses. Land uses within the Village Centre have been carefully programmed within the scope of the existing 4,650sqm retail cap to ensure a full range of goods and services can be provided to residents and visitors. The loss of any of these uses to the Hamlet fragments the offer provided in the Village Centre to its long-term detriment.

 

In considering the current proposal Council should therefore consider the following factors:

 

1.     The development of a second retail main street will have a significant impact on the establishment, sales, performance, and function of the Village Centre; the size, location and function of which has been clearly established and agreed with the City and the WAPC over the course of almost two decades of planning via SPP6.1, the DGP and the LCPS;

2.     The developers of the Vasse Estate have invested considerable resources into the preparation and establishment of the Village Centre and the township as a whole (elaborated at Section 3.2 below). This has been done in the full knowledge of the retail floorspace allocation, market capacity, function and competitive environment at Vasse ensured by the Scheme, DGP and LCPS. This certainty is fundamentally compromised by the Draft DAP;

3.     The current retail allocation of 4,650sqm facilitates the development of a full line supermarket operator, supporting a series of specialty shops and related commercial activities, attracting customers from within a four to five kilometre radius. Retail modeling undertaken by the developers of the Vasse Estate in the planning stages of the Village Centre indicated that the Centre is expected to capture approximately 65% of the total convenience retail spend of its 5km catchment, with the balance of trade going to the Busselton Town Centre and Dunsborough;

4.     The Hamlet proposal is comparable to smaller local centres located along the coast that range between 500sqm – 1,000sqm of floorspace across 5-10 shops with a convenience based offer, including delicatessens, newsagencies, takeaway and hairdressers servicing a 1km radius. All of these uses directly compete with the offer in the Village Centre and draw away both trade and tenants from the Village;

5.     Given the central location of both centres within the settlement it is evident that they will directly compete for trade from the same geographic catchment to the detriment of the Village Centre;

6.     It is a well-established commercial fact that successful centres consolidate, rather than disperse activity. Successful centres generally share a strong physical and visual relationship between all aspects of the centre, minimising trading fronts and channeling pedestrian movement past as many businesses as possible. The introduction of a substantial secondary centre in such close proximity will fragment customer movements and dilute the available retail opportunities for the Village Centre;

7.     There is a legitimate concern that once the proposed 1,150sqm of retail floospace is allocated that future amendment to the DAP may consolidate this allocation to facilitate the retail development of a single site. This raises the prospect the Hamlet might be able to accommodate a supermarket tenant in direct competition to the efforts being made to find an anchor tenant to underpin the future success of the Village Centre;

8.     The failure to deliver and sustain a successful full-line supermarket in the Village Centre will also diminish the chances of successfully attracting and maintaining the attendant specialty shops that require a major supermarket to drive trade and viability. The duplication of specialty shops within the Hamlet will also create unnecessary competition amongst what are typically marginal retail uses. The failure to attract and sustain such tenancies will diminish the attractiveness and potential success of the Centre and the liveability of the area as a whole;

9.     The full development of the Village Centre as the key focus for employment and community activity at Vasse relies on the establishment of a solid basis of retail activity. This is critically important at the establishment phase as the centre tries to attract tenants and establish itself as a viable retail destination for local residents. If the time taken for the Village Centre to establish and reach maturity as a retail centre is delayed by a competing centre, the development of higher order and value-added commercial activity, such as professional services, offices, medical, hospitality and tourism uses will also be postponed, impacting on the employment self-sufficiency at Vasse;

10.  The underperformance of both centres in the scenarios described above will encourage residents to drive to more successful retail centres at Busselton and Dunsborough for day to day amenities and services, contrary to the stated intent of SPP6.1 and the DGP;

11.  Presuming that the Village Centre overcomes these difficulties and becomes the pre-eminent retail centre at Vasse as has been planned for, there is then a significant question over the long-term viability of the Hamlet main street. There is no evident benefit to establish a secondary centre that will consistently underperform, demanding lower rents and land values, whilst compromising the ability of the primary centre to achieve its full potential. The alternative is to control and program the uses in the Hamlet as proposed at Section 2.1 of this submission; and

12.  The design of the Village Centre meets the City’s express requirement that it be developed as a main street rather than in a ‘big box’ style with internalised tenancies. This has been achieved at considerable cost, as main street development is more expensive to execute than an internalised shopping arcade. The developers have also worked extensively with the future supermarket owner to ensure a proper design response to the main street context;

 

As demonstrated above, the development of a second retail centre, 150 metres away from the designated Village Centre, and the arbitrary 25% increase of the retail floorspace provided for in the DGP, are direct threats to the Village Centre’s successful establishment and its ability to attract investment and patronage, and should be refused.

 

3.2   Developer Betterment Contributions

Over the last decade the developers of the Vasse Estate have invested significant time and resources towards the establishment of community, recreation, infrastructure, major roads and education facilities at Vasse. The Village Centre itself is the subject of extensive planning and investment over many years to ensure its future success and the fulfillment of the long-standing expectations of SPP6.1 and the DGP. This scale of investment has been made possible by the certainty provided in the DGP regarding retail floorspace and land-use, which underpin the success of the Village Centre. This certainty as the basis for investment will be compromised if Council considers approval of the Draft DAP in its current form.

 

A summary of the developer’s contributions and commitments (over and above contributions required via the DGP) is provided below:

 

1.   Village Stage One Betterment

 

(i)    Public Art –$80,000 for the purchase of 6.5m high sculpture of the early explorer Timothy Vasse by Russell Sheridan, to be erected in the Village Centre;

(ii)   Village Mainstreet – $800,000 towards enhancement over and above standard requirements, including paved on-street carbays, exposed aggregate footpaths and pedestrian crossings, mature tree planting for verges and medians, raised red asphalt feature road surface in central village area, rain gardens for nutrient stripping, limestone caprock raised median island, Vasse style bench seating and bins, mature Norfolk Pines in roundabouts with up-lighting, free Wi-Fi mesh for the mainstreet, feature bridge across Buayanyup Drain and re-location of power transformers and switchgear sites off the mainstreet to improve aesthetics;

(iii)  Piazza – Mainstreet betterment includes the development of a paved and covered piazza with a landscaped pedestrian link through to the Rails to Trails corridor, public toilets and covered bike storage. The direct connection from Rails to Trails to the Napoleon Promenade shopping precinct will fully landscaped and the public space near Napoleon Promenade further enhanced with public art, building treatments using local materials, creative architecture and covered laneway, to create a unique alfresco piazza experience; and

(iv)  Rails to Trails – The Rails to Trails corridor is expected to become one of Australia’s iconic walk trails and will be jointly used by tourists and the local community as it links schools, the Napoleon Promenade shopping precinct, the Dawson Active Recreation area and the Industrial Area to the residential cells. The developer has allocated a $350,000 landscaping budget for the trailhead entry, conforming to National Trust guidance on signage, shelters, seating, picnic tables, paths and tree species.

 

2.    Infrastructure Betterment for Vasse

 

(i)    Busselton Bypass Extension – Contribution of 23.7ha of land free of cost plus a significant cash contribution to the $16m Bypass around Vasse;

(ii)   Napoleon Promenade & Orlando Boulevard roundabout intersection with Bussell Highway – $2.3 million to connect the existing Birchfields residents onto Bussell Highway and into the new Napoleon Promenade mainstreet shopping area;

(iii)  Service Extensions – Ongoing budget for the extension of sewer, power, water, gas & NBN throughout the Vasse development, making these services easily accessible for existing residential, business and educational uses to connect into.

(iv)  Dawson Active Recreation Precinct – Ongoing budget to work with Council to supply additional land to enhance the capability of this precinct and bring the construction program forward 2 years for the first stage of ovals, change rooms and carparking facilities.

 

A critical deficiency of the Draft DAP is that it establishes no mechanism or strategy for public betterment. At the very least the Draft DAP should set out a mechanism for the coordinated upgrade of Bussell Hwy, to a main street standard comparable to Napoleon Promenade, including street tree planting and beautification. Any development of the Hamlet must be contingent on a proper contribution to the public domain, over and above obligations in the ‘Major Road Contribution Plan’ and the ‘Vasse Newtown Developer Contributions and Staging Plan’ set out in the DGP. The requirement for betterment is particularly important to maintain the recognised quality and character of the settlement that has been achieved through the extensive investment in the Vasse Estate detailed above.

 

The present proposal provides the Hamlet landowners with significant commercial benefit far outweighing a reciprocal contribution to the wider amenity of the settlement. This is an inequitable outcome given the extent of contribution made by the developers of the Vasse Estate to this community, and from which the applicant’s gain significant leverage.

 

4.0  DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

 

In addition to these commercial considerations the design elements of the Draft DAP also require further consideration if Council considers providing approval. These include:

 

1.     The scale of development is not appropriate to its context or to the role of the Hamlet in the overall planning and commercial hierarchy at Vasse. The 3-4 storey buildings confuse the legibility of the settlement by sending the wrong visual clues to visitors about the location of the centre. By comparison, building heights in the endorsed Village Centre DAP range between 1 – 3 storeys, reflecting a more realistic, and less opportunistic, appraisal of development potential. Overall scale should be reduced;

2.     Legibility is further compromised by the scale of the proposed ‘main street’, which at approximately 125 metres is half the size of the 250 metre retail main street on Napoleon Promenade (between Bussell Hwy and the roundabout within the Village Centre). This extent is significantly greater than that depicted in the Indicative Concept Plan provided with Amendment No.140;

3.     The Draft DAP enables multiple points of access to and from Bussell Hwy, which is not appropriate given the current and anticipated volumes (even when Bussell Hwy’s role is downgraded), particularly if the Hamlet was to be developed to the full retail and residential capacity proposed in the Draft DAP. Other than the statement at Condition 10 of the Draft DAP recommending consolidation of access as part of ‘significant redevelopment’, no proper consideration is given to a consolidated access and parking strategy, and there is no enforceable mechanism to coordinate individual landowners;

4.     The Draft DAP requires that parking, access and upgrades to the pedestrian network will be dealt with on an ad-hoc basis via individual development applications. This will inevitably result in piecemeal development and a sub-optimal outcome for residents and users. This is in contrast to the Village Centre where such matters have been thoroughly considered via the approved DAP with a clear strategy for implementation at the subdivision and development stages;

5.     Given the amount of retail, commercial and residential use proposed, the scale of development (up to 4 storeys) and the size of the existing lots, it is unlikely that the necessary carparking can be accommodated, particularly if there is no opportunity to coordinate this over multiple landholdings. This demonstrates that the Draft DAP does not have proper regard to facilitating an appropriate and desirable final development outcome, but is an ambit claim to increase land value;

6.     The lack of a consolidated access and parking strategy compromises the ability of Bussell Hwy to function in a ‘main street’ capacity as envisaged by the Draft DAP, and therefore undermines the premise on which development of the Hamlet is predicated;

7.     Despite generic commentary about intended design outcomes, there is no mechanism for enforcing design objectives, or guidelines to provide appropriate guidance. This compares unfavourably with the endorsed Village Centre DAP that contains extensive statutory guidance and controls relating to built form (including plot ratio and building height) and public realm controls, which enable a high degree of certainty regarding land use and built form outcomes. Such controls are critically important given that development in the Hamlet will be undertaken on an ad-hoc basis by individual landowners;

8.     The anticipated design outcomes due to this lack of design control will be exacerbated by the fact that there is no mechanism for the coordinated development of the Hamlet;

9.     No clear strategy is established to deal with the interface between future commercial development and the adjoining residential areas east and west of the Hamlet. The Draft DAP defers this consideration to the Residential Design Codes (R-Codes), which only deals with setbacks, privacy and solar access. No consideration is given to managing impacts associated with the loading and unloading of goods, or shortcutting through the development (despite assurances within the DAP report); and

10.  The City’s consideration of highway retail at the Hamlet is in direct contradiction to its previously expressed position regarding approvals for the Village Centre, whereby the majority of retail activity was not permitted direct frontage to the Highway or the Bypass extension. The benefits of securing passing trade are well established. Even when downgraded Bussell Hwy will continue to provide an important connecting function for movement within Vasse. At the time of planning for the Village Centre, uncertainty regarding the timing for completion of the Bypass extension and therefore the ability to plan with certainty for development along Bussell Hwy, precluded the development of a main street centre along Bussell Hwy, prompting the decision to relocate the Centre to its current location, over which the developers had complete control. This decision has proved to be a sound one, enabling the development of the Village Centre to be independently progressed and operational by December 2016 to service the growing residential population at Vasse. The City should maintain a consistent position regarding the modest scale and limited function of commercial land-use adjacent Bussell Hwy and reject the proposal in its current form.

 

The Draft DAP defers consideration of these significant matters and does not establish any mechanisms to guarantee a successful and predictable outcome. This is in stark contrast to the DAP’s approved for the Birchfields and Dawson residential villages and the Village Centre, where matters such as built form, parking, access and landscaping are dealt with extensively, and clear measures established to ensure the best possible outcomes can be achieved. The time for these matters to be considered and addressed is as part of the DAP consideration process and the Draft DAP should not be approved until these matters are satisfactorily resolved.

 

5.0  CONCLUSION

 

For the reasons set above it is clear that the development of a second retail centre will compromise the establishment and viability of the long planned for Village Centre, and this represents a negative social and economic outcome for the residents of the Vasse Estate.

 

The DGP and the LCPS establish the long-standing planning for the development of a retail centre at Vasse. The retail main street proposed in the Draft DAP is not consistent with this planning framework, and represents an ad hoc and opportunistic proposal to capitalise on the work undertaken by the developers of the Vasse Estate.

 

If serious consideration is to be given to additional retail floorspace allocation at Vasse, this should be undertaken in response to a wide ranging retail assessment that considers the broader social and economic impacts on Vasse in its entirety, including potential impacts on the viability of the Village Centre.

 

The requirement for such a review is particularly important given the size of the retail increase proposed in the Draft DAP, and the City’s long-standing position that no further retail expansion will be considered. The review should include targeted consultation with affected landowners, specifically our client, to ensure that their considered feedback forms part of Council’s consideration of any proposal for an increase in the retail allocations within the DGP area.

 

In the absence of this review, any proposed increase in retail floorspace should be allocated to the Village Centre and not the Hamlet.

 

In conclusion we recommended that:

 

1.     The Draft DAP should be rejected or deferred until:

a)     A comprehensive, independent review of the distribution and allocation of retail floorspace within the DGP area is undertaken. This review should consider the long term retail / commercial requirements necessary to sustainably support the Vasse community, and how this will be improved by the development of a separate retail centre rather than continuing the current policy of consolidating commercial activity in the Village Centre; and/or

b)    The Vasse Village Centre has had an opportunity to establish and mature, and the purchasing power of the Vasse residential catchment has increased to a level that can sustainably support an additional, competing centre without compromising the successful operation of the Village Centre.

 

2.     If Council considers approval of the Draft DAP – to which we strongly object - then this should be contingent on:

a)     The provision of an independent supporting retail analysis demonstrating that additional retail at the Vasse Hamlet will not detract from the viability and successful establishment of the Village Centre.

b)    The Draft DAP being modified by:

(i)    Limiting any proposed retail allocation to the quantum of floorspace of existing retail approvals for the subject land;

(ii)   Restricting the potential for retail/commercial/non-residential use to lots for which there is a current approval for such uses;

(iii)  With respect to the lots detailed at point ii. above, amending the list of permissible uses at Condition 4 to exclude retail and higher order commercial uses, including but not limited to ‘shop’, ‘medical centre’, ‘pharmacy’ and ‘tavern’, that should be located within the Village Centre; and

(iv)  Retaining the residential use for the balance of lots in the Hamlet.

c)     Further consideration / information being provided to demonstrate:

(i)    A strategy for the coordination of parking and access within the Hamlet that will not result in unacceptable impacts on the operation of Bussell Hwy and the amenity of surrounding residents;

(ii)   A coherent and enforceable strategy for the upgrading of the affected section of Bussell Hwy in line with the statements made in the Planning Report to the equivalent standard of the Napoleon Promenade main street;

(iii)  Clearly articulated and enforceable design controls to ensure a predictable and high quality built form outcome; and

(iv)  Reduction of the proposed building heights and residential density to a scale that is more consistent with surrounding development and appropriate to the lower order role of the Hamlet in the overall residential and commercial hierarchy of Vasse.

 

3.     That before the Draft DAP is approved that the Vasse DGP be amended to reflect final decisions regarding retail floorspace allocation to avoid our client’s existing retail entitlement of 4,650sqm being eroded.

 

 Officers consider that there are four key questions arising from consideration of this submission. These are outlined and discussed below –

 

1. Is an expansion of retail and commercial opportunities at Vasse likely to have a negative impact on the primacy of the Busselton City Centre and the Dunsborough Town Centre?

 

2. Is the expansion of retail opportunities within the Vasse townsite likely to have a negative impact on the establishment of the planned, new Vasse Village Centre mainstreet?

 

3. What would be the likely impact of not allowing some retail and flexibility in land use within the Vasse townsite?

 

4. How will the planned, future ‘downgrading/upgrading’ works for Bussell Highway within the Vasse townsite be funded?

 

Primacy of Busselton and Dunsborough

 

The longstanding and recently reaffirmed strategic planning direction as set out in the City’s draft Local Planning Strategy and Local Commercial Planning Strategy reinforces the primacy of Busselton as the City Centre for the whole of our district and provider of the greatest range of higher order retail and commercial goods, services and employment. The strategic direction for Dunsborough is for it to be the major town principally servicing the western part of the City. A fundamental strategy for Busselton in particular is to stimulate redevelopment and consolidate intensive commercial development, especially key retail anchors such as Discount Department Stores (DDS), in the existing area zoned ‘Business’ within the City Centre. There are currently two proposals before the City for the development of Discount Department Stores in Busselton, one being for Lot 17 West Street and the other for the Busselton Central Shopping Centre.

 

The allowable retail floorspace within the ‘Business’ and ‘Special Purpose’ land use designations on the endorsed Vasse DGP is set at 4,650m2 NLA. This is a broad strategy to guide the provision of retail facilities for the residential population at Vasse without detracting from the primacy of Busselton and Dunsborough as the principal commercial centres of the City.

 

The endorsed DAP for the planned, new Vasse Village Centre (provided as Attachment F) supports this premise by limiting the amount of land available for retail uses to the extent that higher order uses such as a DDS are unable to establish within the Village Centre. This is achieved by spatially restraining retail development by specifying where shop uses are allowed and where they are not. Shop uses are only allowed in the areas identified on the Village Centre DAP as ‘Type 1 – Large Format with Liner Buildings’ and ‘Type 2 – Main Street Retail’. The areas allocated for shop retail are sufficient to accommodate a full line supermarket of around 3,000m2 and a range of supporting specialty shops.

 

The establishment of a new, full line supermarket at Vasse is likely to be a strong attractor for residents in Abbey and Broadwater who might normally shop in Busselton. It is also likely to attract residents from the western part of the City who might normally shop in Dunsborough. Therefore the Vasse Village Centre is likely to have some impact on both Busselton and Dunsborough, but not sufficient to undermine the primacy of those two centres.

 

Expansion of commercial opportunities at Vasse would be more likely to have a significant impact on the primacy of Busselton and Dunsborough if the planning framework was altered to permit the development of a DDS.  Residents living in the western part of the City would be more likely to shop at Vasse rather than Dunsborough or Busselton. A DDS at Vasse would most likely have a negative impact on the current proposals for the development of the two DDS in Busselton and would discourage the development of a small DDS in Dunsborough indefinitely. 

 

An increase in the retail floorspace at Vasse by 1,150m2 (with that allowance being within the townsite) will not enable a DDS to develop at Vasse. Land ownership is fragmented, as is the distribution of the retail floorspace on both sides of Bussell Highway and lot specific allocations proposed by the DAP. This will also restrict the ability to develop a second supermarket at Vasse.

 

Should redevelopment occur within the townsite for retail purposes, it is likely that such uses would provide some of the convenience needs of residents in and around Vasse, but not sufficient to have a long term impact on Busselton and Dunsborough.

 

Impact on the Vasse Village Centre Mainstreet

 

The key concern raised in the submission on behalf of the developer of the Vasse Estate is that any shop retail activity allowed to develop within the Vasse townsite will jeopardise the successful establishment and sustainability of the planned, new Vasse Village Centre mainstreet.

 

A key anchor for the Vasse Village Centre will be a full line supermarket. Advice received from the developer of the Vasse Estate is that Coles is anticipated to open in 2016 (although the City is yet to receive a development application). The supermarket will have direct frontage to the mainstreet with a design response to that context.

 

Supermarkets play a pivotal role in influencing mainstreet success by working in concert with other land uses and urban spaces to generate pedestrian flows of central importance to the vitality, and therefore the viability of a mainstreet. The establishment of the supermarket as a mainstreet tenant at the Vasse will be a significant attractor and supporter of a range of specialty shops and related commercial activity that will contribute to the broader evolution of the village centre and the success of its mainstreet. In this regard, the Village Centre will have a significant ‘pull away’ effect from the Vasse townsite.

 

A related concern raised is that land within the Vasse townsite could be assembled to enable the establishment of a second supermarket in direct competition to the Vasse Village Centre. Even under a scenario where land assemblage into single ownership was possible (although considered by officers to be unlikely) the DAP splits the retail allocation either side of Bussell Highway (519m2 to the east and 631m2 to the west). Typically the floorspace required for the smallest sized supermarket (such as an IGA Express) is in the range of 900m2 to 1,000m2. In other words, the DAP will not facilitate the development of a second supermarket in Vasse.

 

Without a key anchor, officers consider that investment decisions to establish new retail and commercial uses are more likely to be made in favour of the Village Centre rather than the townsite. It is also likely that should a level of retail development occur in the townsite in the short term (within the next 5 years and assuming a supermarket opens in Vasse in that timeframe) there is likely to be some effect on the Village Centre mainstreet, and assumptions can be made about the extent of that effect. On balance, officers are of the view that a mixed use outcome in the townsite is warranted (for reasons set out in the next section of this report) and that the Village Centre mainstreet will establish successfully and remain sustainable and viable.

 

The planning framework specifies a population of 5,000 at Vasse, however that is likely to be exceeded. The Vasse Village Centre DAP allows for a residential density of R-AC3 (as does the draft townsite DAP), planning for the residential areas of Vasse is, and is likely to continue to deliver more medium density development and the City’s draft Local Planning Strategy identifies future growth areas at Vasse East, Vasse South and Abbey South for which Vasse would be the service centre (medium term urban growth areas identified as 11, 12, and 10 respectively on Attachment D).

 

Separate commercial analyses were included in the Vasse Village Centre DAP and the Vasse townsite DAP that estimated retail demand in comparison with the shop retail cap on the Vasse DGP. Findings suggested that even if the Village Centre retail area was fully developed and operating today (and the same for the Vasse townsite), there would be a shortfall and that shortfall will increase in the future. This would suggest that there is capacity for the townsite to account for some of the shortfall. 

 

 Impact on the Vasse Townsite

 

Landownership within the DAP area is fragmented (9 different landowners own 14 lots). Given this, there is no certainty around when, or if, redevelopment might occur, the extent of any redevelopment and/or the land uses that might result. Fragmented landownership has the potential to reduce rather than enhance opportunities for redevelopment and this demonstrated by the fact that there has been little or no change within the townsite for many years.

 

The impact of not allowing some retail and flexibility in land uses within the DAP area is likely to be that the impetus for redevelopment within the townsite will be stifled. It is fair to say that the townsite is in need of some level of revitalisation and activation and allowing shops to develop would be an important component.

 

Redevelopment and revitalisation would deliver improvements to the streetscape and character of the townsite (particularly when the section of Bussell Highway within the townsite eventually undergoes ‘downgrading/upgrading’ works as described in the following section of this report). Officers view this as being complementary to the Vasse Village Centre and would be a positive contribution to the overall presentation of urban development at Vasse.

 

Bussell Highway ‘Downgrade/Upgrade’

 

Two submissions suggested that the draft DAP is deficient as it does not address responsibilities for funding the downgrade/upgrade works for Bussell Highway within the Vasse townsite and contains no binding requirements for landowner/developer contributions.

 

The western termination of the Busselton Bypass occurs at the intersection with Bussell Highway at Vasse. The Bypass is planned to extend around Vasse Newtown (becoming part of the Vasse-Dunsborough Link Road), thus providing an alternative route for regional, heavy haulage and through traffic so that the existing Bussell Highway alignment can be used as an internal subdivision road to service Vasse. A new connection between the Bypass extension and Bussell Highway will be realised via the ‘western link road’ that will form the western boundary of the Vasse Light Industrial Area. The portion of Bussell Highway within the Vasse townsite (i.e. between Orlando Boulevard and Kaloorup Road) will be downgraded from highway status once the Bypass extension is completed (anticipated in 2016) to cater for local traffic only.

 

The City holds a bank guarantee for $975,000 for outstanding works in relation to the Bussell Highway downgrade/upgrade. The works include: land acquisition and transfer costs for road widening to the front of Lots 21 & 4 Bussell Highway; undergrounding of existing overhead power; service relocations generally; drainage works; street lighting and construction of the Kaloorup Road/Bussell Highway/Newtown Close intersection (new roundabout). The developer has responsibility for completing these works.

 

Works have recently commenced on the construction of the new roundabout intersection between Orlando Boulevard, Bussell Highway and Napoleon Promenade, anticipated for completion by mid-2015. Napoleon Promenade will be the main street through the proposed Vasse Village Centre and will form the neighbourhood distributor through Dawson Village to connect with the north-south industrial road on the eastern boundary of the Light Industrial Area. There are also likely to be other changes to Bussell Highway at its intersections with Kaloorup Road/Newtown Close and Vasse-Yallingup Siding. Draft plans previously prepared for the downgrade/upgrade works will require reviewing in response to the above. 

 

The Vasse Developer Contributions and Staging Plan (DCSP) does not currently include the Vasse townsite lots. There is a clear nexus between future redevelopment opportunities that will be facilitated by the DAP and benefits to land adjoining this section of Bussell Highway, once the upgrade works are completed. The DCSP has recently been revised (and adopted by the Council for advertising on 25 March 2015) to, amongst other things, include the Vasse townsite lots. However, given the small number of landowners and the inherent uncertainty over the timing and form of any redevelopment, the value of any contributions collected towards the Bussell Highway downgrade/upgrade works will be relatively low. Contributions towards funding improvements to the distributor road network and footpath and cycle networks will be required in accordance with the City’s Local Planning Policy 6E Roads, Footpaths and Cycle Network Upgrading Contributions.

 

That the submission be noted.

9.

Peter Ciemitis

5/116 Central Avenue

Inglewood WA 6052

Objection – the draft DAP fails to address many issues of implementation (particularly Bussell Highway) potentially leaving a significant financial burden with the City and ratepayers. Although the DAP makes cursory reference to some of the matters typically considered in activity centre planning, it appears to address these through a statement of broad principles with little substantiation relating to the ability to achieve these principles. The DAP report fails to -

 

1. demonstrate how coordinated shared access across properties will be achieved, the location of shared or co-located car parking or any exact crossover locations. The report omits reference to responsibilities and timing for the construction of access and parking.

2. provide detail in relation to the upgrade of Bussell Highway to a mainstreet standard and fails to demonstrate whether an appropriate profile can be achieved without widening the existing road reserve. The DAP identifies deficiencies regarding street drainage but does not illustrate how these will be addressed.

3. provide an indicative development plan demonstrating how the DAP principles will be achieved given the complexities of tenure, cadastre and uncertainty of funding.

4. address responsibilities, timing and funding for the upgrade of Bussell Highway and contains no binding requirements for specific contributions.

5. require full guidelines for built form, dealing with floor levels, setbacks, articulation, openings to the street, weather etc.

6. require a landscaping strategy, including funding and responsibilities.

7. the curation of land uses to achieve an appropriate mix. This is particularly relevant given that Bussell Highway will most likely attract ‘secondary rent uses’ (the majority of primary retail uses will most likely be attracted to Napoleon Boulevard) and may need to consider a complementary range of activities.

8. acknowledge the context of the proposal, particularly in relation to the Vasse Village Centre by the Perron Group, its approved DAP, its impending construction and its relationship thereto.

 

The DAP addresses very little or in many cases, none of these issues, and the proposal’s pursuit of commercial uplift without the resolution of these matters is premature until they are resolved. In my experience the design and implementation of activity centre projects are already complex matters even when there is the luxury of a single developer involved. These problems become compounded in the presence of multiple ownerships and require full detail up-front, rather than broad, non-binding statements of principle. It appears that the DAP has focussed primarily on pursuing the landowners benefit of achieving commercial uplift (the capture or retail floorspace planned for the Vasse Village Centre), but with no significant reciprocal contribution to the proper planning of the centre, or to the community in the form of placemaking, streetscape or the functional upgrading of Bussell Highway.

The western termination of the Busselton Bypass occurs at the intersection with Bussell Highway at Vasse. The Bypass is planned to extend around Vasse Newtown (becoming part of the Vasse-Dunsborough Link Road), thus providing an alternative route for regional, heavy haulage and through traffic so that the existing Bussell Highway alignment can be used as an internal subdivision road to service Vasse. A new connection between the Bypass extension and Bussell Highway will be realised via the ‘western link road’ that will form the western boundary of the Vasse Light Industrial Area. The portion of Bussell Highway within the Vasse townsite (i.e. between Orlando Boulevard and Kaloorup Road) will be downgraded from highway status once the Bypass extension is completed (anticipated in 2016) to cater for local traffic only.

 

The City holds a bank guarantee for $975,000 for outstanding works in relation to the Bussell Highway downgrade/upgrade. The works include: land acquisition and transfer costs for road widening to the front of Lots 21 & 4 Bussell Highway; undergrounding of existing overhead power; service relocations generally; drainage works; street lighting and construction of the Kaloorup Road/Bussell Highway/Newtown Close intersection (new roundabout). The developer has responsibility for completing these works.

 

Works have recently commenced on the construction of the new roundabout intersection between Orlando Boulevard, Bussell Highway and Napoleon Promenade, anticipated for completion by mid-2015. Napoleon Promenade will be the main street through the proposed Vasse Village Centre and will form the neighbourhood distributor through Dawson Village to connect with the north-south industrial road on the eastern boundary of the Light Industrial Area. There are also likely to be other changes to Bussell Highway at its intersections with Kaloorup Road/Newtown Close and Vasse-Yallingup Siding. Draft plans previously prepared for the downgrade/upgrade works will require reviewing in response to the above. 

 

The Vasse Developer Contributions and Staging Plan (DCSP) does not currently include the Vasse townsite lots. There is a clear nexus between future redevelopment opportunities that will be facilitated by the DAP and benefits to land adjoining this section of Bussell Highway, once the upgrade works are completed. The DCSP has recently been revised (and adopted by the Council for advertising on 25 March 2015) to, amongst other things, include the Vasse townsite lots. However, given the small number of landowners and the inherent uncertainty over the timing and form of any redevelopment, the value of any contributions collected towards the Bussell Highway downgrade/upgrade works will be relatively low. Contributions towards funding improvements to the distributor road network and footpath and cycle networks will be required in accordance with the City’s Local Planning Policy 6E Roads, Footpaths and Cycle Network Upgrading Contributions.

 

In terms of the other matters raised in the submission, lot ownership within the townsite is fragmented (9 individual landowners) and as such there is no certainty on when, or even if, redevelopment will occur, the extent of any redevelopment and/or the land uses that might result. A likely scenario is that the City might receive individual development applications at various points in the future on an ad hoc basis, therefore a DAP that incorporates the scope of coordination suggested in the submission would be unworkable. 

That the submission be noted and no change made to the DAP.

10.

J Gibson

12 Arnup Drive

Vasse WA 6280

Objection to the proposed secondary access point in front of this property. Numerous conversations and meetings have occurred between the submitter and the City about the situation with access to the shops over the last 3 – 5 years. A bollard was placed to stop cars going through, however bikes, motorbikes and pedestrians still use it and damage still occurs. The proposed access would compound an existing dangerous right angle bend in Arnup Drive that does not have signage to warn drivers to slow down.

Noted. Lot 2 is in the same ownership as adjoining Lots 50 and 51 Bussell Highway. Consideration can therefore be given to relocating the secondary access point away from Lot 2 to the southern corner of Lot 51.

That the submission be noted and the DAP modified by relocating the secondary access point from Arnup Drive to Lot 51.

11.

K Boucher

5 Newtown Close

Vasse WA 6280

And on behalf of –

I & C McSwain

11 Newtown Close

Vasse WA 6280

R Rice

3 Newtown Close

 Vasse WA 6280

N Bornatici

9 Newtown Close

Vasse WA 6280

G Dawson

7 Newtown Close

Vasse WA 6280

 

The proposal would impact on the quality of life that we currently enjoy as residents of Newtown Close. Our concerns are as follows –

1. Noise – we currently enjoy a peaceful lifestyle which would be severely disrupted by potential future land uses. The proposal will allow further development applications that may lead to the development of businesses that would back onto private residences.

2. Visual – the general amenity of the area would be greatly decreased for residents with adjoining properties, depending on how the site is developed, what type of land uses occur and the imposition of any setbacks (buffers).

3. Security – residents are concerned that there is the potential for adjoining properties to be at a higher risk of break-ins and antisocial activity.

Affected residents would have no objection to the DAP if it could include a condition requiring the construction of a suitable solid high wall between private residences and the adjoining site, at the cost of the developer.

The planning framework for Vasse, commencing with the adoption of the Development Guide Plan in 2004, addressed the townsite by designating the lots within the DAP area ‘Business’ zone and subsequently to ‘Special Purpose’ with land uses to be in accordance with a Detailed Area Plan (via Amendment 140 and corresponding revisions to the DGP). Amendment 140 included an indicative land use concept plan that illustrated the potential redevelopment of the townsite for residential, commercial and retail purposes. The planning framework has carried an expectation that further development and/or redevelopment of the townsite could occur.

 

Consultation with landowners adjoining the DAP area during the advertising of Amendment 140 did not reveal any concerns.

 

It is acknowledged that should any redevelopment occur within the DAP area, there will be some level of change to the current amenity for some of the landowners within the townsite. In response the DAP includes a condition requiring equivalent setbacks within the DAP area to the setbacks applicable to adjoining residential development to assist with amenity. Clause 11.3 of the City’s Local Planning Scheme 21 sets out a range of matters that should be given due regard in considering any future application for planning consent within the DAP area including, but not limited to:

 

·      The compatibility of a use or development with its setting;

·      Any social issues that have an effect on the amenity of the locality;

·      The preservation of the amenity of the locality;

·      The relationship of the proposal to development on adjoining land including the likely effect of the height, bulk, scale, orientation and appearance of the proposal;

·      The amount of traffic likely to be generated; and

·      Any relevant submissions received on the application.

That the submission be noted and no change be made to the DAP.

12.

Halsall & Associates on behalf of the owners of Lots 74 & 75 Bussell Highway

Vasse WA 6280

Objection to the proposed Detailed Area Plan based on the designation of these lots being ‘Residential Interface’ with no opportunity for retail or commercial development.

It is acknowledged that there was a concept plan prepared as part of Scheme Amendment 140 which rezoned the subject area to ‘Vasse Development Zone’. The concept plan identifies seven (7) properties in total with retail and commercial opportunities of which Lots 74 and 75 are not included. Subsequently the proposed draft DAP shows a total of nine (9) properties with retail and commercial opportunities with Lots 74 and 75 the only properties with direct frontage to Bussell Highway without this opportunity. Clearly, the draft DAP has been modified to what was previously expressed in the draft concept plan to include more retail frontage to the Main Street. We would therefore be seeking a similar amendment to include Lots 74 and 75 as ‘Main Street Retail and Commercial’ on the draft DAP for the reasons outlined in detail below.

Bussell Highway is the Main Street of the Vasse Townsite and therefore retail and mixed use opportunities should be maximised in this location. It would therefore be logical to extend the mix-use opportunities across the full extent of lots with direct frontage to Bussell Highway and this would therefore include Lots 74 and 75. This would also provide opportunities for a more effective and clear designation of the Main Street as Lot 74 is located at the bend in Bussell Highway where it straightens along the proposed retail and commercial area. This will provide for the southern anchor point for traffic accessing the Main Street from the south.

Requirement 35 of Element 7 – Activity Centres and Employment of Liveable Neighbourhoods states:

 

“In most situations, changes of use of significant development intensity should be made at the mid-line of a street block, rather than at a street frontage. Similar forms of development should front each other across a street to provide compatibility and legible streetscapes.”

 

It is considered that this is an important consideration in the draft DAP and future design of the town site. Currently the change of development intensity being from mixed-use to pure residential is located at the street frontage of Bussell Highway and it is considered that this change will have considerable impact on the future streetscape of this area. To comply with this requirement of Liveable Neighbourhoods the mix-use component should be extended to the western boundary of Lot 74 which forms the mid-line of the street block, with the adjoining lot having primary frontage to Newtown Close and therefore providing a clear distinction between land uses. It is considered that the current land use arrangement will have a considerable impact on the streetscape of the southern end of the Main Street. To put this into perspective the residential component on Lots 74 and 75 are required to have a primary street setback of a minimum 2m. In contrast the mixed use lots adjoining will have a nil setback to Bussell Highway. Given the orientation of the lots and the proposed bulk and scale of the mixed use development, this will not only impact on the streetscape but also create issues with solar access particularly on the ground floor. By extending the mixed use component across the full frontage of Lots 74 and 75, these issues can be adequately addressed as the setbacks of each building will be the same. Further the streetscape, bulk and scale of the buildings will be similar when driving along the main street from both directions.

Requirement 35 also states that similar forms of development should front one another so as to provide for compatible and legible streetscape. Lot 75 has full frontage to Lot 51 opposite which will have an alternative form of development under the current draft DAP. This would appear to be contrary the requirements of Liveable Neighbourhoods. 

If Council are concerned with the interface between Lot 74 and the adjoining residential area, this can be adequately dealt with through the development process. The interface between the two properties will remain as residential similar to all other properties adjoining this area. Further it is likely that the adjoining lots will be developed at a significantly higher density through the DAP process given their proximity to the Main Street and the requirements of Liveable Neighbourhoods in this regard.

The mix-use component will provide opportunities to further activate the open space adjacent to Lot 74. In addition, the residential component above the retail and commercial opportunities will still provide for passive surveillance of the open space outside of business hours.

The draft DAP currently allocates 437m2 of retail floorspace to Lots 2, 21 and 22. Given that Lot 22 has no frontage to Bussell Highway, it is considered that this should have no retail floorspace allocated to it as this would be contrary to the Main Street principles as outlined in the Consultant’s report. This is similar to the approach for Lots 8 and 9 who have not been included as they do not have direct frontage to Bussell Highway. On this basis, the retail floorspace component for Lot 22 can be distributed to Lots 74 and 75 who have direct frontage to Bussell Highway and will therefore better contribute to the viability of the Main Street.

Further the Vasse Newtown Commercial Analysis prepared by Hames Sharley in 2011 to support Amendment 140 and the preparation of a Concept Plan states that 1,300m2 of retail floorspace would be sustainable within the Main Street. Only 1,150m2 has been allocated as part of the proposed Draft Detailed Area Plan. On this basis and in addition to the floorspace described in the previous paragraph, there is also an additional 150m2 available that could also be sustainably allocated to Lots 74 and 75.

Our client’s intentions for their respective properties has always been to provide for mixed use development that would contribute to the viability of the Main Street. Providing a range of land use options will also improve the viability of development on the site itself to ensure that the development is of a high standard and acceptable for the Main Street. It will also provide greater flexibility in the building design to ensure that it provides a clear entry statement from the south that acts as a point of interest for people accessing the Main Street. It is considered that the original intention of this area as a ‘special use’ under the DGP was to capitalise on the location and in particular the frontage to Bussell Highway for retail land uses. The proposed modifications would maximise these opportunities whilst maintaining the sustainable thresholds identified by Hames Sharley.

Consultation with landowners at the time Amendment 140 and the modified DGP was advertised did not result in submissions from the landowners.

 

A key principle of main street design is similar forms of development fronting each other across a street to provide compatibility and legible streetscapes. Allowing a commercial element on Lot 74 would be contrary to this principle as it has frontage to Kaloorup Oval which is Reserved for Recreation under Local Planning Scheme 21.

 

The commercial analysis by Hames Sharley provided in support of Amendment 140 and the indicative land use concept plan stated that 1,300m2 GLA of retail (shop) floorspace would be sustainable in the townsite main street.

 

 

 

That the submission be noted and the reference to the retail allocation for Lot 22 be removed from condition 3 of the DAP.

13.

LW & EA Shepherdson

Lots 8 & 9 Dowell Road & Lot 21 Bussell Highway

Vasse WA 6280

Objection.

1. Retail or business space for Lot 21 should be around 1,000m2. More recognition and planning consideration must be given to pre-existing, long term use of the site and the combined size of our lots.

2. The land was purchased in 2000 with Lot 21 zoned ‘Industrial’ and Lots 8 & 9 zoned ‘Residential’ with non-conforming use rights for the latter as they had been used for industrial purposes. We understand that the zoning was later changed to ‘Development Zone’.

3. The Vasse structure plan (2003) zoned the existing town site ‘Business’ meaning shops and retail. Considerable retail space has been allowed in an adjoining area at the expense of the town site ‘Business’ zone.

It is likely that the existing industrial activities will continue to operate on these lots indefinitely and possibly irrespective of the opportunities afforded by the DAP.

 

The proposition that the land currently utilised for a transport depot/building supplies outlet and/or the combined area of the landholdings should be automatically translated into calculations for retail (shop) floorspace is not supported by officers.

 

That the submission be noted and no change be made to the DAP.

 

 


Council

259

27 May 2015

11.4

Attachment f

Vasse Village Centre Detailed Area Plan

 


Council                                                                                      263                                                                    27 May 2015

11.5           PROPOSED EXTENSIONS AND ALTERATIONS, LOT 3001 QUEEN STREET (EQUINOX CAFE): DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION AND PROPOSED CREATION OF NEW RESERVE/LEASE AREA

SUBJECT INDEX:

DA15/0119

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE:

A City of shared, vibrant and well planned places that provide for diverse activity and strengthen our social connections.

BUSINESS UNIT:

Development Services and Policy

ACTIVITY UNIT:

Statutory Planning

REPORTING OFFICER:

Statutory Planning Coordinator - Joanna Wilson

Director, Community and Commercial Services - Naomi Searle

AUTHORISING OFFICER:

Chief Executive Officer - Mike Archer

VOTING REQUIREMENT:

Simple Majority

ATTACHMENTS:

Attachment a   Development Plans  

  

 

PRÉCIS

 

The Council is asked to consider an application seeking approval for extensions and alterations to the Equinox Café at Lot 3001 Queen Street, Busselton (“the site”).

 

The planning proposal has been placed before Council due to the sensitive nature of the site and potential impact on the locality.

 

It is considered that the proposal, in its current location, is broadly consistent with the relevant planning framework and is recommended for approval subject to conditions.

 

Further it is recommended that Council requests the Chief Executive Officer write to the Minister for Lands requesting that the sub-lease area of 1155m2 be excised from the site and a new reserve be created to facilitate the granting of a new sub-lease over the new, larger, proposed development footprint (i.e. relative to existing Equinox development/lease area) and power to enter into a longer sub-lease term of up to 49 years.

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

The City received an application (DA15/0119) for extensions and alterations to Equinox Café; Lot 3001 Queen Street, Busselton. The application for planning consent was advertised for public and agency comment, and the application as advertised is provided at Attachment A.

 

The site is located within the Busselton Foreshore and within a Special Purpose Zone. The proposal comprises the demolition of the existing public toilets and takeaway counter and extending the existing restaurant to the front (towards the Jetty) and creating an enclosed, partially covered alfresco area and extensions to the side adjacent to the existing car park. The extensions to the side will create a new takeaway kitchen, servery and dining area, as well as replacing the public toilets.

 

The existing building (including the takeaway area and public toilets) is 768m2 in area. The proposal will result in a total leased area of 1155m2, and this includes the alfresco area and takeaway component.

 

The application was advertised in the local newspaper for public comment; no responses were received.

 

Currently the Equinox Café lease is issued under management order powers held by the City of Busselton and is for a term of 21 years, with seven years remaining. In preliminary discussions and negotiations in relation to the proposed new sub-lease area of 1155m2, the applicant has indicated that a longer lease term would be preferable given the investment being contemplated in the building expansion. Subsequent discussions with the Department of Lands has indicated that, if a longer sub-lease term is to be considered, it would be appropriate to excise the proposed sub-lease area and create a new reserve. Hence, officers are recommending that the Chief Executive Officer writes to the Minister for Lands requesting that the lease area of 1155m2 be excised and a new reserve created for the footprint for the proposed development. 

 

STATUTORY ENVIRONMENT

 

The key statutory environment in terms of the planning decision is set out in the City of Busselton Local Planning Scheme No. 21 (‘the Scheme’).

 

The site is located in the ‘Special Purpose’ zone.   Clause 4.9 of the Scheme states ’Land, or any structures of buildings on land in the Special Purpose zone must not be used for any purpose other than the purpose or purposes identified on the Scheme map and in accordance with any Development Guide Plan or Structure Plan that may apply to the land’.

 

The site is also subject to Special Provision No.44, which states as follows:

1.            ‘The intent of the ‘Special Purpose (Busselton Foreshore)’ zone is to facilitate the planned, progressive renewal and revitalisation of the Busselton Foreshore in accordance with a broad community vision.

2.            Development of the land shall be generally in accordance with a Development Guide Plan for the land adopted by Council and endorsed by the Western Australian Planning Commission pursuant to the Scheme.

3.            The provisions of the endorsed Development Guide Plan apply to the land as if its provisions were incorporated into the Scheme and are binding and enforceable in the same manner as those provisions included in the Scheme.

4.            The preparation of the Development Guide Plan, required by special provision 2, shall be guided by the City of Busselton endorsed ‘Busselton Foreshore Master Plan’.

 

The Equinox Café is located on Crown land (Reserve 38558) which is vested to the City of Busselton under a management order with the power to lease for up to 21 years. To facilitate the creation of a new reserve, the City of Busselton will need to write to the Minster for Lands requesting the excising of the proposed lease area and creation of a new reserve.  If approved, the Department of Lands will then be required to enter into a new head lease with the City of Busselton for the newly created reserve.

 

Once the new reserve has been created, Section 3.58 of the Local Government Act 1995 requires the Council to give local public notice of its intention to dispose of the property and consider any submissions which are received within the specified period prior to entering into a new sub-lease. Additionally, the City will need to terminate the existing lease with Ravensthorpe Nominees PTY Ltd (the proponent) prior to entering into the new sub-lease.

 

RELEVANT PLANS AND POLICIES

 

There are no Local Planning Policies especially relevant to this proposal.

 

 

 

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

 

There are no financial implications associated with the planning decision, however negotiations will be undertaken with the proponent with regards to rent, reflective of the proposed development.

 

Long-term Financial Plan Implications

 

There are no LTFP issues with the planning decision, however the development will see an increase in rental revenue received which will be transferred to the City’s Jetty Maintenance Reserve, and will be incorporated into the next LTFP review.

 

STRATEGIC COMMUNITY OBJECTIVES

 

The recommendation in this report reflects Community Objective 2.2 of the City’s Strategic Community Plan 2013 – ‘A City of shared, vibrant and well planned places that provide for diverse activity and strengthen our social connections.’

 

RISK ASSESSMENT

 

An assessment of the potential implications of implementing the Officer Recommendation has been undertaken using the City’s risk assessment framework.  The assessment identifies ‘downside’ risks only, rather than ‘upside’ risks as well.  Risks are only identified in Council reports where the residual risk, once controls are identified, is ‘medium’ or greater.  No such risks have been identified.

 

CONSULTATION

 

The planning application was advertised in the local newspaper and to relevant Government agencies. 

 

No submissions from members of the public have been received. 

 

Comments have been received from Department of Transport (Coastal) and Department of Planning; The Department of Transport raises no objection.  The Department of Planning provides the following comments ‘the proposal is a development matter generally foreshadowed in the endorsed ‘Busselton Foreshore Development Guide Plan’, as such it is assumed that the City will give due regard to the applicable land use and development controls pursuant to the DGP’.

 

OFFICER COMMENT

 

Development Application

 

The key questions requiring consideration in determining the development application are seen as being:

 

1.    Is the proposal consistent with the Busselton Foreshore Development Guide Plan and the Foreshore Master Plan?

2.    Are there any detailed issues that require further consideration?

 

Busselton Foreshore Development Guide Plan and Master Plan

 

The Development Guide Plan (DGP) has a number of provisions relating to this site, in particular the recommended building ground floor area.  The DGP recommends that the maximum building floor area for Equinox shall be 1000m2, the proposed extensions would increase the floor area to a total leased area of 1155m2, but an actual building footprint somewhat less than that. That is in excess of that set out in the DGP, however, it is considered that the additional floor space would not be contrary to the intent of the Special Purpose zone and the Special Provisions.

 

The main change for the community from the proposed additions is the enclosed alfresco area; at the current time this is open and available for use by the general public. This affects, however, a relatively small area. In addition, the progressive implementation of Masterplan for the broader Foreshore area will result in a significant increase in the number of seating areas that are available to the public; as a result it is considered that this area being enclosed will not result in a detrimental impact to the community.

 

Detailed Issues

 

City officers have undertaken a more detailed assessment of the proposal, and have identified four key issues that would require further consideration before the development actually proceeds. In all three cases, however, it is considered that the issues can be adequately addressed through conditions of approval, as opposed to require further resolution before a conditional approval can be granted.

 

The first and probably most important issue relates to ensuring the continued health of existing, mature trees in the vicinity of the proposed development – in particular a fig tree and a pine tree on the north-eastern (Jetty) side of the building and a fig tree on the south-western (Queen Street) side of the building. The proposed development includes new building and al fresco areas being built in very close proximity to the pine tree, and in relatively close proximity to the nearby fig. The proposed development would also potentially require vehicle access in reasonably close proximity to the other fig tree. These three trees, the figs in particular, are seen as being a vital component of the character and amenity of the Foreshore generally and of the area around the Equinox in particular. Accordingly, a condition of approval is recommended that would require an arboricultural report on these trees. That report would be required to identify any risks that the proposed development may pose to the trees, strategies to avoid those risks. The proposed condition makes it clear that the development must be designed and undertaken in a manner that would see the trees retained and ensure their continued health, and that if changes to the detailed design and layout of the proposed development are required to ensure, that such changes will occur. That may require, for instance, that the al fresco area be decked, rather than paved.

 

Related to this first issue is the need to identify in more detail how servicing of the site is to occur – in terms of both deliveries and refuse collection. With proposed changes to road layouts and other improvements to the Foreshore, the existing location where this occurs may no longer be accessible. The changes external to the site, both in terms of detailed design and timing/staging, are yet to be fully resolved, and will need to be resolved in partnership with the proponents to ensure a workable solution. A condition requiring resolution of that issue forms part of the officer recommendation.

 

The third issue relates to the detailed design of south-western (Queen Street) side of the building, which for a variety of reasons is the ‘back’ of the building – both currently and following the proposed development. Whilst it is neither possible nor desirable to reorient the building, it is seen as importan