What is happening at the former Shenton Park Hospital site?
Work is currently underway to redevelop this 15 hectare site into a modern, well-designed urban community. Following an 18-month community and stakeholder engagement program, the draft planning framework documents were released for public comment in early 2016 and approved by the Minister for Planning in December 2016.
Montario Quarter has been designed to balance the views of the community and policy requirements, and will reflect the culture, history and existing landscape of the site, while providing a range of modern housing options.
Demolition of the former hospital buildings is now complete and civil works are currently underway.
Why is this site being developed for housing?
Perth’s population is expected to grow to 3.5 million people by 2050. As Western Australia’s land development agency, one of our responsibilities is to ensure the availability of land for jobs and land for living for current and future generations.
In achieving this objective, infill development is a key strategy to help make the most of existing infrastructure. This includes access to public transport, established work opportunities, businesses, and health and education facilities. We have an excellent track record in transforming underutilised government land including the nearby award winning redevelopment of the Perry Lakes Stadium.
Located close to the city and just 400m from Shenton Park train station, Montario Quarter presents an ideal opportunity to help address Perth’s rapid population growth, whilst also improving local amenity and housing diversity.
What level of density is being envisaged for the site?
The development will be sympathetic to the existing community and its location, while also being responsive to the state and local government planning requirements and our city’s rapidly growing population.
We have spent more than 18-months consulting the surrounding community, businesses, state and local government to determine the best outcomes for this development site.
Under the approved plans, there will be a range of building heights across the site.
The apartment developments will be required to comply with Design Guidelines, which will ensure that the future developments are responsive to the surrounding developments including existing residents, Shenton College, Victoria House and the community open spaces.
How many homes will be built in the new development and how many people will live there?
As part of the planning process a minimum of 1,100 dwellings has been included within the Improvement Scheme’s development requirements in order to achieve the project’s vision and broader infill development targets. We have also tested a scenario of 1,600+ new homes to ensure there is sufficient local infrastructure capacity to cater for medium to long term market demand, meeting housing needs both now and into the future.
Ultimately more than 2,000 new residents will call Montario Quarter home.
How much will housing cost?
It is too early to accurately quote pricing, with many factors impacting on the final price of the dwellings. However, all land sold by DevelopmentWA is priced according to independent market valuations. Key comparable DevelopmentWA projects recently delivered include Perry Lakes, Parkside Walk Jolimont and Claremont on the Park.
How will this development fit in with the local community?
The Montario Quarter Master Plan has been designed to fit within the context of the surrounding community. This includes improved pedestrian and bicycle links through the site to Shenton Park train station and Selby Street, as well as stepped-back height for buildings adjacent to parks, residents and Shenton College.
Design Guidelines are also in place for both the public realm and proposed buildings to ensure a quality look and feel throughout the development.
Will this development feature public open space / parklands?
Yes, more than one quarter of the development area has been set aside for a variety of public open spaces. This includes grassed areas, landscaped parklands and retained bushland.
The bushland in the western portion of the site will be treated and rehabilitated to preserve its natural beauty. This area will become a destination for the whole community to enjoy and will include a nature play area, viewing sites and walking trails, set amongst retained and rehabilitated, high quality bushland.
The existing row of heritage listed Queensland Box Trees leading from Selby Street to Victoria House will be retained as a green entrance to the retail hub. A central parkland will also be created next to Victoria House. This space will feature community facilities such as barbecues, exercise and playground equipment, and an urban orchard, creating an area for families to gather and play.
Additional landscaped spaces will also be included in the Parkland Precinct, including areas for community activity, such as playground and exercise equipment, amphitheater-style seating, a basketball hoop and grassed areas.
Throughout Montario Quarter, the history of the site will be reflected in the public spaces through educational and interpretive signage, public art and the use of re-salvaged materials.
What new amenities are being planned?
In addition to a range of housing options, the development will feature a new shopping precinct surrounding Victoria House, including up to 5,500sqm of retail floor space. When complete, Montario Quarter will be a lush green estate, with tree lined streets and more than 25% of the site dedicated to public open space, including retained bushland, walking trails, a nature-play area and exercise and playground equipment.
The recently announced plans for the first two development sites will also bring new exciting community spaces to the estate.
Iris Residential and Primewest’s mixed-use development will feature ground floor retail and commercial, including a supermarket, health-related service providers, specialist food and wine providers, cafés and other boutique retail offerings.
The residential component will include a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments, positioned around a central landscaped podium with resident facilities including a communal vegetable garden, dining and lounge areas and a swimming pool.
The repurposing of the heritage-listed Victoria House will be undertaken by Fini Group. Each of the six wings of the former hospital building is planned to include opportunities for community activation, such as food and beverage venues, artisan retail offerings, artist studios and a proposed furniture and homeware concept store.
Fini Group are also proposing an Urban Farm, combining a plant nursery, educational programs and the opportunity for residents and hospitality venues to cultivate produce through a ‘farm to fork’ connection.
Heritage and environment
Will the heritage of the site be protected?
A key objective in the design and development of Montario Quarter is to respect the rich history of the site. In line with this, a Conservation Management Plan has been prepared to guide future development.
The former use of the site as a place of healing has been an important element in the design of the site. Victoria House, the avenue of Queensland Box trees and a portion of the G Block façade and courtyard will be preserved, and the Heritage Council will continue to be consulted throughout the redevelopment to make sure it reflects the historical significance of the former hospital.
Victoria House will become the centrepiece of Montario Quarter. The G Block façade and courtyard will also be incorporated into a new development, with the existing walkway linkage to Victoria House re-interpreted within the public park.
The Master Plan shows cleared areas through the Woodland Precinct – why is this?
In line with State Planning Policy 3.7 (Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas), retained bushland close to residents is required to be contained within 2,500sqm cells, with a 20m separation between each of these cells, in order to reduce the risk of bushfires.
As an infill development, these bushfire reduction measures will not only impact future residents and businesses within Montario Quarter, but also the vulnerable health users currently residing in the surrounding development area.
The Master Plan is considered to be a balanced outcome, achieving the retention of significant vegetation, necessary bushfire protection and the need for infill development along a key public transport corridor.
What will happen to the site’s bushland?
The western portion of the site contains bushland varying from completely degraded to very good; an existing carpark; drainage sump; and access ways.
In order to balance the environmental considerations with management of bushfire hazard and facilitation of three development sites in this area, parts of the bushland will need to be cleared.
To minimise impact on bushland and to improve public access to the existing bushland area, building footprints and roads in the Montario Quarter Master Plan have been consolidated and realigned, including building on an existing car park.
Areas of bushland will be retained and rehabilitated, resulting in a net increase of the amount of ‘very good’ quality bushland.
Has Montario Quarter received any environmental approvals?
We have been working with State and Federal environmental agencies throughout the planning process for Montario Quarter.
The WA Environmental Protection Authority assessed the Improvement Scheme resulting in a ‘scheme not assessed (with advice)’ outcome, meaning that the EPA considers that the scheme amendment is unlikely to have a significant effect on the environment and does not warrant formal assessment under Part IV of the Environmental Protection Act.
We also self-referred the Improvement Scheme for Federal approval under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999, which determined this was not a controlled action.This decision means that there is not likely to be a significant impact and therefore has approval to proceed under the EPBC Act.
Why does some of the bushland need to be cleared?
Bushfires are an inherent part of life in Australia. We have seen too many fires risking lives and properties in recent years, and in some parts of our State, this threat is only increasing.
As a result of this threat, a mandatory bushfire policy (State Planning Policy 3.7) was introduced in 2015, which requires all new developments close to bushland to include measures to reduce this risk to people and property.
In line with this policy, development at Montario Quarter has been designed to maximise the amount of bushland that can be kept and improved, while balancing other community needs, such as safety and recreation spaces, and maintaining a low bushfire risk for nearby residents and businesses. This includes reducing the risk for apartment sites within Montario Quarter, as well as the existing businesses and vulnerable residents surrounding the estate.
We understand that not everyone will agree with our approach. However, we have sought to provide a safe, balanced outcome for the community as a whole.
Does this mean environmental protection is no longer of importance?
Not at all. Environmental protection is always an important consideration in our developments. However, this also needs to be balanced with jobs, housing affordability, community well-being and safety.
At Montario Quarter, our plans have been specifically designed to consider the natural features of the site. A weed management program is underway to ensure the best quality native species are able to thrive. We have also completed a two-year seed collection program, so the bushland can be further enhanced with seeds native to the site.
In addition, a bushfire consultant and landscape architect will be on site to maximise the tree canopy and vegetation and minimise the extent of clearing required in the Woodland Precinct.
When complete, there will be a net increase of 200+ trees across the site and an increase in the overall tree canopy cover. A quarter of the site has been set aside for public open space, including parklands, playgrounds, nature play areas and retained bushland.
We are committed to incorporating environmental sustainability into our developments throughout the State. This is evident through the number of Green Star, EnviroDevelopment, One Planet Living and other environmental accreditations we have achieved.
Could the bushfire risk be managed in another way?
Under the bushfire regulations, areas close to bushland are allocated a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) rating, according to the level of risk. The proposed clearing in the Woodland Precinct will allow this risk to be lowered, reducing the BAL rating from ‘extreme’ (current rating) to ‘moderate’ or ‘low’.
While a higher BAL rating is possible, this will have a significant impact on surrounding residents and future development.
With a higher BAL rating, additional fire safety measures would need to be included in building designs, creating significant financial implications for these developments, which will ultimately need to be passed onto purchasers.
These measures may also need to be incorporated into the existing buildings surrounding the estate, adding to the cost of any future expansion or renovation of these businesses and not-for-profit organisations.
Throughout the planning of Montario Quarter, we have sought to provide the best outcome for the community – balancing environmental factors with social, economic and safety outcomes.
Traffic and access
What impact will the development have on local traffic?
Traffic modelling studies incorporating more than 1600 dwellings have been completed to ensure the development can be supported using the existing road network into the future. The estate also provides easy access to the Shenton Park Train Station and several key bus routes, encouraging residents to reduce their reliance on cars.
How will traffic access the future development?
When complete, four roads will provide access to homes and businesses within Montario Quarter, including one road off Lemnos Street and three roads off Selby Street.
In order to facilitate this, the existing Nash/Selby Street intersection has been upgraded from lights to a roundabout to allow for the fourth leg of the intersection within the development site.
Extensive pedestrian and cycling links will also be provided to encourage the use of bicycles and public transport.
Why was a roundabout required for the Nash Street intersection?
In order to provide sufficient access to Montario Quarter, the Nash Street intersection needed to be upgraded to allow for 4-way traffic.
Prior to modifying or installing any signalised intersection, Main Roads WA requires consideration of a roundabout option. This policy is provided in detail in the MRWA Guidelines for the Selection of Intersection Control.
Traffic studies have found that a roundabout is the most efficient way of maintaining traffic flow. As a result, modification of the existing signals was not supported by Main Roads WA and the intersection was converted to a roundabout.
How does the Nash Street roundabout impact pedestrians?
The safety of pedestrians and cyclists was a fundamental factor in the design of the Nash Street roundabout.
The existing pedestrian ‘pelican crossing’ to the north of Nash Street will remain in place to allow safe access across Selby Street. The supervised school crossings on Lemnos Street and Stubbs Terrace will also remain in operation before and after school.
Planning and consultation
Why have single residential lots been included in the plan, when this land could be used to remove higher density from the Woodland Precinct?
Not everyone wants to live in an apartment – it’s as simple as that.
Developing infill sites in established suburbs, close to existing infrastructure, is about providing more housing options for the community. Yes, density is important and plays an essential role in ensuring homes for our growing population. But this shouldn’t be the only option.
Montario Quarter has been designed to incorporate a range of housing options, allowing future residents a choice of how they want to live.
The design is also sensitive towards Shenton College and the homes and businesses surrounding the estate, ensuring lower density and stepped-back building designs at the edges of the estate to reduce the impact on our neighbours.
What impact will the new bushfire regulations have on the redevelopment plans?
State Bushfire Mapping identifies the existing woodland at the western boundary of the site as ‘bushfire prone’. In designing the project, DevelopmentWA has worked to ensure the development balances both fire management and environmental objectives.
What is the Western Australian Planning Commission’s (WAPC) role in the redevelopment?
In late 2014, DevelopmentWA requested that the WAPC make the site subject to Improvement Plan and Improvement Scheme as the preferred mechanism to coordinate the redevelopment. Improvement Plan No.43 – Shenton Park Rehabilitation Hospital was gazetted on 3 July 2015 and is now in effect. The Improvement Plan authorises the WAPC to advance planning and development of the area through an Improvement Scheme. The Gazettal of the Improvement Scheme on 17 January 2017 makes the WAPC the approving authority on all Development Applications associated with the Improvement Scheme.
What is DevelopmentWA’s role?
As State Government’s land development agency, DevelopmentWA is facilitating the redevelopment in line with the approved Structure Plan and in consultation with members of the Shenton Park Steering Committee (City of Nedlands, City of Subiaco, Department of Planning and Department of Lands).
How will Local Government be involved?
The City of Nedlands and the City of Subiaco were members of the Shenton Park Steering Committee, and will continue to be actively engaged in the redevelopment of the Shenton Park Rehabilitation Hospital site.
What community consultation was undertaken during the planning for the redevelopment?
DevelopmentWA worked closely with local residents and key stakeholders over 18 months to shape the future redevelopment of this site. Community engagement has included:
Consultation with key stakeholder groups including state and local government and surrounding residents and businesses;
Extensive research on how the community values the site;
A 600 person survey;
A series of community and online forums to help shape the draft Master Plan;
A Co-Governance model, which included a range of key stakeholders and a Community Reference Group; and
A public comment period for the draft master plan, held outside of the statutory planning process
What is currently happening onsite?
Demolition of the former Hospital buildings is now complete, excluding Victoria House and the G-Block façade and courtyard. These buildings will be restored and repurposed within the new development.
The next stage of works includes civil works required to produce development sites ready for purchase.
When will the first lots be available for sale?
In June 2017, Lots 37 and 38 were released to the market through an Expression of Interest campaign. In March 2018, Iris Residential/Primewest and Fini Group were announced as the successful proponents on these lots. Click here to read this announcement.