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Karratha council approves $65m CBD apartment development

A Pilbara council has approved a development application for a multi-million apartment complex at the entrance to the Karratha city centre subject to 17 conditions.

Lot 7020 Sharpe Avenue, at the entrance of the CBD, was earmarked by the City of Karratha in 2019 for development when it launched a pre-feasibility study for the long-disused block.

In September 2021 the council went to tender for the architectural design and lead consultant for the project.

However, at their June 30 meeting councillors endorsed a motion to move the $305,000 allocated for design to the budget for the next financial year, with design works scheduled to be completed in the 2022-23 financial year.

Councillors at the August 22 meeting unanimously voted to approve the development application for the project subject to a slew of conditions, including approval being valid for only two years.

Other conditions include a detailed landscape plan, a public art report detailing the final public art specifications and a noise management plan.

Mayor Peter Long said the council engaged an independent consultant to assess the development application.

“Being the proposer of the development and the employer of the city officer who actually assessed these, we’ve got an indirect financial interest, which is quite interesting for us,” he said.

“The law says we can do that, but we thought it’s actually better to have an independent assessor.”

The complex would include 82 apartments and community facilities such as a museum, art gallery, Indigenous interpretive centre and tourism centre.

The project is estimated to cost about $55m to $65m, with funds to come from city reserves and borrowings from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility or WA Treasury Corporation.

Cr Long said the city was happy with the conditions imposed as part of the application.

“But we always require a stormwater management plan, for example, a fire management plan or the waste management plan and a traffic management plan; all this thing is standard stuff,” he said.

“These things are quite standard. And this is a major development, it’s a $70 million development of 100 apartments, or close to it.”

Cr Long said the project would now continue with a detailed design before tenders were released.

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