What is an activity centre?

An activity centre is an area where there is a concentration of commercial, retail (including shopping, cafes, restaurants and bars) and residential land uses. Due to the land uses in activity centres they are also focal points in the transport network.

State Government planning policies encourage development in activity centres to improve services and business opportunities, increase housing close to jobs and services, and to improve the sustainability of the transport network by supporting walking, cycling and public transport. 

The State Government has organised the activity centres within metropolitan Perth into a hierarchy, to inform and help coordinate the planning of these important areas. There are 50 activity centres within the central sub-region of Perth, with the central business district being the largest. 

South Perth is classified as a district centre. District centres have a focus on servicing the daily and weekly needs of residents. They should aim to provide a local community focus and provide services, facilities and job opportunities that reflect the particular needs of their catchments. In South Perth, this includes recognising the location of the area adjacent to the Perth central business district.

What is an Activity Centre Plan?

An Activity Centre Plan (ACP) is a document that provides the guiding framework for the planning and development of an activity centre. An ACP sets out the strategic vision for an area and the statutory planning requirements for development. An ACP guides the types of land uses and the overall development (including built form) that is intended to occur within the activity centre. It can detail land uses, environmental assets, residential density, built form, infrastructure and access arrangements.

An ACP includes:

·  An Executive Summary;

·  Part One implementation section, which contains the requirements against which development will be assessed;

·  Part Two explanatory section, which contains the background information and rationale for Part One; and

·  Technical Appendices.

What is Town Planning Scheme Amendment No. 61 and how does it relate to the draft South Perth Activity Centre Plan?

The draft South Perth Activity Centre Plan should be read together with proposed Town Planning Scheme Amendment no. 61 (Amendment 61). The two documents have been developed together and, once finalised and approved, they will provide the guiding framework (strategic vision and statutory framework) for the planning and development of the area.

The draft South Perth Activity Centre Plan will be required to be given due regard in determining development applications once finalised and approved. The requirements in proposed town planning scheme amendment no. 61 will become part of the City’s town planning scheme once the amendment is approved. 

The proposed town planning scheme amendment contains the key development requirements, including:

·  Character area objectives

·  Zoning, residential density coding and land uses

·  Requirements that define the building envelope (building height, plot ratio, podium setbacks, podium height, podium site cover, tower setbacks, tower separation and tower maximum gross floorplate area)

·  Requirements for the approval of additional height and plot ratio above the base limits.

The draft South Perth Activity Centre Plan provides objectives, explanation and background to support the requirements in the proposed amendment, as well as additional requirements that must also be considered when assessing development proposals.

How does the draft South Perth Activity Centre Plan relate to the City's draft Local Planning Strategy?

The City is currently preparing its first Local Planning Strategy. The draft Local Planning Strategy was approved by Council in September 2018 and will be formally endorsed by the Western Australian Planning Commission before it is advertised for public comment.

The Local Planning Strategy (LPS) is a high level document that identifies where more detailed plans (such as activity centre plans) are to be prepared. The LPS must also reflect state government policy and previous decisions made by the local government.

The South Perth activity centre is classified as a district centre in the state activity centre hierarchy and therefore requires an activity centre plan in accordance with state government policy. Council resolved to prepare an activity centre plan for the South Perth centre in June 2017, following the Place + Design project.