Rockingham council has endorsed a proposal to build a three-storey and a five-storey apartment building despite concerned residents who believe it will affect the amenity of their neighbourhood. The site on Lot 62 Harrison Street and Lot 94 and 95 Parkin Street, Rockingham, is expected to provide 47 new homes to the area. The applicant Element Advisory Pty Ltd has been involved with other planning projects including Cockburn Gateway, Kardinya Park Shopping Centre redevelopment and the Art Gallery of WA Rooftop. According to the proposal, the purpose of the development is to “promote contemporary waterfront residential accommodation, commercial, tourism and recreational activities”, “to achieve appropriate land use and built form outcomes” and “encourage vibrant and diverse uses, which promote the waterfront as a destination”. The initial proposal was brought before council in May 2022 and went out for public consultation in September 2022. The city received 40 submissions in total with just two in support and 38 against from concerned residents in the area. Concerns raised by residents included the height of the building affecting privacy, traffic and car parking issues, and reduced property value. Harrison Street resident Dion Dredge said that he, along with other residents, “have not had their voices heard” and have been “let down” by the council. Mr Dredge said if the proposal goes ahead, it will affect his entire house and neighbouring properties, with implications to the value but more importantly the privacy, safety and look of the area. Another concern raised among residents was the existing issue of congestion along Parkin Street for workers travelling to and from Garden Island. Residents have been concerned about the safety along this road for several years, including parking and congestion. But council does not believe this would be an issue with the main access point of the apartment complex being from Harrison Street. On the last occasion, changes were made to consider the height and some of the visual privacy issues, with amended plans submitted and voted in favour by council members. Cr Mark Jones presented an alternate motion to defer the application on the grounds that revised plans consider reducing the height of both buildings to three storeys with a maximum height of 19m and any revised plans be brought back for public comment. Cr Jones said that the “proposed development does not meet the current and desired future character of the area” and was not compatible with surrounding one- or two-storey homes within the area. Cr Dawn Jecks said she agreed with Cr Jones’ motion, saying the waterfront area has “quite unique” character and should be protected. “The building height should be reduced to three-storeys ... five storeys in this area would stick out like a pimple,” she said. “I have real concerns around five storeys including privacy, balconies overlooking existing homes, parties on rooftop amenities in our currently peaceful neighbourhood.” The alternate motion was lost 4-7. Cr Caroline Hume said that planning for the future was important to consider, given Rockingham’s rapidly increasing population. “The foreshore area was always going to be high density eventually,” she said. Cr Hume said that the city has faced challenges with getting investors to come to Rockingham and that rejecting the application might jeopardise future opportunities. “We don’t want that reputation to get worse by saying no, we’re going to knock this back and other investors won’t bother,” she said. The application will go before the Joint Development Assessment Panel for further assessment in the coming months.