TPG Previous Updates

TPG working with the City of Subiaco

TPG have joined forces with a number of consultants including AECgroup, ABV, Emerge and RBB to work with the City of Subiaco to prepare a Community Infrastructure Strategy and a Master Plan for Rosalie Park.  Read more

A new dawn for Sunset - revitalising State Heritage for arts and community

Sunset Hospital (former) is a State registered heritage place that forms part of the attractive landscaped riverside in Perth's suburb of Dalkeith.   TPG was commissioned by the Department of Finance to provide specialist heritage and planning advice to a 'Transformation Strategy' that was being prepared for the site.  Read more


Mike Best joins our Board

We are pleased to welcome Mike Best as a non-executive director on our Board. He brings many years experience with him, including 24 years at Wood & Grieve Engineers with the last 9 years as CEO before his retirement in 2012.  Mike brings a refreshing new perspective to our governance and management processes and we look forward to having Mike on our Board.


Ord West Bank

TPG has been engaged by LandCorp (on behalf of Department of Regional Development) to assist with due diligence investigations for the Ord West Bank Development Area.

Situated approximately 10 kilometres to the north-west of Kununurra, the project forms part of the State Government's Ord Irrigation Expansion Project and will provide for approximately 1,000ha of additional prime irrigated farmland. Concept plans showing potential development scenarios can be viewed at


Community Engagement in Historic Cue

TPG was appointed to prepare the Shire of Cue Local Planning Strategy and Scheme Review project.

Team TPG made a trip up to the historic goldfields town to undertake community engagement activities in relation to the project. The Shire has a rich history associated with the gold rush of the late 1800s with the Cue townsite being established in 1893 and once boasting a population of 10,000 people and 13 hotels! Consultation with the community and stakeholders has established a firm understanding of the key issues facing the Shire. These relate to a need for affordable and quality housing, access to medical and other essential services, lack of employment opportunities in the region, significant tourism opportunities and a requirement to boost essential infrastructure to enable growth in the town. The town of Cue is a pretty town, with many of its historic buildings remaining well preserved to tell the tale of the towns former glory.

Development Opportunity in the CBD

Long-awaited changes to the maximum plot ratio, bonus plot ratio and land use controls in the City of Perth have recently come into effect, which seek to facilitate hotel development and increased residential uses in the Perth CBD.

A second wave of changes, which would allow an increase in heights in many areas, is awaiting ministerial approval. We have recently been successful in obtaining Development Approval from the City of Perth Local Development Assessment Panel for two exciting new developments, which have taken advantage of these changes:

Milligan Square
We worked with Perth-based developer Georgiou Capital and architects Hassell to facilitate the approval of a 15 level Office and 13 Level Hotel Building including Ground Floor Retail, Dining and Entertainment at the south-west corner of Murray and Milligan Streets.

We successfully achieved a 40% increase from the specified maximum plot ratio comprising 20% bonus plot ratio (being 3,418m2 of plot ratio floor area) for the provision of a Special Residential Use (a 132 room Hotel) and a 20% bonus plot ratio (being 3,418m2 of plot ratio floor area) for the retention and upgrade of the heritage listed Pearl Villa and Milligan Hostel buildings.

This project is truly unique, as it will reveal one of Perth's hidden gems, Pearl Villa, a rare example of a substantial Victorian Regency residence built in 1897 for pearl merchant Joseph Charles Clarkson. In 1930 Pearl Villa was incorporated into and effectively masked by the extensive additions constructed for Hostel Milligan. The Milligan Square development will conserve, reveal and ultimately integrate Pearl Villa and Hostel Milligan with the cutting edge architectural design of the new office and hotel development.

No. 133 Murray Street, Perth
We worked with developer Amalgamated Holdings and architects Candalepas Associates to secure the approval of a 21 level development containing 184 hotel rooms, 15 multiple dwellings and ground floor retail at the site, which currently contains Greater Union. We were successful in achieving a 20% increase from the specified maximum plot ratio, which equates to an additional 1,297sqm for the provision of a 'Residential Use', in this instance 15 dwellings.

We can help you investigate whether these changes translate into opportunities for your site and will provide pragmatic planning advice to help get your project off the ground.  Please contact Peter Simpson on 9289 8300 for further information.

Image: Stockland

Affinity Village at Settlers Hill

I would not normally admit this: I'm looking forward to wearing tartan slippers and playing lawn bowls in my older age.  There, I've admitted it.

But with one proviso: only if I can live at Stockland's new award-winning retirement development at Settlers Hills, Baldivis.

Yes, you read correctly, tartan slippers. But, more importantly, Stockland's Affinity Village development recently won the UDIA Awards For Excellence in the Seniors Living Award category; and for good reason, too.  The development certainly provides a new benchmark for retirement living in Western Australia.

The jewel in Affinity Village's crown has to be the truly luxurious Club House, providing a community hub and focal point to the village.  Incorporating an indoor pool, café, bar, communal 'town hall' area, gym, computer facilities, and outdoor bowling green, the Club House sets a new standard for retirement villages, which is more usually seen in 5 star hotels. The Club House has also recently been awarded a 5-Star Green Star certified rating from the Green Building Council of Australia, which represents "Australian Excellence" in environmentally sustainable design.

With these types of facilities it would be hard work convincing yourself to return to your unit within the village after a long day of sipping lattes and doing laps in the pool.  Having said that, the master planned village has been carefully designed to make the walk back home as enjoyable as possible through the high quality landscaped streetscapes and the parkland environment.

Affinity Village will ultimately accommodate 250 independent living units with a variety of bedroom and bathroom options.  Presently, 84 homes have been established, with the next stage of development coming on line very shortly.  With this in mind, maybe it's time I pull my socks up, slap on the slippers and put my name down for a unit before they are all sold.

TPG is delighted to have been part of this project, facilitating and achieving the required development approvals for Stockland.

A Universe of Opportunities

A number of TPG staffers recently attended a Property Council of Australia breakfast that was moderated by our very own, David Caddy.

The theme of the event was the development opportunities that are to be a part of the future of these campuses. Each of the University's Development Directors outlined their progress in the way of masterplanning, where the pressure points were in the delivery of facilities and amenities for staff and students, developing partnerships with industry and commerce, and integration with their surrounding urban environment, as well as the pressures on deriving a third income stream after fees and funding.

Rowan Maclean from UWA pointed out that they have a superior campus location that is currently undergoing significant redevelopment and expansion of their on-campus student accommodation. Reference was made to their various other campuses as well as some surplus land which could at a later date be redeveloped and sold to generate capital.

Brian Yearwood, Director of Facilities and Services at ECU explained that they were in the fortunate position of having recently developed their Churchlands campus (Churchlands Green) which has been very profitable and were currently seeking expressions of interest from the market with regard to the development of a commercial super site they own in central Joondalup. The income from the lease of property on this land would be used for the operations of the University.

Murdoch University had recently prepared a Masterplan and were in the process of putting more detail to their Eastern Precinct, a large area of underutilised land nearest to the Murdoch Activity Centre. Karen Schmidt from the university stated they were looking for ways to collaborate with industry to produce mutually beneficial outcomes.

It was, however, Curtin University who were most public in their ambitions to create the university of the future, one where students, staff, visitors and the general populous live and work in mixed use buildings in the heart of the campus. Andy Sharp showed an animation where Curtin is to become a major economic, employment and learning environment for the metropolitan area. Linked by light rail to the city and Canning Bridge, its future as a vibrant, integrated town centre was to provide further opportunities for the private sector to participate and invest in the partnerships with the University.

All in all, it would seem that Perth is very lucky to have 5 quality tertiary institutions, each with a point of difference and all competing for students, staff and off site investment dollars. Watch this space.
TPG recently completed the Curtin University Place Activation Plan, which formed the basis for many of the outcomes of the draft Masterplan for Greater Curtin, currently out for comment.

Local Authority Amalgamations - the bigger picture

In many ways the contentious issue of local authority amalgamations has reminded the good citizens of Perth what they value in the way of locality management beyond 'rates and rubbish'.

The most common concerns seem to be the loss of tradition, representation and, in some cases, the perceived loss of community facilities. All of which is interesting given that the nature, nomenclature, size and functionality of local authorities has been an evolving beast since Federation, with the latest proposals by the state government being the latest iteration.

Putting aside for one moment the political and economic rationale for the changes, and assuming the amalgamations go ahead in some form, what are the advantages that can come from this change, particularly from a city development and town planning point of view?

One of the more significant opportunities would be the review and consolidation of the various planning schemes that are in operation. An example would be where the proposed greater western suburbs council currently operates under seven different schemes that have an average age of 18 years plus dozens of structure plans and hundreds of amendments, policies and design guidelines. Roll the calendar forward to 2015 and the new Director of Planning of said new local authority would somehow have to manage a strategic and statutory planning function across such a platform. Good luck!

Perhaps of more importance however is the raft of relatively recent State Government Planning policies and reforms and their application across the metropolitan area. The consolidation and updating of the planning schemes offers a significant opportunity to overlay the many objectives that the state government is striving to implement. Included in this pile of reform are sub-regional transport initiatives, density, variety and built form changes, regional retail, commercial and industrial initiatives, transit oriented development policies and at the top of this pile, the path for growth identified in Directions 2031 and Beyond.

Logically therefore, the important and oft debated matter of our urban future should be appropriately resolved before the new local authority is put into the hands of the newly elected representatives so they may begin as they intend to continue on, with clarity, confidence and sound purpose.

Morawa - SuperTown moves forward

As a SuperTown, the community and Council agreed that the first stage of attracting sustainable growth to their town would be to focus efforts on its town centre, to enhance the amenity and appeal of the town for both the local community and visitors. This will in turn facilitate both economic and social outcomes for Morawa.

Stages 1 & 2 of an overall revitalisation project include:

Firstly, removing road freight off its main street without affecting local business by building a new road to the east of the existing main street.

Secondly, developing a community heart and a focus for community interaction and catalyst for future investment in Morawa by building a new town square for community, civic and visitor activities.

The project team has been working hard to achieve a significant project milestone, with the recent release of the tender documentation for the construction of the new freight road, and design of the new town square reaching 90% completion.

2014 looks like being a good year for Morawa.

For more information on Morawa SuperTown cllick here to see the Growth Implementation Plan.


Brookfield Place: Multiple Awards Won this Year

TPG is proud to be involved with this award-winning project, having prepared the complex development application for this redevelopment of the former Westralia Square site.

WA Heritage Awards

2013 Western Australian Heritage Awards - Winner - Outstanding Conservation of a Non-Residential Place
WA Master Builders Awards - 2013 Master Builders WA Excellence in Construction Awards - Brookfield Multiplex swept the floor at the 2013 Master Builders WA Excellence in Construction Awards on the weekend, picking up nine awards including the coveted '2013 Bankwest Best Project' award for the iconic Brookfield Place.

Urban Taskforce Australia

2013 Urban Taskforce Australia - Development of the year- Jury Chair, Peter Poulet said "Brookfield Place works at multiple levels. It is an elegant addition to Perth's skyline. It has restored heritage buildings at street level and created a series of bustling urban spaces. It innovates in providing flexible working spaces for high quality tenants. It achieves a 5 star Green Star rating and has 86,000 square metres fully let making the project a commercial success."

WA Architecture Awards

The popular Brookfield Place development cleaned up - taking out the heritage, urban design and commercial architecture awards.


WA's Other Economy

"Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity has" - Billy Graham.

Whilst the headlines scream "The Boom Is Over", and "State Government Eyes Job Cuts", in the background the state of WA and, particularly here in the metropolitan region, hundreds of enterprising people and organisations are getting on with it.

Yes, there has been a slow down in the northwest (relatively speaking) but during the time when everyone's gaze was on the multi-billion dollar oil, gas and mining announcements being made weekly, a lot was being planned for here in Perth.
By way of example, TPG commenced over 500 new projects in financial year 12/13, 25% higher than ever before. Many of these new or expanded developments that we have been working on are quite significant and include:

  • Three major new hotels
  • Planning and approvals for over 1,500 new medium and high density dwellings;
  • Expansion of 3 private schools and 2 universities;
  • 6 new office towers;
  • Expansion of the airport and the infrastructure leading to it;
  • 3 new housing estates;
  • 2 new industrial estates;
  • Redevelopment and expansion of over half a dozen major shopping centres;
  • Several retirement villages;

A hospital and continued work on the delivery of major infill projects such as Subi Centro, Midland, Claremont on the Park, Latitude 32 and 3 Supertowns.

The point being that although the northern boom may have subsided, the rest of the state is getting on with business as usual and, when competition was tight for resources, the non-mining sectors sharpened their pencils, rethought their delivery strategies and got on with it. Endless prosperity isn't always a good thing, as it is from adversity that we learn what it is we really value and what we are good at. TPG is fortunate enough to have a client base that knows this, and so we have been as busy as ever. With this in mind we are positive about the next year, and look forward to meeting your challenges.


City Link Delivery

It's not often our statutory team writes an article for TPG's Pulse.

Most of them are the quiet 'work horse type'the team in the background that just makes projects happen. They realize the importance of a timely approval and the importance of partnering with the client to deliver the desired outcome.

One such project that TPG has been involved with from the start is the delivery of the heart of the City Link project, the former Perth Entertainment Centre site owned by Seven Entertainment.  TPG, in partnership with Premier Capital Developments and JCY Architects, delivered the first In Principle approval which formed the basis of the subdivision of the site now being developed by Leighton Properties. Since then TPG has worked with an expert team of consultants to firstly deliver two Titles back to Seven, following MRA's first stage of the land assembly, and is now working with the team, MRA, WAPC and the servicing agencies to create the first new land title for Kings Square (KS4).

This site has been one of the most complicated planning projects to deliver within the City of Perth in  recent history.  It involves the creation of Titles where there is limited power, water, sewer and drainage capacity, a bus way running through the site, creation of a new road, road widening, contamination, acid sulphate soils, subterranean titles, dewatering restrictions, diaphragm wall easements for the PTA tunnel, shared access easements, detailed built-form design guidelines, and the list goes on...  Whilst obviously delivering a title in this environment relies on an expert consultant team, it also relies on the co-operation and intelligence of a number of government agencies who understand that this is not a typical 6 lot subdivision. Titles are needed before the works can be completed to enable security for financing to occur early to get the building on the ground, without destroying the services and infrastructure required by the very subdivision conditions which normally need to be satisfied before a title can be created.

This subdivision can only happen with an expert team and the cooperation of government agencies such as the WAPC, MRA, City of Perth, Department of Environment and Conservation, and each of the servicing agencies including Western Power and the Water Corporation. Also, the consultants on the team don't ask for thanks, bouquets or publicity, but they deserve it. They include Premier Capital Developments, Leighton Properties, BG&E, McMullen Nolan, Arup, AECOM, Cox Rayner Architects and Herbert Smith Freehills; TPG is proud to be part of such a strong team.
Recently, the Minister of Planning, the Hon. John Day, was on site to mark the commencement of construction with the traditional sod-turning ceremony for the project, which will deliver 520 apartments, 95,000sqm of offices (including a new head quarters for Shell Australia and HBF), 7,000sqm of retail, numerous amenities, will link the new Perth Arena to the City's key transport hub, and will link Perth to Northbridge. Importantly, the consultant team was also there, in the background, ensuring the executives dug in the right spot!


Interview with Danny Psaros

We recently caught up with Danny Psaros to find out about his background and how it has shaped his knowledge of property development.

TPG: How did you get into property development and who have been your mentors?

Psaros: I started as an architectural draftsman working for public and private architects for 3 years before commencing my own architectural drafting business working for many prominent builders and developers. During this period I commenced offering my services to supervise for owner builders. I then obtained my builders registration certificate and began to build additions and luxury houses. I tendered on many of the large architectural houses in the western suburbs then commenced developing duplex sites in and around the Claremont /Cottesloe area. At that time many developers followed what we were doing and therefore I had to look for other opportunities. In the early 90's, apartment developments were just becoming in vogue and it was at that time that I started to develop in the East Perth and Subiaco areas. I quickly moved to the Northbridge area which is where we now do 75% of our work today.

I have been self taught. I believe that the best way to learn this game is to get involved in as many facets of the process by listening to the people who make up the process and either accept or reject the advice. Very quickly you will work out what is wrong, then you apply the Nike adage "Just do it."

TPG: What opportunities did the GFC present?

Psaros: Discipline to all our competitors which helped weed out the cowboys.
As tough as the banking scene is today, it has continued to provide regulation which is probably the reason Australian banks are regarded as fit and robust today.

TPG: What significant changes need to be made to the local planning system to shift the balance towards provision of medium density housing?

Psaros: Minimum parking to sites within 750 m to transport nodes. Minimum 5 story buildings adjacent to the proposed light rail to be built without further delay.
TPG: Are you positive about the next 5 years and why?

Psaros: Very positive- The state is in a temporary holding pattern awaiting the shift of federal govt so industrial relations can be redesigned thus reducing costs. Once this has been achieved the mining industry will ignite and  WA will be off and running in boom time proportions.

TPG: Which island is your family from and have you been there recently?

Psaros: My mother is from Rhodes, my father is from Lesvos and my wife's family is from Kastellorizo. These are all Greek Islands found in the beautiful Mediterranean sea. I built a house on Kastellorizo some 3 years ago so the legacy of our families connection with Greece can continue through the generations to come.
We are looking to travel to Greece in July to continue our connection with our roots.


State Awards Honour Heritage Champions

Now in their 21st year, the Western Australian Heritage Awards honoured the State's leading contributors to heritage conservation, adaptive reuse, interpretation, promotion and tourism at a prestigious ceremony attended by our heritage team at the State Theatre Centre.

The 2013 Western Australian Heritage Award winners were chosen from a record number of nominations, showcasing excellence across a range of project, organisation and individual categories.

TPG was proud to see Brookfield Place Heritage Buildings take out the award for Outstanding Conservation of a Non-Residential Place for their sensitive restoration and adaptation of St Georges Terrace's largest intact heritage streetscape. TPG has worked with the project team on this exciting endeavor over the last five years; we now very much appreciate the range of food and beverage offerings in these beautiful heritage buildings so close to our office!


Heritage Management and Planning Seminar

Our Heritage Team is pleased to have recently attended the State Heritage Office's annual Heritage Management and Planning Seminar, held from 20-22 March.

The theme of this year's event was 'Suburban Heritage Towards 2031'  which provided inspiration for a wide variety of stimulating speakers and topics. Both Nerida Moredoundt and Marc Beattie from our Heritage Team presented at the Seminar: Nerida on defining and defending heritage areas; and Marc drew from his experience with Building Preservation Trusts to present on community led heritage projects in Scotland.

Our team would like to thank the State Heritage Office and the Town of Cottesloe for an interesting and enjoyable event, and for their ongoing facilitation of thought-provoking discussions on heritage conservation practice.


Unique New Hotel Continues Northbridge Revival

The Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority has given approval to a new development on William Street which, in the words of the Authority, will not only give a much-needed boost to Perth's under-pressure hotel market but also continue the State Government's work to regenerate and transform Northbridge.

TPG is pleased to have worked with the proponent, Cicero Project Pty Ltd, to deliver a unique hotel concept to what is fast becoming one of Perth's leading retail strips.  In announcing the approval of the project, Planning Minister John Day said "This development is another piece of the puzzle.  It will revive a neglected 60-year-old heritage-listed building and make use of a vacant area to add a boutique hotel and restaurant to this popular precinct. The development will further contribute to the re-emergence of a mature Northbridge; this area is now home to an eclectic mix of retailers, restaurants and bars, and this development will offer something new for Perth in terms of guest accommodation."

The 74-bedroom hotel will cater for business and independent travellers, and will be built to six storeys with a mezzanine level and roof terrace bar.  The hotel restaurant will adapt the 1950s facade of the heritage-listed former National Bank building, which is included within the State Register of Heritage Places and MRA's The Link and Perth Cultural Centre Heritage Inventory. The development complements the surrounding land uses, particularly those associated with the Perth Cultural Centre and the Northbridge Entertainment Precinct, and will broaden the variety of services and amenities available to local visitors and tourists alike. The proposal will help deliver the MRA's strategic vision and intent for the William Street Precinct, which seeks to revitalise the area through new development activity, and contemporary architecture interwoven with the significant heritage buildings and streetscape.


Quattro Queens Park Retrospective Project

In 1954 the then State Housing Commission opened the estate of Maniana in Queens Park. At the time, it was considered to be the epitome of new planning ideas with its cul-de-sac roads and pedestrian access-ways. However, it became apparent over time that these planning practices did not contribute to facilitating a safe and liveable place.

In 2004, the Department of Housing, in partnership with Peet Limited, embarked on a program to revitalise the area.

TPG, on behalf of the joint venture partnership, was engaged to prepare a comprehensive revitalisation master plan for the area. The design philosophy of the master plan was premised on the application of New Urbanism principles to retrofitting a conventional suburban residential area, which included reconnecting the street network; the creation of new, accessible open spaces; and the incorporation of sustainability measures into new development.

A key feature of the plan is the centrally located linear park, which connects the existing Munja Park with the Bush Forever parklands. This park represents double the amount of public open space that previously existed in the area, incorporating a significantly larger residential catchment. Numerous mature trees have been transplanted into the park from other areas of the site, as well as the installation of artwork made from recycled power poles from the area.
A range of affordable lot sizes and living options have been provided with the total number of lots created representing a 57% increase on that which previously existed (with a slight reduction in the total number of dwellings in order to comply with the R15/30 density code and Perth Airport noise limitations).

Sustainable built form outcomes have been achieved through appropriate lot orientation and covenants of sale, which seek to maximise solar access and incorporate Greensmart and Waterwise principles.
The project has proven to be a resilient performer during the Global Financial Crisis following the release of the first stage in 2008, with subsequent stages being sold by public ballot auction in a matter of days. The final stages of the project have since been sold.

Quattro represents a demonstrated example of the effort to transform Perth's dull post war suburbs back into Liveable Neighbourhoods. TPG is pleased to have been a part of the project and congratulates Peet Limited and the Department of Housing on the project's success.







We'd like to let you know of an exciting change here at TPG Town Planning, Urban Design and Heritage.

We have joined forces with Western Australia's only specialist place-making consultancy, Place Match, to create an exclusive one-stop shop for place creation services.

Click here for more information.

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