Plans for St Joseph’s School extension discussed at Council

A proposal from St Joseph’s School to construct a new classroom block is up for discussion at the Shire of Northam Council.

The proposal consists of a block of four classrooms with attached storerooms, access ramps and stairs from the current classroom block and car park to the proposed classroom block, a fenced grassed area, tree removal and relocation of a road crossover.

Included in the plans presented to council are future stages for an administration building, a remote staff room and a gymnasium but these items are not currently being applied for. 

The estimated the cost of works is $2,074,217 excluding GST.

During a public consultation period the Shire received 10 submissions showing concerns with the development.

The primary concerns surrounding the proposal were traffic and public safety, the setback of walls and buildings, noise and light pollution and lack of consultation.

At a Shire of Northam forum meeting on Tuesday, October 27 members of the public expressed their concerns about the lack of public consultation.

Shire of Northam chief executive Jason Whiteaker said the proposal was originally scheduled to be presented at the September council meeting but was pushed back to October to allow for more time for the community to comment. 

He said the Shire had followed their legal obligations formally advertising the proposal but they cannot force the architecture company or the school to liaise with near by home owners. 

“We have strongly suggested that the proponent engage with those affected,” Mr Whiteaker said.

He said concerns over future developments were not being considered at this stage.

“I have spoken to the school and they told us that it could be 25 to 30 years, if ever that they do additional works,” he said.

The recommendation given to council from responsible officer Benjamin Robins advises council to grant development approval to Santelli Architects on behalf of St Joseph’s School subject to 14 conditions.

Conditions cover subjects such as lighting, storm water, parking and landscaping.

Councillors will vote on the recommendation at a council meeting on Wednesday, October 17.

A video of the plans can be watched HERE.