Too many times, too many times


Three towersLike the lyric from the classic Australian band Mental as Anything the Asti Motel site continues to haunt the residents of Larrakeyah.

Joondanna Investments Pty Limited have applied via Northern Planning Consultants Pty Ltd to develop the Asti Motel Site in Larrakeyah. The public comment period closes 3 May 2019.

The documents are here, note this link will disappear after that time:

To actually submit or review current development applications this is the link:

When read the submission relies heavily on previous approvals which were carried out up to six years ago.

This development should be rejected based on the following points:

  • Planning Scheme omissions

The Northern Territory Planning Scheme

Part 2 Section 4.0 Planning and Principles Framework

The interpretation of this Planning Scheme and the determinations of a consent authority must have regard to the planning principles and the relevant framework drawings (as may be the case) contained in this Part and ensure that a use or development or proposed use or development is consistent with them

4.1 (e) promote urban/ building design which is climatically appropriate, water and energy efficient and contributes to the existing and future character and appearance of an area;

4.1 (a) ii the appropriate integration of new residential development taking account of the lifestyle and character of established areas; 

4.1 (f) ensuring amenity is enhanced as a result of development

4.2 (e) ... contribute to the amenity enjoyed by residents ...

 These buildings degrade the surrounding area by being out of character with existing buildings and open space.

3.0 Definitions “amenity” in relation to a locality or building, means any quality, condition or factor that makes or contributes to making the locality or building harmonious, pleasant or enjoyable;

This application has not addressed amenity.

  • Redundant waivers

The submission relies on previous waivers. None of those waivers have any currency due to having expired.

  • Traffic

No current traffic impact assessment has been carried out. The last assessment was done in 2014. Combined with the car parking shortfall the local streets of Packard Place and Montoro Court could have an additional 240 cars traversing them day and night. The affected streets are not wide enough for two cars to park and one car to traverse. Already there is overflow parking on these streets from existing residential properties. A possible solution is to one way traffic in and out of the site.

NOTE: There are many examples of street bottle necking available in Darwin after years of development waivers.

  • Building height.

Larrakeyah is not Central Business and building height should stay appropriate to the zoning. The application advises that building outside of zone limits are a positive factor. By requesting buildings higher than the original site surrounding properties are to loose significant amenity through the change of building height and density. The limit in the area is 8 storeys which these buildings clearly are not.

  • Compatible with surrounding use.

The submission uses the proximity to the CBD as rational for the size and density of the use. As noted in the submission Larrakeyah and this site are NOT in the CBD. No waiver should be applied for being near a zone.

  • Car parking

The submission notes that it will be 22 car parks short. The addition of these cars into the surrounding area is clearly adding to the dangerous amount of cars that use Smith Street and surrounding streets. The current crop of tall apartments have overflow parking issues currently. Allowing a developer to contribute to that problem is an impost on the residents. Again the submission uses the fallacy that if the site was in Central Business the parking rules would be different. It is clear that claiming that the local street network could accommodate more overflow parking shows that no recent study of the area has been carried out. They are relying on the 2013 approvals for this logic. Since than some tall building have gone in close to the site.

  • Setback

Previously the setback requirement for the building adjacent to Smith Street has been waived three times. Modern design principals frown on the reduction of amenity by building up to the street verge. Darwin now has many sections of street paths with multi story solid walls, no awnings or street planting. Larrakeyah in particular is seeing an increase.

  • Intent

To date this site has been a construction site for 6 years. During that time some work was done on remediation of the site being that the pit has some fill. Applying for rolling development approvals has seriously degraded the amenity of the location and Smith Street which is a primary link down the spine of the city has had an eye sore for many years. 

  • Open Space

With the future of the Old Hospital site uncertain it would be appropriate for this site to have open park space.

  •  Design Quality

Recently the standards required by NSW apartment guidelines have been accepted into discussion on acceptable development in the Northern Territory This submission falls low on such a measure of quality. In short this submission fails to deliver better quality design for buildings that respond appropriately to the character of the area, landscape setting and surrounding built form.














Behind paywall

Safety fenceTHE old Asti Motel site in Darwin will be transformed to a two-storey public housing development, aiming to help alleviate the Territory’s significant housing problems.

The $40 million project will be headed by developer Peter La Pira of Joondana Investments — the owners of the Palmerston Shopping Centre.

Housing Minister Gerry McCarthy said “social housing head leasing aims to increase the number of public housing options available to low-income Territorians, seniors and people living with a disability — stock that currently does not exist”.

“Currently, one bedroom and three-bedroom homes are our highest in demand,” he said.

“This build will deliver a number of one-bedroom units to address the wait list and allow for single tenants living in large homes to downsize to their needs — freeing up larger houses for Territory families.”


Nick Kirlew



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