Hon Rita Saffioti BBus MLA

Hon Rita Saffioti BBus MLA

Minister for Transport; Planning; Ports

    Northbridge homeless centre receives planning approval

    21/09/2022 12:50 PM
    • Planning approval confirmed to relocate homeless centre in Northbridge
    • Approval supports change of use for existing building on James Street
    • Decision provides certainty for people experiencing homelessness and community services provider

    Planning Minister Rita Saffioti today announced the approval of a development application for the relocation of a homeless centre in Northbridge.


    Under legislative powers, the proposal was called-in by the Minister for her determination following the City of Perth's elected officials' decision to refuse the change of use application lodged by Ruah Community Services.


    It is important to note that the City's Officers recommended approval of the application.


    The approval provides for an existing building at 247-249 James Street in Northbridge to accommodate a drop-in community centre.


    The drop-in centre is a relocated service which, until last month, operated for more than 50 years from a building on Shenton Street. The centre provides services for people experiencing homelessness, linking them with accommodation services, specialist services such as alcohol and other drug support, mental health and legal services.


    Ruah Community Services had sought to move their existing drop in service to facilitate a purpose-built and dedicated Centre for Women and Children at their existing Shenton Street site. That project received development approval in April 2022.


    All submissions received on the change of use proposal were considered by the Minister in making her decision, including views put forward by local residents and business owners, and submissions from the applicant and the City of Perth.


    The proposal warrants approval based on planning merits and is considered to be in the public interest to ensure these essential services are available for people experiencing homelessness. 


    Additionally, in accordance with the provisions of the City of Perth's local planning scheme, the proposal could have been considered exempt from the need for development approval.


    The Ruah Centre will operate Mondays to Fridays from 8:30am to 2:30pm. Conditions of approval include a business management plan for the centre and additional measures to assist in addressing concerns raised by neighbouring residents and business owners.


    Copies of the decision, conditions of approval and submissions received are available at https://wa.gov.au/ruahcommunity.


    Comments attributed to Planning Minister Rita Saffioti:


    "After carefully considering all of the submissions put forward, I have provided my approval to this development application, which will ensure the safe and managed continuity of an integral community service.


    "People experiencing homelessness are a part of the Perth community and we all have a responsibility to provide facilities and services to support their needs.


    "This proposal is entirely appropriate for the inner-city area, it is consistent with the local planning scheme and ensures continuity of support services in close proximity to where they have been accessible to our most vulnerable community members for decades."


    Minister's office - 6552 5500