The Specialised Activity Centre Plan was released in 2018, and sets a long-term vision for Bentley-Curtin and is intended to guide planning and development by informing local planning scheme reviews, amendments and further detailed planning.
The plan promotes an urbanised environment with improved public amenity and an increased mix of land uses. Residential diversity in convenient locations close to places of employment and education is anticipated to make Bentley-Curtin an attractive choice for education, employment and living.
The first figure summarises proposed land uses to reflect prominent activity and provides the context for development in Bentley-Curtin. The plans have identified eight precincts in terms of conceptual redevelopment to achieve the desired character. A broad overview of the development potential as they relate to Technology Park, Bentley are discussed below.
Northwest science and residential
The majority of the precinct is sparsely utilised by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development. This includes older, low buildings, agricultural test plots, the Forest Products Commissions and former herbarium spread across the large site. Remaining pockets of former plantation and community and residential uses fringe the north-west boundary of Bentley-Curtin.
Specialised centre opportunities
The precinct, is a northern gateway to Bentley-Curtin. Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development functions may migrate to the east of the precinct (or other locations in Bentley-Curtin), enabling improved integration with Technology Park uses. Optimising Bentley-Curtin’s location and this large accessible site, a variety of medium to high-density residential uses is proposed to maximise the amenity of Kensington Bushland and views to Perth city. Depending on the amount of residential infill, redevelopment may support a small local centre, not large scale retail. Community uses on the precinct’s north west fringe are anticipated to continue to operate (with possible expansion) along with potential mixed uses adding to precinct character and vitality.
Future planning and subdivision for residential use of existing Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development land should incorporate vehicular and pedestrian access between Baron Hay Court, Burvill Court and a proposed new public road connecting Hayman Road and Kent Street and enabling development of larger scale buildings.
A potential landmark building opportunity is identified for the western edge. Residential development may include apartments, maisonettes, grouped dwellings, compact terraces and townhouses as well as mixed use development including a residential component. Building heights and setbacks are anticipated to provide for a variety of housing choice, with up to eight storeys along Kent Street with lower heights at the highest part of the site (unless as part of a landmark feature development).
Well-designed open spaces with links to the adjacent bushland along tree-lined streets with footpaths on each side may enhance the precinct. Residential development may address the street, and incorporate landscaped frontages entries, street front courtyards and gardens that contribute to the public realm, pedestrian comfort and passive surveillance.
Area A — Science
- Kent Street is identified as a northern gateway to Bentley-Curtin. It is suited to greater building height and scale and orientation to signal arrival, potentially for a landmark development.
- A new east-west road access between Kent Street and Hayman Road through the precinct is necessary.
Area B — Residential and civic
- Suitable location for a range of medium to high density housing to utilise views and access to surrounding open space and proximity to employment and transport.
- Investigation of a limited local centre to support new residential uses is encouraged.
- A walkable street layout across the site for full connectivity to adjoining areas is envisaged.
- Residential and/or mixed-use with an opportunity for a prominent building as a landmark for Bentley- Curtin’s north west gateway.
- Public open spaces to contribute to local community amenity, biodiversity links and public views.
- Existing residential and community uses remain and potentially enhanced over time.
Technology Park west
The Department of Parks and Wildlife and the CSIRO are long established occupants of the precinct, which along with the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, promote and encourage advanced technology, research and education. These significant institutional buildings and uses characterise the precinct along with large open landscaped spaces with remnant pockets of former pine plantation. The precinct also includes nine vacant lots. Existing development is significantly setback from the streets contributing to a sense of isolation.
Specialised centre opportunities
Knowledge, research and innovation will remain the dominant land uses. If other uses or development are introduced, expansion near Kent Street is encouraged to add to the urban fabric, improved connectivity between Technology Park east and west. Activity and maximised access to potential rapid public transport along Kent Street is encouraged.
Pedestrian access through the precinct should be improved for safety. The potential opening of Dick Perry Avenue to Hayman Road and extension of Burvill Court for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists is identified as an opportunity to improve connectivity, accessibility and traffic movement. A potential location for a public parking facility north of Dick Perry Drive is identified.
Research and technology specialised development and uses that may be adapted to other uses over time is encouraged on the vacant lots in the north west of the precinct.
A significant proportion of open space should be retained and, with street trees and footpaths, may form part of the green network and improved pedestrian amenity.
- Reduced setbacks and increased height limits (four to eight storeys) for development adjacent to Kent Street.
- Additional road and path access for improved connectivity with surrounding areas and precincts.
- Biodiversity link between Kensington Bushland and Collier Park Golf Course retained.
- Potential location for a future public parking facility to serve the north of Bentley-Curtin.
- Development to allow for specialised uses, up to six storeys.
- Existing buildings, including the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (Parks and Wildlife) development, continues to contribute to precinct character.
Technology Park centre
The central location is defined by numerous organisations focused on knowledge, research and innovation, including the Innovation Centre of WA. The Technology Park Function Centre provides venue and facilities, while others provide business services. The landscape is characterised by clusters of pine trees and lawn fringing car parks, interweaving between low, dispersed buildings. Little amenity exists for pedestrians or cyclists.
Specialised centre opportunities
Greater development potential will encourage redevelopment and facilitate an increase in floor space available for Bentley-Curtin’s primary functions of knowledge and research. An additional mix of uses and services that complement the primary functions will add to the vitality, activity and urban character of the precinct.
New and redeveloped uses may include cafés, a small bar, restaurant, a hotel, increased small retail and local centre uses and services. A substantial redevelopment of the Technology Park Function Centre offers the ability to bring vibrancy and activity, quality design and sustainability. The precinct will evolve into an expanded technology employment hub and a vibrant active area serving workers and visitors.
The introduction of dwellings to the precinct will bring a permanent local community. Suitably located residential uses are initially intended to be restricted to upper levels of mixed use buildings while ground levels are retained for active and Technology Park uses. Enabling short-term accommodation uses may also stimulate activity whilst catering for students, visiting academics and conferences.
The precinct will function as a central link for Bentley-Curtin. The most suitable route for rapid public transport borders the precinct. Conceptual locations for public transport stops have been identified to inform planning and ensure access to the local street network and pedestrian and cycle paths. Public and private car parking should not visually dominate the public realm.
The scale of buildings should be responsive to the existing landscape, mature trees, views, solar orientation, and pedestrian and transport routes. New development will have reduced street setbacks and increased building heights.
Oversized verges (subdivided into State-owned individual lots) along Hayman Road and Kent Street should be incorporated into development of abutting lots via subdivision where possible. A closer built environment will assist in establishing a legible urban structure.
Hayman Road could evolve as a boulevard, with landscaping, trees and wide footpaths, buildings that address the street and a plaza contributing to the precinct’s urban and active character.
Area A — Central
- The southern area is intended to be most active. It is suited to larger buildings, minimal primary street setbacks, and increased floor space. New development should define streets and spaces. A plaza, pedestrian links, main public transport stop and boulevard streetscape are envisaged.
- Building heights of four to eight storeys along main streets with additional height at landmark locations.
- Pedestrian links with other precincts are prominent.
Area B — Research and development
- Area B is suitable for medium intensity redevelopment focused on research and innovation. It will benefit from increased redevelopment provisions (up to six storeys), although not to the scale proposed for Area A.
- Additional street connections may improve connectivity and access. A potential rapid public transport stop is also identified.
- Retain existing landscaped area to buffer existing residential areas and for passive recreation.
Area C — Large landholding
- A large single use site. Subdivision is discouraged to enable the existing use or other appropriate large scale use to be accommodated within Bentley-Curtin. Redevelopment to six storeys may be suitable. Retention of existing open space along Jarrah Road as a landscaped buffer to East Victoria Park’s residences is encouraged.