Shenton Park Hospital – urban regeneration | activity centre

The stakeholder engagement process for Shenton Park Hospital demonstrates how important it is to explore an appropriate planning framework. A robust project governance structure was established early in the planning process to manage multiple stakeholders with differing interests. It also ensured equitable opportunities for them to participate in the planning process and influence key outcomes.

Project overview

Shenton Park Rehabilitation Hospital, a 15 hectare site with an 80-year history, closed in 2014 and patients were transferred to the newly developed Fiona Stanley Hospital in Murdoch. The site to be redeveloped is located within an activity centre and is part of the Government's program to redevelop underutilised or disused government land assets to deliver more housing choice and meet infill targets.

The site borders two local government authorities, with different planning frameworks and stakeholder interests. This resulted in the West Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) identifying 'special planning' for the site and DevelopmentWA selecting an Improvement Scheme as the appropriate planning mechanism. This supported a customised Statutory Approvals process to reflect the nature of the site and the redevelopment.

Challenges and opportunities

The site has historic buildings as well as established trees, gardens and bushland. Community feedback showed stakeholders wanted these preserved, along with diverse housing options, areas of lower density and a community health precinct. Some stakeholders requested a better choice in housing for people with disabilities, given the history of the site.

Access to public transport, established work opportunities, businesses, health and education facilities earmarked Shenton Park as a suitable infill and urban renewal site close to the city with established infrastructure and community facilities.

Participation process

With multiple stakeholders, including a local high school, health agencies, nearby residents and local authorities, there was potentially a high level of social risk so we ran a comprehensive and staged stakeholder and community participation process. This included surveying 600 residents, stakeholder interviews, face-to-face meetings with concerned residents, postcard letter drops, an information line, media releases, online social forums and community workshops. As part of the project's Governance Structure, a Community Reference Group was established and included residents and other stakeholders with an interest in the site.

Outcomes and benefits

All Statutory Planning is now approved and the community will be kept informed as the site is redeveloped and engaged as the community development program is initiated.

Community views informed the development of the Improvement Scheme for the site and the Governance Structure provided the opportunity for both State Government Agencies and the Local Government Authorities to provide significant input into the planning outcomes.

Almost a quarter of the site was set aside for public open space to preserve trees, bushland and heritage elements. A diverse range of housing options has been provided for and buildings will use podium designs to retain low-height street frontages, complementing the surrounding environment.

Two parcels of land totalling 6000sqm will be leased to the Leukaemia Foundation and Multiple Sclerosis Society of WA for development into patient and residential care accommodation facilities.