Plans are either approved or in to add just over 200 new apartments, as well as offices, shops and restaurants, to Inglewood’s section of Beaufort Street in what will be one of the most significant transformations of the strip in decades.

The first development to finish construction will be the one on the corner of Seventh Avenue and Beaufort Street which the City of Stirling has advised will comprise of 20 apartments plus a carpark, shops and offices. This will be followed by Tenth & Beaufort on the site of the current IGA, which will add a further 82, 1 & 2 bedroom units plus a restaurant, shop and 11 offices.

Site of the proposed 7 storey mixed used and multi residential development

But the largest of the developments is the one proposed for the site 967-971 Beaufort Street on the corner of Wood and Beaufort, where the TAB and derelict buildings currently stand, on which public comment has now closed. The plans for this weren’t available from the City of Stirling online due to copyright issues, but the design ranges from 3 to 7 storeys high and includes 102 apartments, of which 30 are aged persons dwellings, 3 basement levels of parking, a plaza, 3 restaurants plus retail and commercial space. Needless to say it’s pretty big.

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And the supply of new apartments is unlikely to stop there.

Approvals have been granted to demolish two further lots at 939-945 Beaufort Street alongside the now vacant lot on the corner of Normanby Road and Beaufort Street, making way, I assume, for what will be further multi residential dwellings, although no development application has been lodged at this stage.

So what will all this mean? Higher density living and development along what are being called “activity corridors”, which are essentially the City’s prime public transport routes, are an inevitable and inarguably sensible approach to managing urban sprawl, with the development around Maylands and Bassendean train stations being further examples.

Personally, I don’t have any objections to such development, provided it’s of an appropriate scale, doesn’t dwarf or overshadow existing character homes (which owners have no choice but to retain under heritage protection guidelines) and are of a design quality that adds aesthetically to the area and streetscape and not just the developer’s bank balance!

It will be interesting to see how these new developments (assuming the one at 967-971 Beaufort Street is approved) influence the perception and number of visitors attracted to Inglewood given the relative disjointedness of the strip in its current form. I’m not sure if it will get the stage where it will take on Mount Lawley, or if residents would even consider that a desirable thing, but I think we can expect it to alter the dynamic of the area in some way, be that in the attraction of a different type of resident as well as through the introduction of more shops, offices, restaurants and cafe’s, the spaces for which hopefully won’t sit empty.  What’s inarguable is that the face of the Inglewood section of Beaufort Street is about to fundamentally change, and there’ll be no going back from here.