Planning law changes to hit WA developers: Damian Collins

Planning law changes to hit WA developers: Damian Collins
Planning law changes to hit WA developers: Damian Collins

GUEST OBSERVATION

Recently announced changes to Western Australia’s residential planning codes will have a significant impact on the development potential of thousands of properties in the state.

The residential planning codes, commonly referred to as R-codes, are overseen by the state’s planning regulator, the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC), and determine the number of dwellings that can be developed on a single property.

The changes to the current system are aimed at properties zoned R30 and R35 and will reduce the number of dwellings that can be built on these particular properties.

As part of the new regulations, properties zoned R30 will be allowed to build one dwelling per 300 square metres and those zoned R35 will be allowed to build one dwelling per 260sqm.

The new development guidelines mean the number of dwellings that can be built on these properties is significantly reduced.

For example, under the existing scheme a landowner with a 1000sqm block zoned R30 can build up to eight units, as the development potential is determined by total building area (or Plot ratio), not a minimum land size per lot.

However, with the new requirements a landowner with the same size block and zoning can only build three units.

In addition, the WAPC has given local councils the green light to restrict development in many areas zoned R40. 

The existing scheme has been in place since 2011 and formed part of the State Government’s initiative to increase residential development infill to 47% of new houses.

However, it has experienced stiff opposition from a handful of local councils who are opposed to higher density living options. 

Unfortunately, the backflip by the WAPC will lead to further urban sprawl as housing choice in established suburbs is restricted and residents are forced to live on the urban fringe where land is more affordable.

Subsequently, this will place more pressure on Perth’s already strained roads, public transport and utilities.

The goal of the WA government is to increase the development infill rate to 47% – up from the current level or 28% – however the changes to the R-codes system will only further impede this ambition.

Damian Collins is the founder and managing director of Momentum Wealth and can be contacted here.

Tags: 
Residential Development Planning Law

Comments

Be the first one to comment on this article
What would you like to say about this project?