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5 June 2019

Limits urged on microlots

The West Australian

Blocks smaller than 100sqm must not be the predominant type of housing on a street, under new State Government guidelines.

A position paper on microlots released yesterday says the small blocks should be allowed in certain areas to assist in housing affordability, create dwelling diversity and ease downsizing opportunities, but should not be allowed to dominate the landscape.

The guidelines are specifically for green title lots sized between 80m2 and 100m2.

The Urban Development Institute WA said the successful launch of 80sqm lots in Ellenbrook last year showed Perth was ready for small lots.

Chief executive Tanya Steinbeck said it assisted affordability and ensured people could live close to amenities such as transport. “The fact these lots are green titled enables consumers the option to purchase small, without entering into a strata-title arrangement, as they would with a townhouse or similar,” Ms Steinbeck said.

The guidelines say the microlots are allowed only in areas where there is a structure plan or activity centre plan, such as Metronet areas, in both greenfields and infill projects.

It says the position of the microlots should be between 400m and 800m from the core — often the largest commercial land holding — of a secondary or district centre, which includes Alkimos, Belmont, Booragoon, Claremont, Cockburn, Clarkson, Ellenbrook, Karrinyup, Kwinana, Leederville, Maddington, Mirrabooka, Pinjarra, Subiaco, Two Rocks, Victoria Park, Wanneroo, Warwick and Whitfords.

It should be within 200m or 400m to the core of a local or neighbourhood centre, which typically includes a supermarket and a small range of other businesses. The microlots should be within 150m of neighbourhood public open space, preferably overlooking that space.

It should not be within 800m to the core of any strategic metropolitan centre, including Armadale, Cannington, Fremantle, Joondalup, Mandurah, Midland, Morley, Stirling, Rockingham and Yanchep.

Planning Minister Rita Saffioti said the guidelines were a way to address housing affordability and choice and to encourage innovative and well-considered small-lot development.

“The growing interest in small lots show we are ready to embrace less traditional subdivision and home designs to help improve housing affordability and provide more options for our changing population and lifestyles,” she said.