The highly anticipated State Government design codes that guide quality medium density housing development in Western Australia came into effect today.  

The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA WA) has welcomed the final version of State Planning Policy 7.3 Residential Design Codes, as another step toward more consistent, high-quality outcomes for medium density development, in both infill and greenfield locations.  

“Like the rest of the country, WA is navigating a housing crisis, with demand continuing to outstrip supply,” UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck said. 

“It is important that in our quest to meet the state’s housing needs, we are delivering a range of quality housing options that suit different household needs and budgets,” Ms Steinbeck said.

The new ‘Part C’ of the Residential Design Codes (the Codes) is aimed at encouraging quality, liveable outcomes for single homes R50 and above, grouped dwellings R30 and above, and multiple dwellings R30 to R60.

“The new Codes provide greater certainty and clarity for industry around the design and delivery of high-quality medium density housing,” Ms Steinbeck said. “We hope this means we will see more of this type of development in Perth and the regions moving forward.”

Medium density development includes housing options such as town houses, villas and low-rise apartments.

“High quality medium density development is a crucial component of delivering housing choice and supporting a more compact, connected and liveability city,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“These types of housing options, often referred to as the ‘missing middle’ or ‘gentle density’ provide an important middle ground between single residential homes and higher rise apartments,’ Ms Steinbeck said.

“As household sizes shrink, lifestyles evolve and more people are looking for compact, easy care living options, medium density housing will only become more popular,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“These new Codes will ensure that new projects meet minimum requirements in relation to gardens, buildings and the streetscape,” Ms Steinbeck said. “This should lead to a more consistent minimum standard of amenity, green space and well-designed buildings that complement local neighbourhoods.”

“Many developers are already delivering medium density projects that easily meet or exceed these new standards,” Ms Steinbeck said.  “Award winning developments in precincts like Montario Quarter and Claremont on the Park are fantastic examples.”

“The new Codes will work to ensure all development is up to a similar standard and provide clear direction in relation to what is required,” Ms Steinbeck said.  “As an industry, we are excited about how Perth is evolving into a more mature, compact and connected city and we look forward to being part of that continued journey to ensuring all West Aussies have a place to call home that suits their individual needs.”