NEW MEDIUM DENSITY CODE CHANGES THE RIGHT MOVE FOR HOUSING CHOICE IN WA
The latest raft of WA State Government planning reforms have been welcomed by the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA WA), given the focus on delivering much needed housing supply and greater choice to the local market.
“Western Australia is in the midst of a housing crisis and there is not enough stock on the market or available to rent, to meet rising demand,” UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck said.
“Unnecessary red tape and delays in the planning approvals process just exacerbates the already dire situation we find ourselves in, and we are glad to see the State Government focused on streamlining processes and facilitating the delivery of more quality housing choice to the market,” Ms Steinbeck said.
Reforms to Development Assessment Panels, operation of the new Significant Development Pathway and establishment of the new State Referral Coordination Unit are all welcome measures.
Medium Density Code changes
UDIA WA has particularly welcomed the amendments to the draft Medium Density Code that have been confirmed today by Minister Carey.
“Confirming that single homes in areas coded R40 and below will not be subject to the new Code is welcomed by industry and will ensure that some of the most popular new housing products on the market will be maintained to benefit buyers,” Ms Steinbeck said.
“A single home on a 10.5 metre frontage with a double garage is an extremely popular product across a range of areas,” Ms Steinbeck said. “This product would have been regulated out if the amendment to the draft Codes hadn’t been made.”
“We are pleased that the State Government and the Minister have heeded our calls and removed R40 and R30 homes from the new Code,” Ms Steinbeck said.
“Ultimately, the vision for Perth is for a more compact and connected City, and to achieve that vision we need to see more medium and high density housing products available to the market in a range of areas, especially around transport hubs, mains streets, shops and other activity centres,” Ms Steinbeck said.
“Over the years, we have seen some poor outcomes, particularly in relation to duplex, triplex and quadplex housing sites, that have not always provided quality living options or added to the local streetscape,” Ms Steinbeck said.
“The Medium Density Code, when it was first mooted years ago, was squarely aimed at improving the outcomes in these types of infill locations and it is good to see that focus will return in the new version of the Code,” Ms Steinbeck said.
Finding the ‘missing middle’
There are some fantastic examples of medium density development in and around Perth that showcase what can be achieved and the types of homes we need to see more of.
Projects like Victoria House by Hesperia in the award-winning Montario Quarter, Canopy by Stockland in Glendalough, and Park Terraces in Shenton Park by Celsius Developments are all fantastic examples of medium density ‘town house’ development that meets the growing demand from downsizers and those seeking compact, easy care housing options.
“What has been commonly referred to as the ‘missing middle’ is precisely what the Perth market cannot seem to get enough of,” Ms Steinbeck said. “The projects referred to above all experienced exceptional demand upon release and there is no doubt that there are many more people that could benefit from more medium density housing options.”
“With an aging population, shrinking household sizes and affordability constraints, delivering quality housing in the ‘missing middle’ is imperative.”
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