01/05/2015 - 15:02

800,000 extra homes needed: report

01/05/2015 - 15:02

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Perth will need to build an extra 800,000 homes over the next 35 years to accommodate population growth, a new report has concluded, and nearly half of these homes will need to be in existing suburbs.

Perth will need to build an extra 800,000 homes over the next 35 years to accommodate population growth, a new report has concluded, and nearly half of these homes will need to be in existing suburbs.

The state government released four sub-regional planning frameworks today, which are designed to guide the city’s development as Perth’s population heads from 2 milllion curently toward a projected 3.5 million in 2050.

The infill will be focused on older, established suburbs, which will need to find room for an extra 215,000 homes.

Across Perth, the government has stuck with it’s established infill target of 47 per cent.

In practice, the infill rate declined to 28 per cent in 2012, according to the most recent data from the WA Planning Commission.

Planning Minister John Day said the state government was planning to create a more compact, liveable and consolidated city.

“Perth and Peel@3.5million considers what our city will look like in the future and identifies the most appropriate areas to develop the extra 800,000 new homes needed to accommodate these people,” he said.

The Perth and Peel regions stretch more than 150 kilometres, from Two Rocks in the northern suburbs to Bouvard in the south.

The minister said the current outward sprawl of the city was unsustainable and accommodating a substantial population increase would require a shift in thinking.

“Almost half the 800,000 new homes we will need in the future must be created through appropriate density and infill," Mr Day said.

“These draft plans make better use of existing infrastructure by co-locating jobs and homes close to public transport and amenities.

“Greater density and mixed-use developments in activity centres will also ensure we create a more compact and consolidated Perth and Peel.”

UDIA chief executive Debra Goostrey said the sub-regional frameworks were a step forward to a clearer future.

“A plan is simply the first step in a process and there needs to be significant advances in consolidation of sites and clarity around how to develop precincts for this ambitious plan for change to be effective,” she said.

“Historically Perth has been compared to being spread thin like Vegemite, however it is important going forward that we don’t move to being compared to crunchy peanut paste with random patches of density dotting the Swan Coastal Plain.”

Ms Goostrey said one of the keys going forward was to address some of the big-ticket items, such as the extraordinary cost of upgrading infrastructure for infill projects, and ensuring that compliant projects make their way through the system in a timely fashion.

“Whilst UDIA does not agree with all of the decisions made in this draft document, particularly the omission of some opportunities for new masterplanned communities on larger land holdings, the industry is relieved that existing property rights for zoned land have not been compromised,” she said.

QWest Paterson chairman Warwick Hemsley said Perth needed to change its approach to density to accommodate its growth.

“I would really like to see a serious commitment to realising the density targets that are set out in the plans,” he said.

“In fact, the targets will provide local governments with a strong context when planning for density in their local areas.   

“It’s not just about simply planning for more people, it’s about ensuring appropriate housing for a changing demographic.

“We have a significantly ageing population which means a growth in one and two person households.

“These people will most likely be seeking smaller housing options so urban consolidation and medium to high density development will ensure that our future population’s needs are being taken into account as well as minimising urban sprawl.”

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