Builders face three storey limit in Mandurah

BUILDERS will be restricted to a height of three storeys in Mandurah’s city centre thanks to a new policy.

According to local real estate dabblers, the policy is set to increase commercial property values in the holiday playground.

The City Centre Skyline Policy has been formed to guide Mandurah City development into the twenty-first century.

Architects, town planners and urban designers were encouraged by council to advise on the draft policy.

Broadly, the policy establishes tiered setbacks for city centre blocks to allow maximum solar exposure.

Maximum heights are reached toward the south-east of city centre blocks with a maximum of two storeys maintained at the street frontage.

The objectives of the policy, open to public comment since November, was to encourage integrated re-development within the city centre.

It also aims to avoid excessive future overshadowing of neighbours’ properties and maximise present and future estuary views from the city centre.

Real estate agent H & N Perry principle John Perry said the

policy would initially seem negative for the city but in the long term it would be beneficial for the Mandurah properties.

The policy stems from a plan for sustainable development called Agenda 21 released by the United Nations in 1992 following the Rio earth summit.

Agenda 21 is a blueprint setting out actions communities can take to contribute to sustainability.

The WA Municipal Association has compiled a manual called Our Community, Or Future: A Guide to Local Agenda 21 for local governments wishing to undertake their own local Agenda 21.

The manual will be officially launched on 10 February.

Already several councils have adopted Agenda 21, including Armadale, Serpentine-Jarrahdale, Gosnells, Fremantle, Joondalup and Subiaco.

WAMA policy manager Lillias Bovell said councils in Northern Europe and North America were way ahead in adopting Agenda 21.

She said this was because Australia did not have the same population pressures and drivers pushing for the change.

Policy author and former Mandurah council environmental planning manager Bryce Bunny believes increasing building density leads to a reduction in the quantity of resources and energy inputs consumed by city centres.

“Sprawl has the negative effect of increasing energy consumption for travel, high costs for infrastructure and the separation of economic activities by distance,” he told the Office of Energy’s Energy Matters magazine.

“The City of Mandurah faces the issue of sprawl with development proceeding away for the city centre and the centre itself struggling to maintain its economic and social vitality,” he said.

“Maximising benefits of solar access is achieved by creating wide north-facing building facades and locating the highest building on the southern end of blocks.”

The draft policy aims to stimulate the use of solar energy technologies, such as water heating systems and photovoltaic cells.

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