27/11/2015 - 13:31

Ellenbrook town centre going micro

27/11/2015 - 13:31

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Western Australia’s first micro-lots will be built at Ellenbrook, with a concept expected to be ready for the public in the second half of next year.

Ellenbrook town centre going micro
COMPACT: An artist’s impression of what can be built on 80sqm lots. Image: Roberts Day

Western Australia’s first micro-lots will be built at Ellenbrook, with a concept expected to be ready for the public in the second half of next year.

Ultra-compact lots were first flagged as a possibility in Perth in early October, when a panel led by Planning Minister John Day discussed reducing the existing minimum lot size below 120 square metres.

Since then, the Western Australian Planning Commission gave its approval to LWP Property Group to trial 80sqm lots at its Ellenbrook town centre.

Planning firm Roberts Day was instrumental in producing the concept for LWP, following studies of similar compact developments in Queensland and South Australia between 2012 and 2014.

Other groups involved in the project include the City of Swan, the Department of Planning, Sharni Howe Architects, Cossil and Webley, and Plan E.

Roberts Day director Tim Trefry said LWP was working with builders to finalise designs for the lots, including the use of alternative construction methods and building materials, with the appointment of a construction partner expected before the end of the year.

Mr Trefrey said the first set of houses on the 80sqm lots would be open for public display, prior to being released for sale.

He said one of the key criteria that facilitated the WAPC approval was a strict requirement on the locations where micro-lots could be built.

“Part of the affordability on these is not just the affordability of what it costs to get into them, but actually it’s the affordability of living in them,” Mr Trefrey said.

“At the location we’ve proposed in the town centre, you don’t need a car for day-to-day activities. You can get to the bus, you can get to the shops and you can get to the cafe just by walking.”

Mr Trefrey said the lots were an authentic response by LWP to affordability pressures, with the two-storey, two-bedroom, two bathroom house and land packages to be priced at around $300,000.

He said he expected them to be an attractive option for first home buyers, especially those considering an appartment.

“It’s effectively a green-titled two-bedroom apartment,” Mr Trefrey said.

“What we’ve been finding with some first home buyers is that, based upon the valuation information at the banks, it’s easier to access funds sometimes for a green-titled purchase as it is for a strata. Green title is encumbrance free, there are no ongoing costs apart from rates, and therefore they are easier to sell.”

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