05/08/2010 - 00:00

Government failing urban infill: UDIA

05/08/2010 - 00:00

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The state government is failing in its bid to increase urban infill development in metropolitan Perth, according to new industry research.

Government failing urban infill: UDIA

The state government is failing in its bid to increase urban infill development in metropolitan Perth, according to new industry research.

Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics last week indicated that the proportion of building approvals for flats units and apartments has only increased 3 per cent since 2001, and medium density dwelling approvals have not increased at all.

The ABS figures show that low-density dwellings constitute two thirds of all building approvals in Perth.

Under the Western Australian Planning Commission’s Directions 2031 draft state planning policy, the state government has planned for 47 per cent of all new development to be located in infill areas.

To achieve this target, residential density will need to increase to at least an average of 15 dwellings per zoned hectare, representing a 50 per cent required increase from the 10 dwellings per zoned hectare that is currently being achieved on the outskirts of the metropolitan area.

“The majority of development is still occurring in lower density, outer areas,” Urban Development Institute of Australia WA chief executive Debra Goostrey said.

“Infill development has been a goal of the state government since Network City was launched in 2004 and now their Directions 2031 draft paper states a goal of 47 per cent infill development in order to curb growth in outer areas.

“While it’s commendable that policy is aiming for higher density, the reality is that the drivers for this change are not being put in place.”

In its response to Directions 2031, the UDIA suggested the infill target was ambitious and pointed to a number of constraints, most notably the capacity of existing infrastructure to support increased densities in established areas.

Ms Goostrey said to encourage an increase in urban infill development, the government needed to implement tax and other incentives to attract more developers to these types of projects.

“Medium- and high-density construction is proven to be more expensive than low-density greenfield development,” Ms Goostrey said.

“Therefore developers need an incentive to enter into infill projects that have higher construction costs and higher risk.

“Land consolidation also remains a barrier to infill projects.”

 

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