17/12/2015 - 15:29

Kalamunda infill issue

17/12/2015 - 15:29

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

The Shire of Kalamunda has moved to facilitate more infill development around transport infrastructure, but its proposed planning changes are restrictive and won’t achieve the desired results, according to a prominent industry player.

Kalamunda infill issue
PROGRESS: Change is coming to Forrestfield to complement the $2 billion Forrestfield Airport Link. Photo: Landgate

The Shire of Kalamunda has moved to facilitate more infill development around transport infrastructure, but its proposed planning changes are restrictive and won’t achieve the desired results, according to a prominent industry player.

The Kalamunda council has flagged the rezoning of large parts of the shire, including areas in High Wycombe, Maida Vaile, Forrestfield and Kalamunda, to provide more opportunity for developers to provide higher density housing near the $2 billion Forrestfield Airport Link.

Currently, 93.7 per cent of the housing in Kalamunda is single dwellings, with units and apartments making up around 5.2 per cent of the housing stock.

With state government guidelines calling for 47 per cent of new housing development to occur within the existing boundaries of the metropolitan area, the Shire of Kalamunda says it is committed to encouraging higher-density development.

The shire has already created a concept structure plan for high-density housing within 800 metres of the proposed train station; a plan on which Business News reported earlier this year had become a concern for industry already operating in close proximity.

Outside of that zone, the planned rezoning proposes a dual coding, which would allow developers to create more dwellings on a particular lot if they meet certain requirements.

The dual coding is designed to provide an incentive to developers to help achieve infill targets, while also providing design criteria to ensure the built form is appropriate for the area.

But Momentum Wealth managing director Damian Collins said the requirements would make it difficult for the shire’s desired outcomes to be achieved. Among those stipulations are: a minimum lot size of 1,000 square metres to attain the higher density; all existing buildings on site to be demolished; and for developments to be two storeys or higher on sites coded R40 or greater.

Mr Collins, who is also deputy president of the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia, said the predominant lot size in Kalamunda was around 700sqm, which would force developers to try to amalgamate lots to meet the minimum size requirement.

“Rather than more boutique developments, you’ll have to amalgamate sites, which will be complex; not only that, the mix will potentially be quite extreme,” Mr Collins told Business News.

“You may have three or four blocks combined and have quite a substantial development, which is next door to a house.”

Mr Collins said the requirement for developments to be two storeys and above was also looming as a roadblock to increasing density.

“They are really making it harder to develop in the R40 areas,” he said.

“There are economic viabilities as well, Forrestfield is an up-and-coming area but it is still a lower socio-economic area, where two storeys may not necessarily be the most feasible product.

“From a planning point of view, it is too restrictive.

“Yes, there is a proposed structure plan around the train station but that will be quite high density.

“You have got to have a mix through the area.”

Mr Collins said the proposed changes were indicative of a local council that was under pressure from the Western Australian Planning Commission to make changes, but still wanted to hang on to their old development process.

“This is their attempt to do something, but it seems to me they are still thinking with a hills mentality of big blocks and a suburban lifestyle,” he said.

“If Forrestfield is going to get that infrastructure things need to change, and you’re not going to see a huge amount of redevelopment with these requirements in place.”

Urban Development Institute of Australia WA chief executive Debra Goostrey said infill developments were not always straight-forward, a reality many local governments across Perth were now experiencing.

“The challenge with infill is getting quality and balancing that with existing property owners’ rights,” Ms Goostrey said.

“You can achieve some outcomes on smaller lots but we need to make sure it’s quality.”

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options