New urban blueprint for Perth

24/06/2009 - 12:00

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

The state government has released a new planning framework that abolishes limits on the size of shopping centres and cuts the target for urban infill from Labor's "unrealistic" goal.

The state government has released a new planning framework that abolishes limits on the size of shopping centres and cuts the target for urban infill from Labor's "unrealistic" goal.

Planning Minister John Day launched the new draft planning framework 'Directions 2031' at a planning industry function this morning.The framework replaces the Labor government's Network City plan.

Mr Day said Directions 2031 was more focused on delivering an achievable urban infill outcomes than its predecessor.

"Ideally we need to increase the amount of infill development in existing urban areas," Mr Day said

"Our expectation is that about 47 per cent of new housing infill will come from existing urban areas and that will very much limit the amount of urban sprawl that has previously occurred.

"The previous Network City policy did have a target of 60 per cent of new housing coming from infill developments.

"That's never been anything close to being achieved; at the moment we've got 37 per cent of new housing coming from infill developments so I think it was something that was unachievable."

The Minister said urban infill was necessary to ensure all Perth residents had good access to infrastructure, education facilities, and shopping amenities.

But the document does not eliminate further expansion to the north and south, with greenfields development comprising a significant portion of the Directions 2031 plans.

Mr Day said any new development would have higher urban density than previous expansions.

"We also have to achieve a greater level of density, going up to an average of 15 homes per hectare in greenfields developments," Mr Day said.

"That does not mean that every new house will be on a smaller lot, what that means is there will be a greater diversity and choice available for some people who want to live in apartment type accommodation in new greenfields developments.

"There will equally be a choice of blocks available for people who want to live on a larger area of land.

"We certainly want to get away from masses of simply tiled roofs all on blocks of around 600, 700 or 800 square metres. We want greater choice in housing available to people."

Another key policy implementation of Directions 2031 is the new draft Activity Centres Policy, which was also released for public comment today.

The draft Activity Centres Policy has been designed to replace the existing Metropolitan Centres Policy through broad requirements for the planning and construction of new centres and the redevelopment of existing centres.

"What we're doing is planning to change the system so that commercial centres will be able to grow, they won't be limited by having maximum floorspace applied," Mr Day said.

"They will be assessed much more on the basis of getting mixed developments so that we get other health, maybe education facilities, some entertainment facilities, and some medium to high density housing as well around commercial and shopping centres, much more so than has been in the case in the past.

"The focus will be on good planning and architectural design outcomes and a good mix of uses where growth occurs rather than simply having arbitrary floorspace limits as has been the case in the past.

Mr Day said the development of retail centres in Perth has long been hindered by a hierarchy of shopping centres with associated maximum floor space guidelines.

"With the rather arbitrary limits we've had on the size of shopping centres simply based on floorspace it has restricted the amount of retail facilities available and that has had the effect of probably pushing up the rental costs more than would have otherwise been the case," Mr Day said.

"It's certainly had the effect of stifling the development of certain shopping centres, for example places like Booragoon and Karrinyup which have been limited from growing further because they've reached the arbitrary cap that's been applied to them.

"What we propose to do now is to remove those caps but we will ensure that any proposed new developments are based on good planning and architectural outcomes, getting mixed use facilities and getting a good quality design."

Property council of Australia (WA) executive director Joe Lenzo welcomed the release of the Activity Centres Policy.

"The potential for activity centres to grow beyond existing limits will result in more vibrant and diversified places for people to operate businesses and create communities," Mr Lenzo said.

"Removing the limits on the growth of activity centres will encourage more investment in center developments in the Perth region.

"We expect an enormous amount of new interest in WA investment by national and international sources."

The closing date for public submissions on Directions 2031 and the Activity Centres Policy is August 26.

 

 

The announcement is below:

 

 

A new strategy for land-use planning which will shape the future of the Perth and Peel regions for the next 20 years has been released for public comment today.

The new draft framework 'Directions 2031' was released by Planning Minister John Day at a Perth function attended by 300 planning industry and local government representatives.

Minister Day released for public comment two other major planning policies which supported the Directions 2031 strategy.

Mr Day said Directions 2031 set the parameters by which Perth would sustainably accommodate a growing population and cope with future economic growth that is expected by 2031 (a census year).

"By 2031, we want a Perth that has a vibrant mix of activity areas that bring amenities, employment and education to people's doorsteps, is less reliant on cars and is well serviced by public transport," he said.

"Directions 2031's main principles are ease of transport options close to dwellings, greater housing diversity, and residential development close to employment sources.

"These principles provide different lifestyle choices, vibrant centres for economic and social activity, a more connected urban transport network and a longer term approach for the provision of infrastructure."

"In broad terms, Directions 2031's principles are similar to those of the previous government's Network City strategy. However, Directions 2031 sets out clear objectives, has a geographical context and is more focused on delivering achievable outcomes particularly when dealing with urban infill," Minister Day said.

"Network City had a somewhat unrealistic target of 60 per cent of urban growth to be achieved from infill development in the inner and middle suburbs. Directions 2031 has much more realistic aims and stronger detail to help deliver 47 per cent infill equating to 121,000 new dwellings.

"Directions 2031 also has a more targeted approach for infill, focusing on key transport routes and having fewer centres rather than a blanket approach which assumed that higher density urban areas could be anywhere."

Under Directions 2031, density targets would be set in consultation with local governments.

Sub-Regional Structure Plans

Six sub-regional planning areas form the basis of future planning and policy development under Directions 2031. These are: central; north-west; north-east; south-east; south-west; and Peel.

Growth management strategies for each of the sub-regions will reinforce the objectives outlined in Directions 2031, providing strategies that guide the planning and management of growth and development.

"Importantly, they will assist with difficult planning decisions," Mr Day said.

The Southern Metropolitan and Peel Sub-Regional Structure Plan (which incorporates parts of the south-west and Peel regions), is the first of six sub-regional structure plans to be released for public comment.

This plan would ensure the sustainable location, use and development of land and infrastructure in this area.

Structure plans for the other sub-regional planning areas will be released for public comment later this year.

Activity Centres Policy

Another key policy assisting implementation of the Directions 2031 objectives is the new draft Activity Centres Policy, which Minister Day also released for public comment today.

Designed to replace the existing Metropolitan Centres Policy which concentrated on retailing, the draft Activity Centres Policy specifies broad planning requirements for the planning and development of new centres and the redevelopment and renewal of existing centres.

"Under this policy, activity centres will evolve into more accessible and vibrant nodes of economic and social activity and will enable the community to go to work, enjoy leisure activities and shopping without having to travel too far," Mr Day said.

"Activity centres will be planned to include commercial, health, education, entertainment, cultural, recreational and community facilities and higher-density housing.

"We want to move away from the current shopping centre experience and instead have proper town centres, providing communities with more jobs and more vitality.

"Previously, the development of retail centres was based on a hierarchy of shopping centres with associated floor space guidelines known as caps. The rigid application of these caps has restricted development and growth of our centres and we are now responding to rectify this.

"This is particularly important at a time when WA needs to attract new investment, noting we have lagged behind other states in the development of our centres.

"Under the new draft policy, floor space cap guidelines will no longer apply. Instead, the policy encourages the development of activity centres with greater diversity so that shopping does not dominate other commercial and community uses or result in a predominantly single-purpose centre.

"It is an exciting time for planning in Perth and I encourage the community, industry, stakeholders, local government and businesses to participate in the development of these documents through the public comment process."

"While these three policies are in draft form and we are seeking feedback through the consultation process, the framework for these policies will provide the basis for decision making in the interim period," Mr Day said.

The Minister said he expected the entire package of policy documents to be finalised by March-April next year, including the five other sub-regional structure plans.

"This will provide the Perth and Peel regions with a completely reviewed planning direction within a short time frame, allowing this State to prepare for the future now," he said.

Closing dates for public submissions for Directions 2031 and the Activity Centres Policy is August 26, 2009. Public submissions for the Southern Metropolitan and Peel Sub-Regional Structure Plan close on September 23, 2009.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options