WA gov’t introduces policy for houses on tiny lots

The Western Australian government has published the final version of its policy on the construction of houses on small lots.

The position statement provides interim guidance on the construction of houses on lots smaller than 100 square metres, and an “implementation mechanism to ensure a consistent application across Western Australia.”

WA planning minister Rita Saffioti said, “This position statement is a starting point to encourage innovative and well-considered small lot development that will help create more connected and vibrant communities and precincts across Western Australia.”

A draft version of the Position Statement: Housing on Lots less that 100m2 was released for public feedback in March 2018.

“Development on lots less than 100m2 needs to be integrated with the streetscape and surrounding development,” the document says. “Their location and development needs to be undertaken as part of the comprehensive planning that is carried out for new urban areas and redevelopment of existing urban areas.”

The document will be used to support related planning initiatives, like the Design WA set of design-oriented planning policies and the Metronet public transport project program.

The policy provides guidance for bodies determining the outcome of planning applications for small lot projects. The contained criteria are intended to “support a diverse, affordable housing choice appropriate to changing demographics within prescribed limits.”

The standards include recommendations on setbacks, open spaces, reduced parking requirements, and altered privacy positions.

It will apply to areas that require a structure plan, activity centre plan or local development plan and will not apply to existing residential lots.

“The growing interest in small lot development shows we are ready to embrace less traditional subdivision and home designs to help improve housing affordability and provide more options for our changing population and lifestyles,” Saffioti said.

The policy follows the introduction of the “Freo Alternative” amendment to the planning scheme in the City of Fremantle. The amendendment paves the way for smaller housing in certain areas of White Gum Valley, Hilton, O’Connor, Beaconsfield and Fremantle.

Elsewhere in WA, the Western Australian Planning Commission approved atrial of 80 square-metre lots in Ellensbrook, which received the best Small-Scale Infill Development Award at the 2018 UDIA WA Awards for Excellence.

On the Gold Coast in Queensland, nine mirco homes designed by Degenhart Shedd were recently completed on a 673-square metre lot.

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