High density, yes, but only in the right areas.

Reforms introduced to the State Government’s Residential Design Codes (R Codes) in 2010 have had a massive impact on the nature and intensity of infill development in Stirling. The same applies in many parts of the City of Vincent.

The City is opposed to these changes given the blanket application across Perth by the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) to crudely increase higher density card blanche, without consultation with communities that would be affected or local governments.

The Mayor Giovanni Italiano said the result would mean a massive increase in population in areas that simply can’t handle this sort of growth.

“You simply can’t slap a block of apartments or flats in an area where public transport isn’t available; there is limited vehicle parking and little or no public open spaces to recreate.”

“All of a sudden you have an unintended consequence of amenity and social issues in the burbs clashing head-on and tensions rising amongst the neighbours. It’s a logistical and planning nightmare waiting to happen.”

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for increased density but it must be in the right area where the growth can be accommodated and where there are activity centres that are designed to accommodate higher density living,” he added.

With 85,000 dwellings currently in the City and planned growth of an additional 29,450 dwellings by 2031, the State Governments 2010 changes to the R-Codes have created the potential for an additional 273,000 dwellings or a total of 332,000 properties in the City of Stirling.

This means that the changes to Multi Unit Codes could potentially create over a quarter of a million additional dwellings and most of these would be in suburban locations that were not designed to accommodate such a large increase in unit style housing.

To increase density in locations that are not activity centres and corridors is in direct contradiction with the State Government’s objectives outlined in ‘Directions 2031, the Strategic Plan for Greater Perth ’. This form of mass urban infill sabotages the integration of future development with public transport infrastructure and puts huge pressures on utility providers.

Council has seen this and in a bid to avoid this occurring, has sought to remove these provisions from medium density areas of the City and responsibly focus on urban growth around the City’s town centres via an amendment to its Local Planning Scheme 3 (Amendment 32). This amendment will prevent any further multi-unit dwellings from being permitted in areas with an R40 density coding. This includes areas within Doubleview, Innaloo, Scarborough, Balga, Nollamara and Westminster.

Mayor Italiano said that the City will continue to work on creating opportunities for increased density along transport corridors and town centres.

“Our goal is to encourage higher density developments in carefully planned activity centres and activity corridors that are supported by sufficient public transport and high quality open spaces within easy reach of the residents living in these apartments,” he added.

The Mayor said Council has advised WAPC that it does not support further development intensification in areas where no thought has gone into the implications of this. The Amendment is currently being assessed by the WAPC.

What are your thoughts?  Comment below.


thanks, City of Stirling.