Rail delays frustrate developers

He said many developers had been supportive of State Government plans to build light rail along the north-eastern corridor to Mirrabooka, and had bought nearby land to turn into high-density residential and mixed-use buildings.

But the decision to delay light rail, made by the Government at the end of last year, meant this same land would be under- utilised.

‘Developers are frustrated by a lack of certainty,’ he said.

‘There were already developers who had acquired some land and properties along that route in anticipation, now their plans have been thrown into a bit of chaos.

‘They will still develop the land but it will be a lot less; they were going up to as much as eightstorey high class apartments, now we will end up with town houses.’

Mr Lenzo said because of this, there would be less activation within the key transport corridors.

He agreed with City of Seattle urban designer Lyle Bicknell, who was in Perth earlier this month, that creating pedestrian- friendly environments as a part of intensifying areas was essential for the future development of Perth.

‘But that is not all that easy for a society that is so car-minded as we are,’ he said.

‘It requires a cultural change, making things more difficult for cars causes more congestion.

‘Unless you have a major change in the strategy we use for public transport, the car is still going to dominate.’

Mr Lenzo said activating inner city areas was also being stifled by a lack of ‘appetite’ from local governments for density within their areas.

‘Even if a developer wanted to intensify a suburb, in a lot of cases the local government pushes back because the ratepayers do not want apartments in their suburbs,’ he said.

But infill in existing areas was the only way Perth could continue to cope with a growing population, as outlined in the Property Council and The Greens report Transforming Perth.

‘We have identified land available along eight transport corridors and found there is enough developable land to meet the State Government’s target of 47 per cent of new developments in existing suburbs,’ he said.

‘The route from Mirrabooka into the city is a prime example of where a greater density of people could live along a transport corridor.’