Issue of high rise living divides

Issue of high rise living divides

A NEW WA Apartment Advocacy (WAAA) survey is canvassing demand for high-rise living.

Launched by Victoria Park resident Samantha Reece late last year, WAAA claims to represent the views of those supportive of apartment living.

A veteran of the property sector, Ms Reece is also the managing director of consultancy company PropertyESP.

Ms Reece said the survey, which is available through the WAAA website, sought to determine what apartment owners, renters and investors liked about the current market but also what they would they would like to see changed.

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“Apartment living is coming to the fore in WA but at the moment we are seeing decisions being made by developers and Government based on their own personal opinions rather than market data,” Ms Reece said.

“There are plenty of one and two bedroom apartments on the market but we believe that the survey results will show that the older demographics plus families will be seeking other features and it is this data that we believe will be invaluable.

“Plus there are some councils vocally opposed to infill and this data may show there is pent up demand for their locality and hence may assist in reassessing their own views about apartment living.”

The organisation has drawn the ire of Melville councillor Guy Wieland who questioned the WAAA’s motives.

“The WAAA continually states that the voices of apartment livers are limited and yet any public submissions called for by local and State planners are open to everybody, including developers.”

Emphasising he was not speaking on behalf of Melville council, Mr Wieland said he personally believed Perth’s western suburbs were being asked to shoulder an unreasonable infill burden.

“Examples of this are easily found, suburbs like Maida Vale and Kenwick where there is minimal infill and yet they are only a short distance from the CBD,” he said.

“Constant pressure is placed upon the western suburbs due to the fact developers make more money per square metre compared to the underdeveloped eastern suburbs.

Mr Wieland said there was also no correlation between apartments being situated close to public transport and lower rates of car ownership.

“The problem being created by apartments is that there is limited car parking available which in turn is spilling into the streets and verges creating a poor streetscape appearance and amenity loss,” he said.

“Evidence of this is littered throughout the infilled areas of Melville and the City of Perth.”

Ms Reece said she had entirely self-funded WAAA with no contributions from property developers or the building industry.

Flat out support… Or not: A NEW WA Apartment Advocacy (WAAA) survey is canvassing demand for high-rise living