Move to limit units

Under changes announced by Planning Minister John Day, restrictions will be placed on the number of apartments that can be built on blocks zoned R30 and R35.

The changes will also mean every apartment has at least one parking bay.

Mr Day said the changes would control development in suburban areas and �ensure the number of dwellings on a block is appropriate for the location.�

�Focusing density to these areas creates vibrant communities where people can live, work and play while reducing our dependency on cars,� Mr Day said.

While land coded R40 will remain as is, the State Government will encourage local governments to limit apartment developments to blocks near activity centres and train stations.

But Property Council executive director Joe Lenzo disagreed, saying the move would lead to urban sprawl.

�This is a knee-jerk reaction to pressure from some local councils who are opposed to any form of infill,� he said.

�Stymieing development in inner suburbs simply forces the expansion of Perth�s outer boundaries.�

Mr Lenzo said every additional car bay could end up costing consumers an extra $30,000 to $80,000.

�If parking is the problem, the answer is parking permits or better infrastructure � solutions that will not impact on housing affordability,� he said.

WA Local Government Association president Lynne Craigie said the local government sector had sought change for several years. �While the initial aim of the R30-35 provisions was to deliver greater diversity of housing stock, which local government supports, the development of some multi-unit dwellings has not been well located,� she said.

The City of South Perth said while it supported the changes, the council would remain largely unaffected.

�The current planning requirements for the South Perth station precinct (plan), where apartment developments have recently been approved, are separate to the R Codes, therefore not impacted,� Mayor Sue Doherty said.

The City of South Perth is presently working on a long-term plan to improve parking in the city.

The changes to the R-codes come in on October 23.