ALLOWING for flexible and innovative housing designs was one of the objectives of revising the City of Wanneroo’s residential development planning policy.
Councillors unanimously supported amendments to the Local Planning Policy 2.1: Residential Development at the October 11 meeting.
The policy’s purpose is to provide City officers and the public with clear guidance on how council interprets R-Codes and assesses residential development applications.
It applies to planning approval applications seeking assessment under the design principles of the R-Codes.
A report by the City said it decided to review the existing policy, which was adopted in 2010, following a recommendation from an external planning consultant and to ensure it aligned with the revised R-Codes published in October 2015.
The main changes are a reduction in the number of design elements that can be varied by local government as a result of new R-Codes provisions and that amendments or replacements to the design elements identified in the policy are required to be consistent with the relevant R-Codes design principles.
Clauses regarding garage doors, buildings on boundary, setback of retaining walls, open space provisions, excavation or fill and essential facilities were removed.
As well as allowing for housing design flexibility and innovation, the other key objectives were to ensure consistency in the assessment of development applications as per the previous version and facilitate development which continues to contribute to a quality streetscape that is safe and attractive for residents.
“Other minor changes include removing reference to subdivisions, detailed area plans and fees required for lodgement…(which) is considered appropriate as they are appropriately addressed in other planning policies, legislation and guiding documentation,” the report said.
It said the City had become “increasingly aware” of the need to more closely consider outcomes of new residential developments based on R-Codes standards.
“Administration considers that there is a need to review and/or update the development standards to ensure that good design principles are at the core of the R-Codes,” it said.
“This is particularly in terms of achieving better streetscapes that are not dominated by elements such as double garages abutting one another.”
It said this would be considered separately with a report presented to a council forum.