A DALKEITH architect has called on the City of Nedlands to approve a scheme amendment that would allow large lots in part of the suburb to be subdivided.
Sandy Anghie has urged the council to change its Town Planning Scheme so some lots can be rezoned from R10 to R20, which would enable properties around Waratah Avenue with lot sizes greater than 900sq m to be subdivided.
“The norm in Dalkeith is large houses on quarter-acre (1000sq m) blocks,” Ms Anghie said.
“Single houses on that size block make up 98.6 per cent of houses in the suburb, with the remaining being older duplexes, other than the recently completed apartment building on Waratah Avenue, which is the first of its kind.”
Ms Anghie recently designed two houses near the proposed area for scheme amendment on adjacent strata lots, which she said was an “anomaly for the area”.
“The core idea in the design was to provide a precedent for greater housing density and diversity in Dalkeith,” she said. “Large houses on the river with views make sense.
“But Waratah Avenue provides the opportunity for diversity, enabling people to downsize and stay in the area.”
Real estate agent Jordan McGuirk, from LJ Hooker, said he believed the proposal to allow smaller allotments would be well received in the market.
“Downsizing to an apartment is not everyone’s preference,” he said.
“Many have pets and grandkids, so they still want some private outdoor space.
“Some residents could downsize by splitting their block to create duplexes; they could live in one and sell or rent the second for income.
“We definitely won’t see an influx of high-rise living.”
The proposed scheme amendment was originally considered by the council in 2015, but councillors resolved not to adopt the proposal.
Planning Minister Rita Saffioti has since undertaken a review of the decision and issued an order directing the City to advertise the amendment for public comment and further detailed assessment. City of Nedlands strategic planning officer Emma van der Linden said the proposal would be advertised until Friday.
“Following close of advertising, the City will consider each valid submission and a report will be presented to the council at the August 22 meeting,” she said.
Ms Anghie said she hoped residents who had initially been reluctant would change their tune.
“Increased density can be achieved in a sensitive form, with care taken to ensure that the house is sympathetic to its neighbourhood and context,” she said.
“If residents are concerned about the character of the suburb being lost, then perhaps this should be directed at the demolition of older homes to make way for large-scale mansions on quarter-acre lots.
“It is not the fault of subdivision because currently this is very limited and restricted to the area around Waratah Avenue.”