Peppermint Grove council to oppose Government planning regulations it deems ‘inappropriate’

Maintaining the look of the suburb is key for the Peppermint Grove council.
Maintaining the look of the suburb is key for the Peppermint Grove council.

PEPPERMINT Grove council will oppose new State Government planning rules that could potentially put home walls within 1.2m of a side boundary.

The WA Planning Commission wanted comment until October 10 on changing to R-Codes and planning regulations for 1.2m.

The WAPC claims 1.2m is a Victoria standard wanted by builders so they can widen hallways inside homes for new national regulations that require wider hallways for an ageing population.

Peppermint Grove councillors saw the change as a potential threat to the gaps between their wealthy suburb’s large, single homes.

“It’s not just that there doesn’t seem to be a rationale for it, it also seems poor,” council president Rachel Thomas said at last month’s meeting.

“When you’ve got large blocks like ours it almost allows for continuous building across the streetscape, which is inappropriate for us, and we know from our ratepayers they are concerned about their neighbours approaching closer and closer.”

The new rule would also allow eaves to be reduced from 750mm to 450mm, further reducing homes’ ability to have the roof-level overhangs that shade walls and reduce heat.

“In a way it’s making cheap homes with slab roofs,” Cr Greg Peters said.

Councillors voted to object to the 1.2m setbacks for walls longer than 9m without windows.

They supported proposed R-Code changes that would prevent lot sizes being changed by concessions if a development proposal went to a council.

Councillors backed a WAPC proposal not to automatically transfer the nod for a new house design on a green field site to a block in an already developed area.

At Cottesloe Council’s September meeting, these changes were considered “unacceptable” in a staff report, because the change could allow insufficient light and ventilation.

Councillors also objected to reducing from five to two the number of homes needed to be built in a development intended for aged housing.

The report said although the change could result in more blocks qualifying for a reduction by a third of the area required for a retirement home, it could also result in more unplanned infill that affected parking, amenity and noise.