The current R-Codes and Scheme does not always deliver good outcomes in our neighbourhoods. Too often we end up with developments without gardens, with excessive building bulk and overshadowing that negatively affects neighbours.
To combat this, and provide more diverse quality housing options, The Council is investigating a possible Scheme Amendment that would create more modest, affordable, sustainable homes and provide housing diversity that suits different peoples needs.
The amendment proposes:
– maximum dwelling size 120m2
– 70% open space
– 20% deep root planting zone (trees)
– minimum 5m setback at the rear
– maximum 1 car bay per dwelling
– strict design guidelines and mechanisms will apply
– streetscape policy will apply
We are taking a very cautious approach, thoroughly investigating the potential interpretations with the help of experts from the Australian Urban Design Research Centre to ensure the desired outcomes are achieved. A report on the investigation and next steps will be debated at the Special Projects Committee this Wednesday (see the SPC agenda and agenda attachments here for all the details).
This scheme amendment hopes to allow people to age in place, downsizing into a more appropriate sized home when children leave home, or enable first homebuyers to purchase smaller, more affordable homes in a suburban environment in Fremantle. These homes would also be cheaper to live in as they are smaller, use less energy and will be close to work opportunities and good transport options.
The median house price in Fremantle is currently $810,000 (realestate.com.au August 2015) this is unaffordable to many people who would like to live in Fremantle. It is unaffordable to young people who grew up here contemplating buying their first home.
Not everyone wants to live in an apartment, but would be happy with a modest suburban home that is more like the traditional workers cottages Fremantle is famous for than the oversized McMansions that are permitted – and in fact encouraged – by the current planning scheme and dominate new developments today.
The potential benefits for Fremantle
This amendment will increase the amount of trees and back yards in suburban Fremantle. It will increase the rear setback, therefore reducing the scale of building bulk and overshadowing that affects neighbours.
It will provide more housing options in Fremantle for first home buyers, artists, young people, down-sizers, single average wage earners and it will increase the local population to support the local economy.
We need more people living, working and playing in Fremantle and providing diverse affordable housing will help us achieve that.
The “Tiny house” movement has become popular in Fremantle. Many people would like to live in a modest home that offers excellent lifestyle and minimal cost and environmental impact. They want to be surrounded by trees and garden in a suburban setting.
At present, single Tiny Homes can only be built and rented on lots under the existing Ancillary Dwelling rules. This scheme amendment is investigating how we can enable a number of Tiny Houses to be built on a lot with extensive gardens and trees then be bought and sold independently.
This investigation into how we provide diverse small housing options for Fremantle has been developed over the past 12 months, but we still have some way to go to make sure we get it right.
What do you think of the concept?