Urban Planning Experts increase density to allow for growing population posted on the 11th April 2019

State governments across the country are looking at ways to cater for our growing population.  Townhouses, granny flats, studio apartments and dual-key properties, are among the many housing options gaining popularity in all states.  Read here how Perth is dealing with their increasing need for housing.

State government reveals first five sites for Metronet medium-density hubs

Heather McNeill, The Sydney Morning Herald

March 14, 2019

The state government has revealed the first site where a medium-density hub will be developed as part of its Metronet plan to boost housing near train stations.

Situated in Cannington, the site is one of five locations selected by the Department of Communities for between 15 to 40 dwellings to be built.

Other hubs will also be built at sites identified in Claremont, Innaloo, High Wycombe and Highgate.

Architects are being encouraged to consider innovative housing options for the hubs, including townhouses, apartments, ‘Fonzie flats’ (studio apartments above garages), intergenerational homes and dual-key properties.

The five sites will be available for immediate development, pending the establishment of a medium density development panel, which will include a pool of approved builders, designers and architects able to bid on each project.

The 7000 square metre plot of land on Hamilton Street in Cannington, within walking distance to Welshpool and Queens Park train stations, will be the site for hopefuls to pitch their expertise.

Department documents show the proposed land development is within R30 and R60 residential zoning.

The state-issued design brief encourages developers to consider incorporating two or three-storey townhouses combined with apartments.

Dual key properties, which often feature one main entrance to a house with two separate dwellings inside, have been commonplace in countries like Japan and the UK for decades, but are relatively new to Australia.

Further medium-density sites are expected to be developed in the future, with no more than one in every nine dwellings to be considered for public housing.

Housing minister Peter Tinley said the new medium density development panel would help support the delivery of Metronet’s social and affordable housing and jobs package.

“Medium-density developments like the ones that this panel will help facilitate will create diverse opportunities and choice for all parts of the community,” he said.

Metronet aims to accommodate urban infill and better connect Perth through a circular rail network.

In collaboration with that project, the Metrohub plan intends to create “smart and sustainable” density around major public transport links and areas of high social and commercial activity such as hospitals and universities.

Murdoch and Midland have already been touted as future major Metrohub locations.

Urban planning experts generally agree increasing density around major public transport links is the best way to cater for Perth’s growing population.

Committee for Perth chief executive Marion Faulkner welcomed the state government’s medium-density plan, saying Perth had to move away from its tendency to build single-storey homes.

“The thing that we’re the best at, that we’re most prolific at, is single-dwelling housing,” she said.

“We’ve got to find a way forward with all sorts of housing, at all sorts of pricing.

“The (four-bedroom, two-bathroom home) has got a place, but we know increasingly people are going to be living on their own, and so we need to have products for them.”

Increasing density within Perth’s existing suburbs to contain its urban sprawl has been an ambition for the state government for more than 15 years, and statistics show it is heading towards the target of 47 per cent of new homes as infill.

It doesn’t matter where in the country you are, we’d love to share our knowledge with you.

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Sonia Woolley

0403 309 136

Written by Sonia Woolley

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