CHILDLESS couples and singles will overtake families as the biggest demographic in Cockburn in the next 15 years.
The prediction, contained in Cockburn council’s new affordable housing strategy, is causing headaches for planners, as current housing stock is overwhelmingly family-orientated.
“Dwellings with more than three bedrooms represent 81 per cent of the housing stock in the City of Cockburn,” the strategy reports. To encourage more units and small dwellings, the council is proposing a range of options, including asking the WA government to mandate affordable housing in new developments. Having controls set at state level will avoid the problem Fremantle discovered when it tried to mandate affordable housing in its inner-city projects; developers threatened to walk unless targets were significantly lowered and the council buckled.
Cockburn is also looking at making ancillary dwellings such as granny flats exempt from planning approvals, increasing “shop-top” apartment living by increasing housing in commercial areas, and offering incentives to developers.
It will also ramp up its revitalisation strategy to increase density in older suburbs, such as those already completed in Phoenix and Hamilton Hill.
The strategy is out for public comment.
by STEVE GRANT