SMALL houses on mini lots in Fremantle moved a big step forward this week with the council’s planning committee ticking off a scheme amendment.
The amendment is expected to fly through full council before being sent out for public consultation and ultimately the WA Planning Commission for final approval.
It essentially throws out the maximum density for R-Codes under R35 across seven precincts across the city, allowing up to three dwellings for blocks over 600 sqm as long as certain criteria are met.
Houses will be restricted to a maximum of 120sqm and 70 per cent of the total site would have to be open space.
While on face value the maths doesn’t seem conducive to much infill, councillor Rachel Pemberton, who’s been a big driver of the policy, says she’s hoping innovative design will see many of the homes smaller than the maximum allowed.
She’s also expecting the developments to feature a lot of two-storey designs, keeping the built footprint trim.
Cr Pemberton says the rules were aimed at trying to preserve the character and context of existing suburbs, and she had a key amendment made to the staff recommendation moved by committee member Jeff McDonald to have that enshrined.
The seven areas include:
• Hilton north around Ethelwyn Street;
• O’Connor around Jarvis Street;
• Beaconsfield between Fifth Ave and Carrington Street;
• Beaconsfield around Brockman Place;
• Samson along a section of Winterfold Road;
• White Gum Valley between Watkins and Stevens Street; and,
• Fremantle along Forrest and Holland sttreets betwen Chudleigh and Carrington.
Larger blocks will be allowed an additional house for every 150sqm over 750sqm.
The staff report acknowledges parking will be a contentious issue, with the tiniest of homes being let off completely, while others will only get one space each.
It points out that verges in low-density areas are “relatively generous”.
by STEVE GRANT