Houses popping up

• One of the housing designs that aligns with the “Freo Alternative” rules. Left: Brad Pettitt, Rachel Permberton, Peter Tinley and Samantha Reece at the launch of the pop-up store in Fremantle’s High Street Mall.

New rules promote more green space

A POP-UP store showing off middle-sized housing options has opened in the High Street Mall in Fremantle.

The port city lost 59 per cent of its tree canopy from 2009-2016 so council has changed its planning rules to encourage people to build smallish houses with plenty of greenery.

The new “Freo Alternative” rules apply to select locations in White Gum Valley, Hilton, O’Connor, Beaconsfield and Fremantle, and means lots bigger than 600sqm can have three homes on them as long as the footprint of each home is 120sqm or smaller, and there’s at least 30sqm of outdoor liveable space each.

A total of 70 per cent of the block has to be open space, there needs to be at least one mature tree, and the houses have to meet high energy efficiency ratings.

The pop-up was put together by WA Apartment Advocacy and building designer John Damant, who’s come up with “Econest” designs in line with the Freo Alternative policy. He’ll be at the shop to talk people through the details.

WAAA’s Samantha Reece is confident the pop-up will get locals talking about housing options.

“It is no wonder communities get up in arms when you consider recent research by Committee for Perth showed only 10 per cent of projects delivered in Perth undertook community engagement,” she said in a press statement.

“If we want the community to embrace housing choice then this needs to be at a grass roots level and what better way than to host a pop-up shop in the High Street Mall?”

Housing minister Peter Tinley opened the pop-up and said this kind of housing would help stop suburb creep.

It’s open at 106 High Street Mall for two months until July 5, Tuesday to Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday 11am-4pm.

by DAVID BELL

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