Proposed changes to R-Codes could spell disaster for some investors

Monday, 3rd Nov 2014


A few months back, the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) put forward a series of amendments to the residential planning codes (R-Codes) that, in effect, will significantly reduce the development potential of many properties in areas zoned R30 and R35.

The proposed changes will reduce the number of multiple dwellings currently allowed in R30 and R35 zoned areas throughout the state.

If approved by the State Government, the proposed amendment, which will affect thousands of property owners, will undermine progressive changes that cater for WA’s rapidly growing population.

Changes implemented in 2010 created the potential to build seven to 10 units on 1,000 square metre blocks, which are zoned R30. However, if proposed WAPC R-Code changes are approved, blocks of this size in R30-zoned areas will only be able to accommodate three units.

The downgrade, which will ultimately lead to a reduction in property values, will affect properties in inner city locations, as well as properties zoned R30 and R35 in many areas which are more than 15 kilometres out of the city, and regional locations.

Increasing density to cater for a growing and ageing population is a sensitive issue that needs to be well thought-out and carefully managed. No one is suggesting that medium or high density should be in every street and every suburb.

Encouraging quality designs and appropriate location choices are essential components of planning for our future housing needs. For example, a quality design can deliver a seven or 10-unit development that is smaller in terms of building size than an equivalent three-townhouse development.

However, if Perth is going to accommodate a rapidly growing population, which increasingly wants to live near work and amenities, and we want to reduce congestion on our roads, we simply can’t afford the urban sprawl to continue indefinitely.

All property owners are encouraged to express their opposition to the amendments. Submissions or comments on the amendment may be emailed to Submissions close 5pm, Friday 14 November 2014.