Perth Planning Disaster? City Needs New Property Development Strategy

November 14 2014
Perth City

PERTH, Western Australia – Perth desperately needs a new property development strategy to deal with the population boom, severe housing shortage and urban sprawl issues, the Property Council of Australia says, or we face a planning disaster in the coming years.

The government is failing to provide enough incentive to allow the developments of new units and apartments across the city, meaning Perth’s urban sprawl will go on for many kilometers north and south for decades to come.

The consequences for Perth could be dire, if more ‘infill’ development does not take place, the Property Council of Australia said in a press release today.

Some of the actions that the government could take include tax incentives for older households to downsize, more rezoning of land by local councils, and making more government owned land ready for private development.

The push comes after data this year showed Perth was the most expensive city in Australia to travel to work by car.

“If we don’t take action, pressure will grow on the provision of scarce infrastructure to support new housing development on Perth’s urban fringe,” Lino Lacomella from the Property Council of Australia (WA branch) said.

According to Lacomella, “we need new actions to make infill development in Perth easier. The development industry in WA is ready to support larger rates of infill housing like apartments and units in the inner city and in the suburbs.”

“However, the rate of infill development will not pick up significantly until the structural hurdles to infill development are removed,” Lacomella said.

The Property Council outlined a new strategy the WA Government needed to follow if Perth was to avoid becoming a super metropolis of sprawling suburbs.

A revamped urban infill strategy needs to include a broad range of actions, the Council said, including:

  • A review of the provision of energy and water infrastructure for infill development;
  • The introduction of tax incentives for older households to downsize into smaller housing, including retirement living products, which will free up existing homes for redevelopment;
  • Encouraging local governments to support rezoning of land for higher density housing;
  • Fast tracking the introduction of community titles, which will enable larger scale precinct-style infill housing development to occur; and
  • Making more state and local government owned land available for housing development in existing areas of Perth.

The push from the council comes after projections earlier this year that Perth faces a 100,000 dwelling shortfall by the end of this decade, along with a population projection of 1.1 million more people in Perth by 2028.

Perth needs to manage development with new strategies, or face a planning nightmare.

Perth needs a property development strategy, requiring more urban ‘infill,’ or we’ll face a planning nightmare. (Image via Ryan Northover)

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