Design WA

Planning Minister Rita Saffioti has just released the first stage of Design WA – which compromises a set of guidelines for developers and local government to follow, so that good design is at the heart of all new community developments. 

The first stage of Design WA is focusing on design for the built environment (State Planning Policy 7.0), new residential design codes for apartments (State Planning Policy 7.3 Volume 2) and a design review guide. 

Shelter WA welcomes Design WA. We hope this lays the foundation for the development of more diverse, affordable, housing supply. 

Design WA encompasses distinctly defined objectives about what future developments should take into consideration and they are enshrined in the revised Residential Design Codes. 

Some of the objectives are:
• Safe, healthy environments with good natural light and ventilation;
• Appropriate scale to respect the local character and context;
• Minimum apartment sizes based on floor space and number of rooms;
• Development that creates walkable neighbourhoods with high amenity;
• Green space such as shady trees for outdoor spaces and mature tree retention; and
• Development that enhances local neighbourhoods.

According to Planning Minister Rita Saffioti,

‘Design WA addresses community concerns around higher density developments and infill throughout Perth. […] This addresses many of the issues that concern communities including walkable neighbourhoods, retaining street trees, providing green open spaces, ensuring new apartment blocks fit in with their surroundings, parking and privacy concerns.’

Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister for Planning John Carey MLA welcomes Design WA and its impact on local governments:

‘It also critically sets new benchmarks across local government. While some local government have led the way with their excellent apartment design rules, others have had significant gaps in their local planning policies- and as a result, some local governments have delivered poor apartment building outcomes in their communities.’

The policies will come into effect on 24 May 2019, in order to ensure a smooth transition for local governments and built environment professionals.

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