Community to benefit from better apartment design

The highly anticipated first stage of Design WA released by Minister Rita Saffioti today will ensure that good design is central to all new apartment developments.

The first stage of State Planning Policy 7 (SPP7), Design WA ‘Volume 2 – Apartments’ will guide the development of Western Australia’s urban and suburban infill. It includes performance-based policies aimed at lifting apartment design and will replace part 6 of the current R-Codes.

Minimum apartment sizes, increased tree retention and new natural light requirements form part of new guidelines to ensure future infill and apartment development are built to higher design standards.

"Urban infill and increased density are fraught topics in Perth’s established suburbs, and one of the solutions lies in the delivery of good design." WA Property Council Executive Director, Sandra Brewer said.

"Most sophisticated apartment developers in Perth are already meeting or exceeding the standards set by Design WA. This policy raises the bar for all developers to ensure that apartments built in existing suburbs add to the amenity and vibrancy of those areas."

The Department for Planning has consulted with industry over the six years of policy development. During the last 6 years the Property Council has been integral to the development of Design WA through direct consultation with government and participation in industry briefings and workshops.

This policy enshrines what people expect from good apartment design – windows to all habitable rooms including bedrooms, fresh air through efficient cross ventilation, orientation to capture winter sun and summer shade.

"The benefit of these new Design WA policies is that the community will have greater confidence in the quality and suitability of developments to their surroundings.

"By ensuring developments are unique and appropriate to their environment, will result in greater community acceptance for high density living and housing infill, which is necessary as Perth’s population grows."

"Design WA is also fundamental to the success of METRONET station precincts by providing a platform to house a growing population, strategically near new train stations and existing public transport infrastructure.

"An advantage of Design WA is that all local governments now have the same benchmarks for what constitutes good design that improves the urban environment and provides desirable apartments for the community. This consistency is welcome news for developers who currently must deal with a different set of rules across each Council area."

"We applaud the State Government for progressing a critical reform and providing much needed consistency and clarity for industry whilst assuring the community that all future developments are subject to thorough review to ensure the best possible outcomes for everyone." WA Property Council Executive Director, Sandra Brewer said.