Western Australia

Plans for 'micro lots' in Perth a return to housing diversity of the past: Qwest Paterson

PLANS to introduce 'micro lots' to Western Australia are a return to the early days of housing diversity, according to QWest Paterson Property Valuers and Consultants Chairman, Warwick Hemsley.

"Before restrictive planning legislation and codes were introduced in the 1920s, 30s and 40s that mandated large lots as compulsory, we had a broader diversity of housing stock that suited a range of households and lifestyles," Mr Hemsley said.

Above: Perth, WA / by Richard Giles.

"Many of the 'new' ideas that we see discussed today are actually a return to a time when people accepted medium and high density living in many areas as it suited their lifestyle and budget.

"Sydney and other old urban areas in Australia had 80 square metre lots 150 years ago. We are talking areas such as Surrey Hills, Glebe and Balmain.

"New or old idea, it is encouraging to see that planners and government are looking at ways that we can introduce further diversity back into our housing stock.

"The average household size is shrinking (down to 2.5 people) due to an ageing population and more singles and couples without children," Mr Hemsley said, adding that large lots don't meet the needs of many of these household types.

"It is also important to consolidate our urban footprint and limit urban sprawl in regard to both affordability and long term sustainability," Mr Hemsley said.

"Of course with any move toward such small living options, we need to look at the most appropriate location for this type of housing.

"It will be imperative that micro-lots are located close to good amenity and public open spaces to compensate for the reduced amount of private space.

"Proximity to public transport is also a must considering parking is likely to be limited in a reduced space.

"Overall, healthy discussion regarding the future of our housing needs is important. We are at a point in time where Perth and other urban centres need to consider the future carefully to ensure that we are developing in a way that is sustainable and appropriate to the people living here," Mr Hemsley concluded.

Photo: Perth, WA / Richard Giles / Licensed under Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0.

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