Fresh planning focus for City

Published on Wednesday 13 September, 2017

Fresh planning focus

Two planning documents were endorsed by the City of Gosnells Council last night, marking the start of an important project to set the direction for growth and development in the City for at least the next five years.

Following the introduction of the State Government’s Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015, the City was required to review its current Town Planning Scheme to create a new Local Planning Scheme, and consolidate its existing suite of planning strategies into one new Local Planning Strategy.

The new Local Planning Strategy sets the long-term planning direction for the City and provides the rationale for zoning or classification of land.

The second document, Local Planning Scheme 24 (LPS 24), then acts as the main planning tool controlling land use and development, including zoning, land uses and more. LPS 24 replaces and builds on the success of Town Planning Scheme 6 (TPS 6), which became operational in 2002.

Both documents will be subject to a public comment period, including input and approvals from State Government agencies such as the WA Planning Commission (WAPC), before they can be implemented.

Mayor Olwen Searle said the documents provided a long-term vision for the City.

“The Local Planning Strategy and LPS 24 will allow the City to respond to the challenges of managing growth, developing new employment areas and preserving our valued natural environment and open spaces,” she said.

“The documents will also ensure the City’s planning meets the State Government’s new regulations and applies relevant State planning policies to the strategy.”

LPS 24 contains a number of changes from TPS 6, most notably the rezoning of the majority of Orange Grove and Martin from ‘Rural’ to ‘Rural Residential’.

A number of new use and development classes will also be introduced, to strengthen planning controls and place limitations on the development of rural residential land for non-rural uses.

“Unlike the current ‘Rural’ zoning, the ‘Rural Residential’ zoning in the new Scheme will protect the rural amenity of these areas for existing residents, by limiting uses such as places of worship, rural industry and intensive agriculture,” Mayor Searle said.

“This is in direct response to residents’ requests to limit inappropriate development in their suburbs and preserve their valued rural lifestyles.”

Another notable change is the increase in residential density across the City, particularly in and around urban hubs and train stations.

The base residential density across the City will increase from R17.5 to R20, which will reduce the average lot size from 571m2 to 450m2 and the minimum lot size from 500m2 to 350m2. Most properties in close proximity to district centres and train stations will be zoned for medium or higher densities.

This increase in density is in response to the WAPC’s ‘Perth and Peel@3.5million’ regional planning framework, which aims to accommodate a population of 3.5 million people by 2050. It outlines where future homes and jobs could be located, the protection of environmental assets, residential densities and appropriate areas for infill development.

“This increase in density is in line with State Government requirements which are aimed at planning for our region’s future population,” Mayor Searle said.

“Higher density within walking distance of urban hubs and near train stations is simply good planning.

“By increasing density in these areas, more residents can enjoy easy access to public transport, shopping, facilities, services and employment opportunities.”

Mayor Searle said it is important for people to realise that the new Scheme is only a draft at this stage.

“The City will offer a range of community consultation opportunities, including an invitation for written submissions, once the State Government has granted approval to advertise the documents,” she said.

“All consultation will be carefully considered to determine whether changes to the documents are needed, before they are finalised.”

Following last night’s Council approval, the draft Local Planning Strategy will be sent to the WAPC for certification, before it is released for public consultation. Meanwhile, the draft LPS 24 will be referred to the Heritage Council, the Environmental Protection Authority and the WAPC for review, before it too is released for public consultation.