Local Councils and Your Investment
Developing property, or intend to in the future? You need to be aware of anything that may have a negative impact on your investment. An important part of this to connect with your local council, so that you know the likely costs and restrictions that you will have to deal with. For example, some local councils have Development or Council Contributions which need to be paid for subdivisions. These can range up to a few thousand dollars for each block or house that you are proposing (not counting the first one). This is something that needs to be taken into account when determining if your development is feasible.
Local councils also have local planning schemes and policies that are in addition to State and Federal requirements. These also need to be considered in any feasibility and can be accessed via the council’s website. When local councils propose changes or additions to these, there is a process they follow which usually involves consultation with stakeholders. Whether this includes individual landowners that may be impacted is unknown. A current example of this is the City of Cockburn who are currently proposing changes to their local planning policy and scheme under the guise of Better Neighbourhoods, Better Homes.
One of the proposals is to include a 3m x 3m garden area with a tree planted for grouped dwellings (2 or more); this needs to be 1m away from the house and fence. Essentially this space has to be 5m x 5m which reduces the usable space on the block by 25m2. A single bedroom is around 9m2 (internally). This is in addition to current requirements! So it means that you will have a smaller house in the City of Cockburn with more maintenance, due to a tree planted in close proximity. This will have an impact on resale value as your house will be competing with homes in adjoining councils that are larger, as they do not have this restriction.
As a concerned stakeholder, we have submitted comments in relation to this as, in general, we object to the changes.
If this has an impact on you, we recommend submitting your comments at https://comment.cockburn.wa.gov.au/BetterHomes before 23 April 2020. For a copy of our full submission to the City of Cockburn, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are planning to develop property within a different local council area, we suggest that you contact that council directly and specifically ask for information on any policies that may impact your development.