The Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) has responded to plans from the Western Australian Government to remove compatibility requirements for granny flats, saying that it is a short-sighted decision that will have a long term impact on communities.  

Speaking after a local government webinar on the new residential design codes held by WALGA, WALGA President, Karen Chappel, said that while local government supports sensible planning reform and efforts to increase housing supply and diversity, the ongoing watering down and erosion by the State Government of the role of local government in planning and approvals, often with little or no consultation with the local government sector or the community, will have long-term negative impacts. 

“We all want to see more housing, but this decision, made without consultation or any demonstrable evidence that it will, in fact, make a significant difference to the current housing shortage, means open slather on poorly designed housing solutions,” Ms Chappel said. 

“I really don’t think the community wants to see dongas and sea containers in our front or backyards.”  

WALGA maintains that local governments are best placed to work with residents and developers to achieve long-term housing outcomes at the local level. 

“Local government supports planning reform and changes to the medium density code that delivers better quality development and greater diversity of housing stock. But this should not come at the expense of good design outcomes and community amenity.”   

WALGA emphasises the need for balanced decision-making that prioritises both housing supply and community well-being.  

“While short-term policy changes may benefit developers and the commercial sector, WALGA remains committed to ensuring that residents can live in properly planned communities both now and in the future.”

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