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Rules changed in bid to boost accommodation

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Ancillary dwellings or granny flats and detached habitable rooms in the Denmark shire will be limited to 70sqm and 30sqm of outdoor living space.

The rules will apply throughout the Denmark shire and follow a consultation period which closed on February 1.

The Shire wanted to streamline granny flat development in a effort to combat the growing rental crisis in the town.

Denmark like the rest of Australia has faced a housing crisis, with a vacancy rate of 0.20 per cent, keeping many out of available and affordable homes.

Families have had to seek accommodation in Albany and elsewhere though their work may be based in Denmark.

Shire of Denmark officers consider the adoption of the policy will clarify its policy for landowners and neighbours, plus add to flexible and innovative housing design.

At the February 21 Denmark Shire Council meeting, it was decided to set a minimum of 38,000l of water storage, previously 92,000l, for ancillary buildings/granny flats not on mains water supply.

Because an ancillary dwelling is dependent on the services of a main house a minimum water supply of 92,000l was considered unnecessary.

A tank can be installed without planning approval if they are under 45,000l.

The policy was amended to allow for 30sqm rather than 20sqm of covered outdoor living area.

The policy changes do not affect any ancillary dwelling or detached habitable room which has been previously approved.

Three submissions were received during the public consultation period and all of these disagreed with the changes on the basis they were too restrictive.

The 70sqm limit for a granny flat applies throughout WA.

In their responses, Shire officers pointed out that the limit was to ensure that an ancillary dwelling was smaller and dependent and not a grouped dwelling of a comparable size and function.

The Shire’s current local planning framework supports a second full-sized residential dwelling on lots over 10ha in the rural zone.

The council adopted the changes to the policy which have to be forwarded to the WA Planning Commission for endorsement.

Last August during Homelessness Week, Denmark Futures chief executive Sumer Addy said homeless people were not the stereotypes seen in movies.

They were the fast-growing demographic of women over 55 and young people aged from 25-34 who often had children.

Denmark Bulletin 9 March 2023

This article appeared in the Denmark Bulletin, 9 March 2023.

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For all the news from the Denmark Bulletin, go to http://www.denmarkbulletin.com.au/