Changes to Western Australian planning laws

Changes to Western Australian planning laws

As the population in Australia continues to grow, more states are beginning to reduce the amount of red tape surrounding their construction industry in order to keep up with the growing demand for accommodation. The latest to follow suit is Western Australia, which recently announced plans to commit to new planning approval codes to help push forward the development of the region.

This could be an encouraging piece of legislation for those considering construction home loans in the coming months. Regardless of whether you're looking into investment or owner occupation, now could be the time to begin making moves into the Western Australian market and establishing your own slice of real estate in the area.

Reforms heading to Western Australia

Planning Minister John Day said these planning reforms would help reduce the amount of time it took for residents to renovate or build a home by two months, with the specific addition of a new residential design code allowing for a more streamlined process when it comes to the addition of things like pools, patios and carports to existing properties.

He went on to say that the changes would invoke a larger degree of synchronisation between the various councils throughout the state, which at the moment act relatively alone and are the cause of many planning disparities between areas.

"Although building permits will still be required, removing the need for planning approval for R-Code-compliant single dwellings will substantially reduce the time it takes for construction to start. This change could have a financial benefit for West Australians building new homes," said Mr Day in a November 18 statement.

Support from the wider real estate community

These decisions have been supported by a number of different regulatory bodies throughout the national property market, with the overarching consensus that this will help to further stimulate the development of Western Australia and help push for more housing accommodation for the future.

For example, Housing Industry Association Executive Director for Western Australia John Gelavis said the removal of the extra planning red tape would be financially beneficial for homeowners, allowing for a faster and less stressful residential construction framework to take root in the region.

Furthermore, he pointed out that speeding up the process could lead to increases in housing affordability, with planning resources being freed up faster - allowing the government to begin focusing on the creation of more complex developments for Western Australian residents to enjoy.

Property Council of Australia Executive Director Joe Lenzo agreed with Mr Day as well, offering some insight into the complications involved with far-flung councils.

"Western Australia suffers from having large numbers of disparate local government planning processes that are difficult to navigate from development to development. Introducing a common development approval language will make development more affordable," said Mr Lenzo in a November 18 statement.

"Eliminating planning approvals for straight forward house construction that meets all the standards is long overdue. Western Australia's population is expected to continue to grow strongly and these changes are needed quickly to enable the planning and development sectors to deliver quality and timely building outcomes."

The changes are being opened to the public for opinion, so those with something to contribute have until January 30 2015 to get their submissions in. The regulations will be finalised by mid-2015, allowing for people to begin moving into the region and financing their own residential investments in the near future.

Of course, it could be worth thinking about the options available now, especially with regards to home loan financing. There are a wide range of different products available, so get in touch with a financial expert in the coming weeks and tell them your plans - in order to gain some professional insight into the type of mortgage product that could be right for your construction needs.

Image credit: alisman