Granny flats are coming out of a planning retirement in the fight against urban sprawl as Perth's population heads for more than 2.2 million by 2030.
The Town of Mosman Park and City of Subiaco have shown interest in the City of Fremantle’s five-month-old law allowing self-contained flats for non-family members at the rear of blocks.
“Fremantle should be commended as (granny flats) do provide a more logical use of using larger blocks and home owners securing an income without disturbing the residential fabric of their street,” Mayor Ron Norris said.
There have been only about five applications for family members have the flats in the town in 20 years. Mr. Norris said he would seek to include rental granny flats in a draft Town Planning Scheme residents can comment on before an expected WA Planning Commission endorsement late this year.
Fremantle now allows non-family members in single-story 55sqm flats on 600sqm blocks, or 70sqm additions if the land is larger. Fremantle planning and development manager Philip St John said comparable subdivisions put large family houses on smaller blocks, leading to Australia having the world’s biggest homes with the least number of residents.
“There is a need to provide infill, but there are not many opportunities when residents say that they don’t want high-rise and greater density,” Mr. St John said. He said asset-rich, income-poor empty nesters could build a flat and let their main property, while younger people could get rid of their cars if living near commuter routes.
Subiaco development services director Kathy Bonus said there was no proposal for granny flats. “There are possibly some areas in Subiaco where it may work and it’s something we might look at when we develop our new local planning scheme,” Ms Bonus said.