Fremantle Society submission re Small Secondary Dwellings, June 2011

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Fremantle Society Inc Submission to City of Fremantle re LPS4 Amendment 46—Small Secondary Dwellings.

19 June 2011

The Fremantle Society supports the intent of LPS 4 Amendment 46—Small Secondary Dwellings and its objectives. The Society believes the proposed Amendment represents a balanced approach and suggests the following matters ought to be considered.

Heritage Impact

New structures have potential to impact on existing dwellings through; loss of views, natural light and privacy. Amendment 46 addresses these issues adequately. However in addition to these matters a place of heritage significance values can rely on its curtilage for those values. The Fremantle Society believes this to be of such importance that exemption from requiring planning approval, as outlined in Amendment 46, should not apply to places on State or Local Heritage Lists. We believe that an assessment is necessary to determine impacts on the heritage values of a site by a small secondary dwelling. This would be consistent with Council's position in Schedule 15 Development Permitted Without Planning Approval, which currently exempts listed properties from those provisions. Not to disadvantage heritage property owners such an assessment ought to be limited to Heritage impacts only. This may require a change to the definition of 'Assessment' under LPS4. The Society also recommends application fees should be refunded if the assessment results in a recommendation for approval.

Outdoor Living Areas

Amendment 46 definition of 'Maximum Floor' Area requires clarification regarding outside area under the dwelling roof. This would not be an issue with conventional dwelling styles, however Amendment 46 does not preclude innovative 'Inside/Outside' dwellings. Such dwellings may include liveable areas in excess of 55sqm / 70sqm under the same roof. The Society hopes that owners will use Amendment 46 to move away from conventional building styles and as such clarity regarding floor area is required.

Assessment

To some degree Amendment 46 relies on a form of self-assessment. Council’s only control is through the issuing of a building license. The current dichotomy between a Local Government Planning role and that of its Building Inspectors requires consideration in development of the Amendment. Clear instructions need to be given to Building inspectors to ensure the provisions of Amendment 46 are being adhered to. In supporting the Adoption of Amendment 46 the Society recommends that this matter be brought to the Planning Minister's attention.

Sunset Clause

Placing a time limit on Amendment 46 to allow review of its performance is supported. For a review to be effective, records would need to be kept of matters relating to the Amendment; for example car parking, a current contentious issue, may be exacerbated by Amendment 46.

Jon Strachan, President The Fremantle Society Inc