Dwellings plan on table

Headshot of Geoff Vivian
Geoff VivianMidwest Times

Northampton Shire is seeking public comment on a new “repurposed and second-hand dwellings” policy.

Shire president Craig Simkin said the policy would be for second-hand dongas and other “repurposed” dwellings such as houses made from shipping containers.

In her report to council, Shire principal planner Hayley Williams said the new policy would ensure such buildings met “acceptable aesthetic and amenity requirements” and did not detract from an existing streetscape.

She said the policy would also allow council to retain a bond to ensure the owner achieved the “desired standard of development”.

In her report, Ms Williams said new WA Government regulations allowed single houses and ancillary dwellings that complied with the State’s Residential Design Codes (R-Codes) provisions.

As a result, new homes could be built without the requirement for local government development approval as long as they complied with these regulations.

Mr Simkin said these new regulations also superseded sections of the Shire’s planning schemes relating to transportable, prefabricated and relocated buildings. As a result, the Shire would be unable to ban new demountables with features it did not like, if they complied with the State provisions.

“For the second-hand ones, the requirements are going to be addressed — if they don’t come up to spec, they don’t get passed,” he said.

Each application would be assessed on its individual merits.

Under the proposed new policy, an assessment for proposed second-hand and repurposed dwellings would receive a “good design” or “bad design” score for frontage, materials, roof design, external treatments and landscaping.

The public comment period closes on March 16.

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