UDIA -The Next Small Thing and Where To Put It?

TPG attended the recent UDIA afternoon seminar at Crown Metropol, where a number of planners, developers, architects, including LandCorp, talked about the evolving world of residential development - an environment where small is good. 

As expected, some interesting perspectives were put forward with eastern states greenfield master planned communities leading the way in trialing the way with two-storey green title houses on 'Micro Lots' as small as 45m2

Perhaps more pertinent to creating a differentiated proposition in the Perth market, was the discussion around developing smaller and smarter 'hotel-high lifestyle amenity' apartments with some innovative examples taken from Melbourne.

As with all discussions around property and the dynamics of size and quality versus finance, it comes down to location. Whilst the principle of diversifying the development offering into smaller lots is applauded, it should be in locations that do not add to suburban sprawl or further erode the now well-understood principles of affordable living for the sake of cheaper housing on the periphery of the metropolitan area.

Location is where the discussion got interesting.  Where were the emerging urban development opportunities for this new housing product Activity Centres? The principle was generally lauded, however the key to delivering higher density residential development in these locations is via the incentive of the activity centre landowners being able to provide a greater amount of commercial and retail floor space while at the same time committing to developing high-density residential developments. In each of the examples described, negotiation with the Local Authority and Department of Planning was key to securing approval. Fundamental to the proposition is understanding the varied financial and implementation models available to achieve these outcomes.

This discussion produced the quote of the day; "A shopping centre does not an activity centre make", which is a call to arms for all involved in urban development to develop strategies and partnerships to diversify their offer to suit the changing demands of new the demographic.

Gary McCullough | Associate

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