Smaller housing and improved planning for a growing Territory

The ACT Greens have today called for a major review of development rules for Canberra’s residential areas to ensure future housing is diverse as well as socially and environmentally sustainable.

“Families are becoming smaller on average, and lifestyles are also changing,” ACT Greens Housing and Planning Spokesperson Caroline Le Couteur said.

“Current planning rules in the ACT disincentivise smaller, more sustainable and more affordable homes, such as duplexes and terraces. This must change if we’re to adequately address housing affordability and planning concerns in the Territory.

“In the ‘bush capital’, a more diverse range of homes should also mean more room for trees and green spaces—keeping our city sustainable, and helping to mitigate the effects of climate change.

“The Greens believe that we can protect our ‘garden city’ neighbourhoods by limiting the amount of each block that can be built over.”

In a submission to the Government’s ‘Housing Choices’ consultation process (attached), the ACT Greens have called for a range of reforms to ensure that housing and planning choices serve the needs of a growing Canberra over the long term. These include:

  • Encouraging support for smaller dwellings, and ensuring there are more duplexes and terraces in suburban areas;
  • Ensuring there are adequate trees and green spaces across the city and in the suburbs, to provide necessary shade and urban heat island mitigation as the climate warms;
  • Increases to quality, affordable housing distributed fairly across all suburbs, ensuring that those who require affordable housing aren’t forced to the outer city fringe;
  • Creating real incentives for better planning and design outcomes, including broadening the Territory Plan’s Merit Track and Criteria system to more than just a ‘tick and flick’ for developers on design;
  • Careful changes to the planning rules to encourage a diverse mix of housing, including duplexes and terrace houses—not just “McMansions”.