Cottesloe Mixed Use
The Community Titles Act 2018 came into operation with an aim to create more development choices for the property sector and is a great example of how a regulatory framework can assist with innovation ‘on the ground’.
  • The new tenure option poses some practical opportunities in terms of shared facilities for residents
  • Benefits include assisting planners and others to achieve infill targets, increase density and reinvigorate urban areas
  • The Landgate team drew on examples from New South Wales to develop the legislation for community schemes here in WA

An important aspect of industry’s ability to deliver resilient places is a regulatory framework that fosters innovation.

Innovative approaches to issues such as water and energy delivery as well as broader planning and design elements of new developments can have a big impact on how industry can respond to challenges including climate change, population growth and affordability.

The Community Titles Act 2018 (the Act) came into operation in Western Australia on 30 June 2021 with an aim to create more development choices for the property sector and is a great example of how a regulatory framework can assist with innovation ‘on the ground’.

Development and implementation of the new tenure option has been led by Landgate and according to CEO Graeme Gammie, the legislation was designed to respond to the state’s growing need to offer new look developments and opportunities for people to live, work and enjoy amenities in their local community.

“It also incentivises developers, architects, engineers, planners and local governments to be creative in the spaces under their design or management,” Mr Gammie said.

Graeme Gammie - CE
Landgate CEO Graeme Gammie

Unlike the Strata Titles Act 1985, which allows for the creation of only one strata or survey-strata titles scheme on a single freehold parcel of land, the Act allows the subdivision of a single freehold parcel of land into a community scheme. A community scheme may have up to three tiers of schemes – called community titles schemes.

“This contemporary new tenure option allows the community scheme to be planned and developed for a diverse range of development outcomes, all within one overarching scheme,” Mr Gammie said.

“This is particularly useful for creating mixed-use developments that share key infrastructure, presenting an attractive option for future owners and tenants.”

While the new tenure option poses some very practical opportunities in terms of shared facilities for residents and the like, it also can foster innovation in urban development projects.

“Community titles can assist planners and others to achieve infill targets, increase density and reinvigorate urban areas,” Mr Gammie said.

“A community scheme that starts as a land scheme enables a mix of building schemes and land schemes in the one community scheme.

“This allows high rise apartments, townhouses, stand-alone homes and retail building scheme development to co-exist, subject to the limitations of any relevant State planning policy, planning scheme or interim development order.

“The planned nature of a community scheme, set out in the community development statement, means the scheme can be designed to get the maximum benefit from sustainable features and infrastructure like landscaping, building design, water, energy and waste disposal systems, scheme by-laws and appropriate planning (scheme by-laws) conditions.”

The Landgate team drew on examples from New South Wales, such as Breakfast Point and Jacksons Landing at the northern tip of the Pyrmont peninsular to develop the legislation for community schemes here in WA.

Landgate is now eagerly anticipating the first community development statement for a community scheme to be approved by the Western Australian Planning Commission and lodgement of the first set of scheme documents at Landgate to register a community titles scheme.

Community schemes may be suitable for a wide variety of projects, including mixed use development of heritage buildings and integration of land and building schemes of mixed density that incorporate common property owned by all owners and common property that the owners in an individual scheme own.

According to Mr Gammie, the State Government plays a key role in facilitating urban development innovation.

“The Government can respond to developers’ needs by developing regulatory frameworks like the Community Titles Act 2018 and the leasehold strata amendments in the Strata Titles Act 1985,” Mr Gammie said.

“These frameworks are a direct response to industry’s requests for more tenure options to be created to provide wider housing choice and more flexible development choices.”

“Having this framework to operate within allows developers to create innovative urban developments that deliver a range of housing choice and mixed-use development to create liveable and connected communities.”

~~

This story was originally published in The Urbanist magazine, an official publication of the Urban Development Institute of Australia (WA). It has been edited for republication by The Property Tribune. 

The Property Tribune thanks the UDIA WA for the opportunity to republish the work, and share thought leadership in relation to urban development and community creation with our readers.

Read the original copy of The Urbanist by heading to UDIA WA’s website under the News tab.




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