Property Council asks why dual occupancy is only OK for asbestos contaminated blocks

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Catherine Carter.

THE Property Council of Australia says the ‘Mr Fluffy’ buyback is an opportunity for the ACT Government to rethink its position on dual occupancy development.

Critics of the buyback scheme have said the plan to allow dual occupancy development is unfair, as it only applies to blocks bought and sold by the government.

“We support the ACT Government’s decision to relax planning requirements on Mr Fluffy blocks – but we would like to see these new rules apply across the board to enable other dual occupancy developments in the ACT,” says the Property Council’s ACT Executive Director, Catherine Carter.

In April, Minister for Planning, Mick Gentleman, announced proposed changes to the Territory Plan to allow greater development opportunities on Mr Fluffy blocks.

Dual occupancy is currently allowed in the RZ1 residential zone only on blocks bigger than 800m2. These blocks cannot be split into separate titles. The draft variation enables dual occupancy on smaller blocks of 700m2, and for each to have a separate title.

In addition, houses on dual occupancy blocks can cover no more than a third of the block. The Mr Fluffy dual occupancies will be allowed to cover 50 per cent of the block if both homes have direct street frontage, and 35 per cent otherwise. Two-storey homes will be allowed if both homes have direct street frontage; otherwise the limit will be one storey.

“Dual occupancy development is good for Canberra. It supports ‘gentle densification’, which is important for a sustainable city. It also helps people to age in place, with the quintessential ‘granny flat’ enabling people to remain close to family, shops, medical facilities and existing infrastructure.

“The Property Council will continue to call for a plan that not only addresses the Mr Fluffy situation, but also provides a fair and future-thinking approach to dual occupancy development,” Ms Carter concluded.

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