Friday, July 26, 2024

Noosa thinks small on big housing future

Noosa Council’s says boosting supply of smaller, more affordable properties to house key workers, older people and smaller households is a key intent of its proposed planning scheme amendments. 

Council Strategy and Environment Director, Kim Rawlings said detached freestanding houses currently accounted for more than 79% of Noosa’s private homes. 

“Yet data from the last census tells us we have just two people living in more than 40% of our shire’s housing, while more than 24% of our housing stock is home to just one person,” said Ms Rawlings.

“76.8% of Noosa’s occupied homes have three or more bedrooms. So, we are well supplied with large freestanding housing for big households, yet for those who can’t afford or don’t need three- and four-bedroom homes – key workers, older people and small families on lower incomes – the options are limited.”

The proposed amendments to Noosa Plan 2020 will incentivise developers and landowners to build smaller housing in medium and higher density residential zones, she said.

“Currently the majority of existing unit and apartment stock in Noosa has three or more bedrooms, just like our freestanding houses. These are grand units that due to their size aren’t typically affordable on the open market.”

The proposed amendments will also limit the gross floor area in key medium and higher density residential areas to 75 square metres, excluding balconies and car spaces.

“With these amendments we’re focused on leveraging our existing medium and higher density residential zones where we already have units and apartments, to provide more options in terms of size and number of bedrooms,” said Ms Rawlings.

The shire’s high-density residential zone is limited to pockets of Noosaville, Noosa Heads and a few areas along the beaches, while the medium density residential zone offers opportunities for small units in places such as Tewantin and Cooroy.

“The aim is to incentivise developers to provide more housing choice, with smaller housing options to drive greater availability and affordability.”

The proposed amendments will also protect the medium and high-density residential zones for residents by restricting new short-stay accommodation to the tourist accommodation zone.

In a further effort to provide more housing, the new plan proposes the rezoning of some tourist accommodation zones to residential or centre zones to increase land available for future housing for permanent residents, rather than more short-term accommodation for visitors and to reflect the current transition of some of these sites to permanent residential occupation, Council said in a statement.

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