What is a split density code?

    A split residential density code relates to the number of dwellings that may be built on a given area of land. For example, under the R20 density code, one dwelling requires a land area of 450m2. A split density code of R20/25 would allow the same one dwelling per 450m2 by default; however, the higher R25 code, which would allow one dwelling to be built per 350m2 of land, can be accessed via one of the four pathways set out in the Split Density Codes and Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Schedule Policy. This would potentially allow the construction of a greater number of dwellings on the land available.

    What are the four pathways to access the higher density code?

    Retention of a building of cultural heritage significance 

    In this case a building of cultural heritage significance is taken to mean a building on the State Register of Heritage Places or the City of Fremantle Heritage List. However, the Council may accept a building that is not on the State Register or Heritage List as having cultural significance where this is demonstrated by the applicant through submission of a report prepared by an accredited heritage professional and the landowner nominates the place for inclusion on the Heritage List. 

    Provision of ‘low income housing’ 

    Low income housing means a dwelling, grouped dwelling or multiple dwelling provided by a public agency, religious organisation, housing cooperative or other benevolent institution to a person or persons whose gross annual income is within the bottom quartile (25%) of income distribution categories, as defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. A higher density coding may be granted based on the provision of such housing in the case of either subdivision or development of land. 

    Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Schedule 

    The Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Schedule forms Part B of the policy. The higher density coding may be granted on the basis of compliance with the Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Schedule in the case of either subdivision or development of land. 

    Removal of a non-conforming use 

    Non-conforming use means a use of land which, though lawful immediately before the coming into operation of a planning scheme or amendment to a planning scheme, does no longer conform to the zoning and land use provisions of that scheme. The higher density coding may be granted based on the basis of removal of a non-conforming use in the case of either subdivision or development of land. In both cases, a condition shall be imposed or recommended requiring that the use be ceased.

    What is NatHERS?

    The design of your home, from the building materials and layout, to the positioning of windows and shading, affect how well the home responds to the climate where it is located, how comfortable the home is to live in, and the amount of money you spend on heating and cooling. 

    All new Australian homes, or those undergoing major renovations, must meet minimum state and territory energy efficiency requirements based on the National Construction Code. The most common way to meet these requirements is by getting a home energy rating done using the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS). NatHERS software tools provide homes with a star rating out of ten based on how energy efficient they are—the more stars, the more energy efficient and the more money you save on energy bills.

    Using software based on scientific research by the CSIRO, NatHERS estimates how much energy your home will need for heating and cooling by looking at: the layout of the home; the construction of its roof, walls, windows and floor; the orientation of windows and shading to the sun's path and local breezes; and how well these suit the local climate.

    A zero star rating means the building shell does practically nothing to reduce the discomfort of hot or cold weather. A six star rating indicates good, but not outstanding, thermal performance, and a 10 star rated home is unlikely to need much, or any, mechanical cooling or heating (from appliances).