Picture this: industrial parklands reborn as trendy cafe hotspots and quiet, leafy suburbia transformed into a concrete Legoland. Development can be like an IV drip to a severe dehydration case, or like the landing of the Conquistadors in Mexico.
Is it more beneficial to a suburb to open up transport lines such as major highways and railways, loosen up zoning for multi-storey development, and reap the cost-effective and economical rewards? Or is it better to maintain a sense of localised cultural cohesion?
What does beneficial even mean? Is it more revenue for local businesses? Or is it sunbathing in your quarter-acre without the game-addicted teenager next door sneaking a peek?
“Beneficial” may mean different things for different suburbs.
Here are some things to weigh up:
- If you own land in an area marked for development, you could be on to a good thing. Land value is higher in development zoning (existing dwelling value is low), as developers put little-to-no value on the existing structure on the block. This is because they are usually demolishing them or executing substantial costly renovations, and they also want to make a decent profit.
- If you are young and just getting started, those yellow development notices could may as well be golden tickets. When an area becomes multi-unit dwelling-concentrated, there is an increased density in an area, making the housing more affordable. As well as this, infrastructure such as train stations/lines are normally upgraded in these areas to cope with additional density.
- Linked to the above point is this: development helps home buyers with a restricted budget to purchase close to the CBD or other employment hubs, and avoid a two-hour daily commute from otherwise affordable suburbs. This is because, generally, inner-cities are the exception to zoning laws as it is all zoned for development and high density.
- Suburbs marked for high-density development (like Cottesloe, Claremont and Nedlands in Perth, and Mascot, Waterloo and Olympic Park in Sydney) are used to take the pressure of urban infill as the population of capital cities continues to grow.
- Owner occupiers looking for good family homes are often loath to live next door to a potential high rise or higher density development. Case in point: the example given earlier of a sunbathing session interrupted by Peeping Tom next door.
- As could be expected, development and increased population creates more traffic and congestion.
- More people means more stress is placed on existing services such as hospitals (keep in mind our ageing population) and schools – note the increased amount of demountables popping up in schools.
So now you know what to expect if you notice a yellow A4 sign that reads “Development Proposal”.
But please remember, Avnu readers, if you are concerned about being hemmed in by the concrete jungle – the suburbs and streets with the highest average sale price are usually the ones NOT zoned for high development. Residential buyers will pay more to be in a suburb or street where they are not going to have a block of units built next to them and it is a residential home zoning area only.