New approach to housing design gives battle-axe blocks chop

  • Public sector innovation on show with side-by-side demonstration homes in Willagee
  • Homes offer generous backyards, equal street access and mature trees
  • The battle-axe block is a common feature of suburban Perth but a change is in the air with the McGowan Government trialling a fresh new approach to subdivision and housing design.

    The Harriot Street homes in Willagee are the first side-by-side developments the Department of Communities has taken to market in place of traditional battle-axe subdivisions.

    The department is using this opportunity to test market acceptance and saleability – both homes are under offer after being listed on the market three weeks ago from $515,000.    

    The innovative design offers generous backyards and equal street access, while also providing the opportunity to retain mature jacarandas at the Harriot Street development.

    Both homes can be green-titled and the clever lot design has done away with the need for common property for vehicle access normally found on a battle-axe block.

    The homes feature a secondary tandem parking bay which also provides excellent cross ventilation and flexibility in the use of the space. Sliding doors offer a secondary outdoor space if two car parking bays are not utilised.

    The homes will suit young couples, young couples with kids or buyers looking to downsize.

    As stated by Housing Minister Peter Tinley:

    “I’m very impressed with this initiative approach and refusal to accept the normal battle-axe approach to subdividing that would have resulted in the loss of beautiful jacaranda trees. 

    “The side-by-side demonstration homes at Harriott Street, Willagee were led by in-house designers at the Department of Communities and represent a considerable departure from the standard housing industry approach of battle-axe developments.

    “It’s a great example of designing homes for the community, rather than for the car. 

    “The department is rolling out similar approaches to developments in Innaloo and Como with the intent to retain trees, preserve rear gardens and provide equal access to the street.

    “I would also note that local government support is needed for new and innovative housing designs if we’re to give battle-axe blocks the chop.” 

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