Planning for a new form of land tenure with Community Titles Schemes

Providing access to a range of social and physical infrastructure can be a challenge in complex mixed-use developments. As planners, we help our clients solve the challenge of trying to balance meeting the needs generated by different land uses, and the associated ownership, management and maintenance arrangements, with creating places with a strong sense of community.

With the Community Titles Act 2018 to begin operating from 30 June 2021, our team have been exploring how community titles schemes could help to overcome this challenge.

Community Scheme Structure Example (Source: Landgate)The community titles legislation enables a parcel of freehold land to be subdivided into three tiers of schemes called community title schemes. It allows for a mix of both land schemes and building schemes within the same community scheme. It also enables different land uses such as residential, retail and commercial, to be combined under one scheme through multiple sub-schemes, each with their own management body and by-laws.

This tenure will benefit future mixed-use developments, by supporting different types of schemes to more effectively co-exist.

Community titles schemes offer opportunities to contribute to creating a sense of community through accommodating a fairer and more efficient approach to how common property is delivered and managed across mixed-use schemes. The legislation enables the provision of common property for all users of the overarching scheme, as well as the provision of common property exclusive to various sub-schemes, to cater to their unique needs.

Importantly, the costs associated with the common property can be equitably allocated across the various sub-schemes, meaning the sub-schemes are only responsible for the costs of the common property they need and use.

The New Rouse Hill – an inspiring example

The New Rouse Hill – Example of a Community SpaceAn inspiring example of where this has been achieved over east is The New Rouse Hill, a vibrant development arranged through a community titles scheme in the Hills District in Sydney’s North West. The community title scheme comprises a town centre, shopping centre and various residential sub-schemes.

The development benefits from infrastructure provided through the community titles arrangement, including parks, community gardens, walking and cycling trails, and exclusive residents’ facilities including pools, tennis courts and meeting places, all of which provide the opportunity to foster social interactions and contribute to a strong sense of community.

How we can help

TBB are currently exploring the application of community titles schemes on a number of complex and mixed-use developments.

One of the planning instruments that is key to a community titles schemes is the Community Development Statement (CDS). The CDS facilitates the creation of community title schemes in Western Australia. It defines the subdivision, development and staging of the land, and outlines the infrastructure provision requirements. It is important the CDS achieves a balance between maintaining flexibility whilst providing certainty during the development period to guide subdivision and development.

If you would like to explore the potential benefits that community title schemes may have for your project, our team are here to discuss your requirements. Contact us  on [email protected] or on 9226 4276

Resources

Community schemes guidelines  (Published June 2021)

Operational Policy 1.11: Community schemes (Published June 2021)