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Client: Port Bouvard Limited

Site Area: 435 hectares

No. of Dwellings: Approximately 4000 new residents

Location: 40 kilometres northeast of Perth


Gidgegannup is an existing community north-east of Perth, spread over 210 hectares of hills, with a rich natural environment featuring wetlands, bushland and water courses. Earmarked for growth, the townsite was identified for expansion to accommodate new residents and deliver positive economic, environmental and social outcomes to the community.

Gidgegannup Townsite has a longstanding rural community, however, in recent years it has seen a slow decline in services and facilities offered within the townsite. The decreased service offering, combined with an aging population, places the existing community at future risk. Our client’s objectives for development focused on a sustainable way to expand the townsite whilst achieving development objectives. In response, we developed a master plan for the expansion of Gidgegannup, undertaking community and stakeholder consultation to deliver a design response in support of a rezoning request to expand the townsite.

One of the biggest challenges of this project was gaining consensus within a community with specific concerns, objections and hopes. While local residents welcomed additional services and facilities, they were concerned that the additional population would negatively impact the rural character of the area.

Another major obstacle was the natural features of the site, including its topography, the location of significant rock within the site, vegetation and key watercourses that required an alternate design approach to conventional residential development.

Our team prepared a detailed master plan for the site which investigated environmental, economic and employment opportunities, and addressed transport issues, servicing and built form delivery.

In order to alleviate residents’ concerns and deliver a development outcome that benefits the local community, a series of community and stakeholder workshops were undertaken, providing a platform for ongoing community dialogue and enabling the discussion and resolution of key issues.

As the expansion would incorporate an alternative and previously untested wastewater proposal, we worked with the Department of Water, Water Corporation and the WA Planning Commission to identify issues and explore solutions.

The expansion will accommodate 4,000 additional residents, provide a range of affordable housing options and feature sustainable water management initiatives.

Since the property ownership has changed hands, Rowe Group has continued to progress the neccessary planning process to facilitate the creation of the new Townsite.

An amendment to the Metropolitan Region Scheme to rezone to the Townsite area from ‘Rural’ to ‘Urban Deferred’ was endorsed by parliament in December 2014.