What are R-Codes?

Residential design codes or R-Codes control the design of residential development within Western Australia and are used for the assessment of residential subdivision proposals. They provide the minimum performance requirements (compliance standards) for single, grouped and special purpose dwellings including the quantity and type of residences that can be built on certain home sites.

Additionally, R-Codes allow for future residential development in growing WA suburbs whilst considering social, environmental and economic factors as well as heritage and local culture. Information regarding specific R-Codes can be found on the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage through this link – https://www.dplh.wa.gov.au/rcodes

What do R-Codes control?

They determine important factors including:

  • Type of dwelling
  • Maximum plot ratio, if building apartments
  • Minimum open space requirement
  • Maximum dwelling height allowed
  • Required boundary setbacks
  • Area streetscapes
  • Access and parking required on the site
  • The site works

What to know about R-Codes

There are multiple different R-Codes which are controlled by the local government such as R20. Essentially, the number refers to how many residences fit on a 10,000m2 piece of land. For example, an R20 R-Code allows up to 20 dwellings per hectare of land, each requiring an average site area of 450m2 and a minimum site area of 350m2. This information highlights the minimum block size per residence to help maximise lot potential.

Codes R25 and below are low-density, R30 through R60 are medium and R80 and above are high density areas. Therefore, land nearing the Perth CBD is zoned R30 or R40 allowing for an increased density of dwellings such as apartments. Perth’s outer suburbs are most commonly zoned R20.

It is important to check the R-code of your area before subdividing or completing residential development which can be done on the department of Planning Website. But don’t stress too much about the details, the team at Parcel can help explain R-Codes in more depth and guide you along the way to help you build your dream home.