Major Perth builder winds up apartment operation
Big names in building continue to find their operations in strife, with prominent Perth building company Parcel Property winding up its apartment development operations and other companies falling by the wayside.
One of Western Australia’s largest and most diversified residential property development companies, Parcel Property, which is backed by Dale Alcock’s ABN Group, has axed its apartment development arm and at least two major western suburbs projects.
A staple of the Perth building scene for 30 years, the announcement that job losses will likely accompany the abandonment a $15 million apartment complex in Mount Hawthorn, which had already received development approval, and a multimillion-dollar West Leederville complex in its nascent planning stages, will send another wave of concern through an industry hit by a tsunami of company failures.
Parcel Property will still retain its land development division. Among land development companies in Western Australia, Parcel Property is ranked fifth in terms of the number of WA lots expected to be completed.
Andrew Auret, Parcel Property’s Executive General Manager, told media the decision came with much regret in a trying economic environment for builders who are confronting labour shortages and rising material costs.
“After an extensive review and much consideration, Parcel Property has made the difficult decision to wind up the built form component of Parcel Property,” Mr Auret said.
“We have commenced a consultation process with the affected employees and while we continue to explore redeployment opportunities, some of these roles may become redundant.”
Several WA-based builders have ceased operations in the past few months, while nationally new home sales are down almost 50 per cent.
Just this week Flexible Homes, with around 20 projects underway, closed its Osborne Park office and left customers with unfinished homes and no idea whether they would again see the money they had invested with the company.
On Tuesday (27 June), Jolimont builder Prostruct, which had completed large projects in Fremantle and multi-storey projects elsewhere, exited the industry while owing an estimated $1 million to creditors.
In April, the state’s largest homebuilder, BGC Housing Group, announced it would no longer accept any new home sales orders to allow it to complete a massive backlog of commercial and residential projects.
Changes to public open space policies
In an attempt to help ease some of the burdens imposed upon developers, WA’s Planning Minister John Carey on Monday (26 June) said interim measures have been put in place to address inconsistencies in the state’s public open space policy.
Public open space is provided at a minimum rate of 10 per cent of the subdivided residential land at all new greenfield sites, with contributions sought from those subdividing land.
According to the WA government, there have been two main issues with how public open space contributions are considered in the context of built strata applications.
The first is an inconsistent application of public open space contribution requirements across various local governments.
The second has been the imposition of a public open space contribution condition at the end of the process, after development approval and the building permit have been issued, which is resulting in uncertainty and adding cost to the buyers of these dwellings.
“Amid the housing crisis that is impacting Western Australia, it is more crucial than ever for such policies to be closely examined through a housing affordability lens and for the acceleration of supply to be prioritised,” she said.