Q. I am interested in putting a granny flat on my ‘rural’ zoned property in Serpentine, Western Australia. Are there are any differences in regulations for this project between rural and residential and what is the maximum flat size for this area?
A. Put simply, the main difference between building granny flats in residential and rural areas is the size of the structure that is permitted. This will be dictated by your local shire’s rules and regulations.
Different shires have different guidelines in relation to the size of the granny flat that can be built, and this depends on how your property is zoned.
Shires refer to granny flats as ‘ancillary’ accommodation and, in the Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale there are a few different types of rural zonings, so it’s going to be important to clarify which rules apply to your property.
For example, rural-residential zoning allows for a structure of up to 60 square metres to be built. However, if your property is zoned as ‘special rural’ or as a ‘farmlet’, this permits a build of up to 100 square metres.
On top of this, most shires have the flexibility to assess larger granny flats on a case-by-case basis through their planning department and also via council meetings, so one of the most important things to do is establish your preferred size of granny flat.