Big ideas for Tiny Houses

Published on Thursday, 22 December 2022 at 12:00:00 AM

With the aim to provide alternative accommodation options, the Shire of Esperance unexpectedly finds itself leading the way in approving tiny houses on wheels. 

Seen as an affordable and sustainable way to live, the popularity of tiny houses is on the rise. In a way to support the development of these dwellings, Shire of Esperance Councillors have adopted the Local Planning Policy – Tiny Houses on Wheels. 

The Shire Policy:

  • Identifies the circumstances where a tiny house or tiny house community may be permitted
  • Provides a simple framework which tiny houses on wheels can be assessed against
  • Outlines standard requirements for all tiny houses on wheels to comply with related regulations
  • Clarifies that the standard of building required should refer to Vehicle Standards Bulletin 1 in the absence of a classification for tiny houses on wheels in the National Construction Code, and
  • Is applied to all Zones (Town and Rural) under the Local Planning Scheme No. 24.

To get to this point, Shire officers researched other local government policies and found that none had been adopted. Working with the Australian Tiny Houses Association, the Shire found their draft policy, with a few tweaks, worked well for the Esperance region. Further feedback and suggestions from Stakeholders and the Community formed the final policy. 

A tiny house on wheels is a dwelling of no more than 50m2 which is built on a wheeled trailer base, constructed of domestic grade materials and finishes, and is permanently occupied. A tiny house on wheels cannot (and is designed not to) be moved under its own power and is designed and built to look like conventional dwelling. 

So what does this mean for our community? There are more housing choices within the Shire. People will be able to live in, and then sell, their tiny house on wheels as a permanent dwelling. The process to have a tiny house on wheels established is limited to planning approval, making the process quicker, simpler and a little cheaper than a traditional build as there is no building permit required.

If you are interested in this form of accommodation, or have any queries, please call or visit the Planning Team at the Shire of Esperance Administration building on Windich Street. 


Media Enquiries:

Christiane Smith, Marketing and Communications Manager

Related Documents – Local Planning Policy – Tiny Houses on Wheels

Image Credit - Australian Tiny Houses Association

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