What is Neighbourhood Character?

    Neighbourhood character is a combination of distinct visual and physical features of a residential area and how they interact with each other.

    • Subdivision pattern – includes elements such as topography, lot sizes, street width and street types such as boulevards or court bowls. 
    • Buildings and surroundings – Siting of buildings play a role including site coverage, depth and consistency of front and side setbacks, separation between dwellings, extent of rear gardens and whether carports and garages are prominent 
    • Built form – includes architecture and roof style, age of buildings, dwelling typology, building materials and building height
    • Landscaping –  includes elements such as landscaping of front gardens, mature or bush style vegetation (native or exotic), retaining walls and extent of hard paved areas such as private driveways. 
    • Front and side fences: the location, height, style, visual permeability and materials. 
    • Public realm – nature strip, sense of openness and views, street trees, footpath, vehicle crossings, presence of power poles and other utilities.

    These elements collectively shape the distinctive character of a neighbourhood and help define its identity.

    Does Neighbourhood Character Study stop new development?

    No, the Study is not intended to prevent new development from occurring. Moreover, the neighbourhood character does not seek the replication of existing buildings or stop change.

    What aspects are not encompassed by Neighbourhood Character?

    The protection of heritage and cultural significance involves protection based on specific heritage criteria. Protection of heritage places is addressed in a Heritage Study. 

    A neighbourhood character study, on the other hand, focuses on how buildings interact with their surroundings in public and private spaces considering their age and architectural style where relevant.

    General amenity considerations like overlooking, access to sunlight, private open space, noise and so on apply to all residential developments. Therefore, amenity is not a character consideration and is treated separately.

    What does Neighbourhood Character study aim to do?

    The Neighbourhood Character Strategy aims to guide new development in residential areas, ensuring that it respects and responds to the existing or preferred valued features of an area. Whilst importantly still meeting housing needs and recognising locations that are well-placed for additional growth particularly closer to town centres.