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Why prepare a Neighbourhood Character Study?

We know that our residents place a high value on the unique characteristics of the municipality, and particularly the area in which they live. The Neighbourhood Character Study will help manage change in residential areas to ensure new development maintains the characteristics most valued by the community.

The Neighbourhood Character Study identifies 75 Neighbourhood Character precincts across the City, each with their preferred character outcome. A Precinct Character Statement has been prepared and adopted by Council for each precinct.

The Neighbourhood Character Precinct Statements, as well as a map showing the location of the precincts, are available for download at the bottom of this page. 

Implementation of study

For the Precinct Statements to have statutory weight, they need to be included in the Planning Scheme.

Council proposed to implement the study through the use of the new residential zones and other planning controls as part of Amendment C190.

However, in approving Amendment C190 on 19 June 2014, the Minister for Planning did not approve the introduction of the Neighbourhood Character Study through Clause 22.07 and the new residential zones into the Boroondara Planning Scheme.

Given the Minister’s decision, Council is currently assessing the various implementation options and how to effectively engage with the community on the introduction of the Neighbourhood Character Study into the Boroondara Planning Scheme.

Implementation of study

For the Precinct Statements to have statutory weight, they need to be included in the Planning Scheme.
Council proposed to implement the study through the use of the new residential zones and other planning controls as part of Amendment C190.

While the Minister for Planning did not approve Council’s proposed new Neighbourhood Character Policy (Clause 22.07), the Neighbourhood Character Precinct Statements adopted in September 2013 have been included as a reference document in Clause 22.07. They are also included as a decision guideline in the following residential zones:

  • General Residential Zone 1, 2, 3 and 4
  • Residential Growth Zone 1

As a result, any development application within these zones needs to demonstrate that the proposed development meets the preferred character outcomes set out in the relevant Precinct Statement.

Council is currently proposing to update the existing Neighbourhood Character Policy as part of the Planning Scheme Update project. 

What has happened so far?

Stage 1 consultation

The first round of community consultation on the Neighbourhood Character Study was held during September and October 2011. A series of 'community café' drop in sessions took place across the City where community members provided information about which character elements are important to them. A telephone survey was also completed.

The outcomes from this first stage of consultation are documented in the Stage 1 Consultation Report (PDF, 1MB).

Stage 2 consultation

The City's residential areas were subsequently divided into precincts with common characteristics. A draft Precinct Profile was prepared for each precinct which described the character of the precinct and its key features. Consultation on the draft Precinct Profiles occurred in February 2012.

A summary of feedback received during this second stage of consultation is documented in the Stage 2 Consultation Report (PDF, 2.1 MB).

Stage 3 consultation

The precinct boundaries and descriptions were subsequently updated in response to the community feedback received (please note that the precinct numbers changed as a result of this process). Draft preferred character statements and design guidelines were also prepared for each precinct.

The precinct descriptions and design guidelines were combined into draft Neighbourhood Character Precinct Statements which were released for public comment in June 2012.

A summary of the feedback received during this stage of consultation is documented in the Stage 3 Response to Submissions report.

Stage 4 adoption

On 24 September 2012, Council adopted the Neighbourhood Character Precinct Statements which set out design guidelines for the City's residential areas. The Precinct Statements were adopted, subject to changes which were subsequently made.

On 16 September 2013, the Urban Planning Special Committee Meeting resolved to make further changes to some Precinct Statements.

The final adopted versions incorporating all changes requested by the Urban Planning Special Committee are available for download below.

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