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The following information has been prepared to provide design advice to developers and the broader community regarding infill development in Toowoomba's Neighbourhood Character Areas.
All houses nominated in the Planning Scheme are to be retained on site. This includes the relocation of these character buildings on site. Any redevelopment within character areas is to support the prevailing character of the area. Only those houses considered structurally unsound or not economically viable to be retained can be removed, subject to approval.
Local character in Toowoomba's residential areas varies, but generally includes the following elements:
These elements need to be taken into consideration in the development or redevelopment of character areas within Toowoomba.
Residential block sizes in Toowoomba's character areas vary from less than 400m2 to well over 1200m2. All lots are generally rectangular in shape with depths varying to over 60m.
Incremental redevelopment of these sites over time has led to a pattern of development that has not always complimented the character of these areas or provided good site planning outcomes.
As a result of the deep lot configuration buildings often run perpendicular to the street, overlooking side boundaries rather than addressing the street. This results in long, thin, isolated buildings which do not relate to the streetscape; creates privacy issues; and leaves little in the way of useable private open space on the lot. This outcome is undesirable in relation to good city form and contrary to Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles.
In order to achieve better built form outcomes, changes are necessary. It is agreed that buildings should be pushed forward, but the prevailing setbacks in the character areas also need to be maintained (generally) to ensure consistency in the streetscape. For larger development proposals it may be necessary to amalgamate sites to achieve a sensible development form that has a high yield and overlooks the street. Given the scale of development proposed, that is not unreasonable.
Allowing buildings to reorientate towards the street will also allow for opportunities for private open space at the rear of the site behind buildings (whether that be on podiums or on ground).
We have put together technical sheets, which relate to built form issues and the retention or relocation on site of those Neighbourhood Character Places nominated for retention under the Toowoomba Regional Planning Scheme.
Medium density infill in neighbourhood character areas - technical sheet 1
This sheet describes some of the characteristics, qualities and principles to be considered when proposing infill development in character areas. Five design attributes are identified, urban context, scale and massing, streetscape relationships, design elements and materials and colours.
The sheet is summarised below.
Medium density infill in neighbourhood character areas - technical sheet 2
This sheet examines common development issues related to integrating new housing amongst existing character neighbourhoods in relation to the five design attributes.
Medium density infill in neighbourhood character areas - technical sheet 3 (PDF)
This sheet introduces 5 possible development scenarios on standard lot sizes from lower to higher density to inform discussion about site planning, height, density, landscape and relationship to the street.
* Note: assumes lot amalgamation required to achieve minimum frontage and site area.
# Note: where additional Neighbourhood Character Places are required to be retained the maximum density may not be achieved.
Second residence located behind. Separate driveways and open spaces allows for individual titling of dwellings. Entry to rear dwelling is visible from the street (rather than car parking).
Character house: Retained
Height: 1.5/2 storeys
Minimum site area: 600m2
Minimum frontage: 15m
Density: 33 du/ha
A 1.5/2 storey residence may be located on the street beside the character house.Two storey townhouses are located at the rear of the site with parking incorporated, accessed via a central shared driveway. Garages are not visible from the street.
Minimum site area: 800m2
Minimum frontage: 20m
Density: 50 du/ha
Residences addressing the street may be individual townhouses or a single detached house of similar scale to the existing character dwelling adjacent. Garages are not visible from the street.
Two storey townhouses are located at the rear of the site with parking incorporated, accessed via a central shared driveway. Visitor carparking is located behind the dwellings directly addressing the street.
Minimum site area: 1200m2*
Minimum frontage: 30m*
Dwellings: 6 (5)
Density: 40 - 50 du/ha#
Residences addressing the street may be individual townhouses and/or single detached houses. Garages are not visible from the street.
Character house: Not retained
Height: 2 storeys
Apartments up to 3 storeys address the higher order streets. Carparking is located in a basement/ semi-basement and not visible from the street. Ground floor apartments have individual entries and courtyards, accessed from the major street.
Two storey townhouses are located on lower order street and at the rear of the corner site with parking incorporated, accessed via a central shared driveway. Townhouses enable a transition in scale from apartments to detached dwellings on side streets.
Height: 3 storeys
Minimum site area: 1600m2*
Minimum frontage: 40m*
Dwellings: 12 - 16
Density: 75 - 100 du/ha#
Medium density infill in neighbourhood character areas - technical sheet 4
This sheet breaks down the 5 design qualities and highlights them on a typical street elevation of the 5 development scenarios. The objective is to demonstrate how typical character elements can be integrated into new development.