Item 13 PL35/18 Report on Submissions - Urban Design Excellence Review Development Control Plan Amendments.............................................................................................................. 1
Group Manager's Report No. PL35/18
Date of Meeting: 12/12/2018
13 REPORT ON SUBMISSIONS - URBAN DESIGN EXCELLENCE REVIEW DEVELOPMENT CONTROL PLAN AMENDMENTS
· In response to representations from the community concerning the built form of unit developments in Hornsby Shire, consultants were engaged to review the planning controls for 5 storey residential flat buildings and townhouses.
· As a result of the review, a number of DCP amendments were proposed, including increased setbacks to balconies to facilitate tree canopy growth; improved relationship with the public domain; improved materials and finishes; discouraging mezzanine levels and screening services such as air conditioning units and fire hydrants.
· The draft HDCP amendments were exhibited from 23 October 2018 to 23 November 2018. During this period, 11 submissions were received. Additional changes to the DCP amendments are recommended in response to submissions, as outlined in this report.
· Some issues raised in submissions such as street tree species, heritage, sustainability and car parking are outside the scope of the Design Excellence review, which was specifically targeted towards improving built form and the introduction of further landscaping requirements. Notwithstanding, the majority of these issue will be addressed as part of other Council endorsed projects including the Urban Forest Strategy, Comprehensive Heritage Review, Urban Heat Mapping and Climate Change Adaptation.
· A number of representations were made to Council prior to, and during, the exhibition of the DCP amendments, which raise valid issues for further review of Council’s Tree and Vegetation Provisions, to be reviewed as a separate matter to avoid delays in proceeding with new HDCP controls for built form.
1. Council adopt the draft amendments to the Hornsby Development Control Plan 2013 as amended after the exhibition period and attached to Group Manager’s Report No. PL34/18.
2. Council’s DA Submission Guideline be amended to incorporate information regarding maintenance of landscaped areas, water conservation and irrigation and require a plan addressing landscape maintenance as a DA submission requirement.
3. Notification of the adoption of amendments be placed in local newspapers.
4. Submitters be advised of Council’s decision.
The purpose of this Report is to review submissions received during the exhibition of the draft amendments to the HDCP associated with the Design Excellence Planning Controls Review.
In response to representations from the community concerning the built form and character of unit developments in Hornsby Shire, at its meeting on 8 November 2017, Council considered Notice of Motion No. NOM13/17 and resolved to undertake a review built form outcomes and planning controls including the introduction of further landscaping requirements. At the meeting, Council also considered Notice of Motion No. NOM14/17 concerning Expansion of Design Excellence Provisions and resolved that a report be prepared for Council’s consideration to expand the application of the Design Excellence provisions to townhouses and residential flat buildings.
In accordance with the above resolutions, expressions of interest were sought from consultants on Council’s Design Excellence Panel to undertake a review. Following an assessment of submissions against selection criteria, Architects Johannsen and Associates (AJA) were engaged to review the Design Excellence provisions and the planning controls for residential flat buildings and townhouses based on built form outcomes in Housing Strategy precincts.
AJA submitted a report on the Design Excellence (Residential Development) Planning Controls Review and presented the findings of the Review and recommendations for amendments to Council’s planning controls to Councillors at workshops on 21 March 2018 and 18 April 2018.
At its meeting on 13 June 2018, Council considered Group Manager’s Report No. PL18/18 regarding the Design Excellence Review of Planning Controls and presenting draft amendments to the HDCP for exhibition. At the meeting, issues were raised by community members with respect to the HDCP amendments, including the controls relating to the protection of trees on development sites and concerns that the urban design consultant’s recommendations had not been adequately incorporated into the recommended amendments. Council resolved that consideration of the Report be deferred to allow clarification of some of the issues raised by members of the public.
At its meeting on 10 October 2018, Council considered Group Manager’s Report No. PL26/18 regarding the Design Excellence Review of Planning Controls and presenting draft DCP amendments which addressed community concerns. Council resolved that:
1. The draft amendments to the HDCP 2013 attached to Group Manager’s Report No. PL26/18 be placed on public exhibition for a period of 28 days.
2. Following exhibition, a report on submissions be presented to Council for its consideration.
3. A further report be presented to Council for progression of a Design Excellence Review Planning Proposal to implement proposed changes to the HLEP 2013 as outlined in Group Manager’s Report No. PL26/18.
4. Council endorse in principle the establishment of a formal Design Excellence Advisory Panel, with a further report being presented to Council concerning the appointment, constitution, fee structure and yearly budget allocation for the Panel.
5. In the interim, Council endorse the restructure and utilisation of Council’s current Design Excellence Panel as set out in Group Manager’s Report No. PL26/18 until such time as the formal Panel is established.
6. Council write to the Minister for Planning requesting that a Design Guide apply to all medium density development to promote design excellence.
7. Council renew its subscription to the Cities Leadership Institute to June 2019.
· In accordance with Council’s resolution:
· The draft HDCP amendments were exhibited from 23 October 2018 to 23 November 2018, during which time 11 community submissions were received.
· A separate report is being prepared for Council’s consideration in relation to the establishment of the Design Excellence Advisory Panel.
· A separate report is being prepared for Council’s consideration presenting a Design Excellence Planning Proposal to implement proposed changes to the HLEP 2013 as outlined in Group Manager’s Report No. PL26/18.
· A letter has been drafted to the Minister for Planning requesting that a Design Guide apply to all medium density development.
· Council has renewed its subscription to the Cities Leadership Institute for a period of 12 months.
This Report presents a summary of submissions received in response to the exhibition of the draft HDCP amendments.
· Scope of the review and DCP amendments
The draft DCP amendments are proposed in accordance with Council’s resolution to review planning controls to improve the built form outcomes of residential unit developments. This review is specifically targeted towards improving the development outcomes of residential unit developments in Hornsby Shire and is not a comprehensive review of the HDCP or its tree controls. The review considers how 5 storey and townhouse typologies are impacting on existing suburban streetscapes and identifies where there is scope for improvement with respect to built form and the potential for more greening in the urban environment.
Due to the fact that some 5 storey and townhouse precincts have already been fully developed, the consultant review was expedited as a priority to coincide with the establishment of the Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels. It is intended that the amendments to the DCP be progressed to achieve immediate improvements to built form outcomes, including:
· Increased setbacks of balconies to facilitate tree canopy growth.
· Improved relationship with the public domain.
· Improved materials and finishes.
· Improved landscape setting.
· Discouraging mezzanine levels.
· Discouraging front fences.
· Screening services such as A/C units and fire hydrants.
A number of representations were made to Council prior to, and during, the exhibition of the DCP amendments which raise valid issues for further review of Council’s Tree and Vegetation Provisions and the potential inclusion of a new clause relating to Management of Trees on Development sites. However, as outlined in Group Manager’s Report No. PL26/18, the Design Excellence Review was not intended to be a review of Council’s tree controls, which should be reviewed as a separate matter.
The draft DCP amendments were exhibited from 23 October 2018 to 23 November 2018. A notice was placed on Council’s website and in the Hornsby Advocate. The draft DCP amendments were made available for inspection at Council’s Administration Building and libraries. Four information drop-in sessions were held at Hornsby Council Chambers (afternoon and evening sessions on Friday, 9 November and Monday, 12 November 2018). The information drop-in sessions and the DCP amendments were advertised through Facebook and through the Mayor’s message in the newspaper.
Four community members attended the information drop-in sessions and 11 formal written submissions were received during the exhibition period.
The 11 submissions received are generally supportive of the additional DCP controls that encourage retention of trees and use of natural colours, materials and finishes. However, the submissions raise a number of matters and suggestions which are discussed below.
1. The DCP controls will not be enough to achieve positive built outcomes
Submissions raise concern that the proposed DCP amendments will not deliver improved built outcomes.
Comment: The Urban Design consultant’s review acknowledges that a suite of mechanisms are required to achieve design excellence and built form outcomes. The DCP amendments are only part of the solution, along with amendments to the Hornsby Local Environmental Plan (HLEP) 2013 and the establishment of a formal Design Excellence Advisory Panel. At its meeting on 10 October 2018, Council endorsed the establishment of a formal Design Excellence Advisory Panel, with a further report to be presented concerning the appointment, constitution, fee structure and yearly budget allocation for the Panel.
The consultant’s findings were that the HDCP desired outcomes and prescriptive measures are generally consistent with best practice. A tour and inspection of built form carried out by the consultants identified that there are some good examples of how considerate application of the HDCP controls can achieve quality results. However, there are also examples of inconsistencies in how the controls are articulated, interpreted and applied. Along with the proposed HLEP and HDCP amendments, the establishment of the Design Excellence Advisory Panel and its involvement in the pre-lodgement and DA assessment stage is critical to improving built form outcomes.
Recommend: No further changes to the draft DCP amendments. Council note that the further report on the establishment of the formal Design Excellence Advisory Panel is anticipated early next year and that the current panel of urban design consultants has been restructured and is being utilised in the interim.
2. Use of the terms ‘should’ instead of ‘must’ and ‘where practicable’
Three submissions comment that terms such as ‘should’ and ‘where practicable’ instead of ‘must’ do not ensure compliance with development controls. The concerns mostly relate to controls for tree protection, where submissions comment that the protection of trees on development sites cannot be strictly enforced when such terms are used.
Comment: Council’s legal team was consulted concerning the terminology in the DCP including the use of the term ‘should’ and ‘must’. The status of the DCP is not legislation or an environmental planning instrument as defined under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act). Specifically, the EP&A Act identifies that DCPs are not statutory requirements and that they should provide guidance only and be flexibly applied to allow reasonable alternative solutions that achieve the objectives of the controls. Therefore, it is appropriate to use the term ‘should’ instead of ‘must’ to reflect the non-mandatory status of DCPs.
The term ‘where practicable’ in controls relating to tree protection was recommended by the urban design consultants who noted that the zoning of the land for the purpose of town houses or residential flat buildings has already been the subject of a high level analysis of the need to protect vegetation. The urban design consultants do not recommend an approach that prohibits the potential for removal of an existing healthy tree located (for example) in the centre of a site zoned for town house or residential flat building developments. They note that rather, provision should be made for appropriate replacement planting at the edges of a site where removal is unavoidable.
One submission suggests that the term ‘where practicable’ be replaced with the term ‘wherever possible’. This approach would not prohibit the potential for removal of a tree in the centre of a development site. Planning decisions should generally reflect an assumption that, in some form, development that is consistent with the zoning of the land will be permitted. This is a principle adopted by the NSW Land and Environment Court. Replacement of the term ‘where practicable’ with the term ‘wherever possible’ remains appropriate as it would allow Council’s arborist to evaluate the condition of the tree, the location on the site in relation to the proposed development, the likely impacts of the development on the health and longevity of the tree, and determine whether retention or removal is possible.
Recommend: The prescriptive measure in Parts 3.2.6, 3.3.7, 3.4.7 and 3.5.7 under the Landscaping Sections be amended to replace the words ‘where practicable’ with ‘where possible’ in accordance with the submission.
A submission suggests that the front setback requirements for residential flat buildings should be increased. Five storey developments require a front setback of 10m with a permitted encroachment to 8m for 1/3 of the building width. The submitter suggests that the encroachment to 8m for 1/3 of the building width should be removed.
Comment: The setback controls requiring a 10m setback which is permitted to encroach to 8m for 1/3 of the building width provide articulation in the built form and are not proposed to be amended. Rather, the draft amendments to the DCP incorporate changes to the setbacks of balconies and basement levels to increase opportunities for deep soil planting and the establishment of tree canopies, which was a key objective of the review.
Currently balconies are permitted to be setback 7m from the front boundary. The draft HDCP amendments propose to increase the required setback of balconies to be consistent with the building setback controls, being 10m and 8m for 1/3 of building width.
The basement front setback is also proposed to increase from 7m to 8m as part of the DCP amendments. The increase in the basement setback was proposed following a review of the development controls for Kuring-Gai Council, which requires basement setbacks to be consistent with the building setbacks to maximise area for deep soil planting. Should the increased setback present difficulties for developments in meeting car parking requirements, consideration would need to be given to reducing the number of units in a development to reduce the demand for car parking. The increase in the front setback area is consistent with Council’s priorities to maximise area for the establishment of trees and enhanced landscaping.
Recommend: No further changes to the draft DCP amendments for setbacks are recommended.
4. Desired Outcomes
Three submissions recommend that the Desired Outcomes in the HDCP should be stronger and more specific, in line with other Councils such as Ku-ring-gai which include a large number of objectives. Further, submissions also suggest that the term ‘Desired Outcomes’ should be replaced with ‘Objectives’ to be consistent with the purpose of the Environmental Planning and Assessment (EP&A) Act 1979, Division 3.6, Development Control Plans.
Comment: Council’s approach to the preparation of the HDCP in 2013 was to provide simple and concise language and content to create a DCP that is easy to interpret and apply, with a succinct list of Desired Outcomes in each section.
The HDCP includes the term ‘Desired Outcomes’ across all sections. The use of the term ‘Desired Outcomes’ instead of ‘Objectives’ does not have a significant bearing on the assessment process. However, a change to the term ‘Objectives’ could be considered as part of a wider future review of the DCP. It is likely that the specific terms used in DCPs across all Councils will be determined in the standardised DCP template currently being considered by the Department of Planning and Environment which is anticipated to be in place in approximately 2 years.
Submissions make suggestions for a number of amendments and additions to Desired Outcomes which are addressed in the table below.
Suggestion in Submission
Stormwater Management Part 1C.1.2
Addition of Desired outcome (c):
‘Water management systems that prevent flooding, erosion, pollution or sedimentation to neighbouring properties.’
The draft DCP as exhibited includes a new control in this section of the HDCP to provide on-site detention systems under driveways to maximise landscaped areas in the front setback. The additional Desired Outcome suggested in submissions, while it may have merit, does not relate specifically to the Design Excellence Review and are outside the scope of the project. Therefore, no further changes are recommended at this stage, but could be considered as part of a wider future review of the DCP.
Desired outcome (c) must include ‘retention and regeneration of riparian zones around urban streams’.
It is recommended that Desired Outcome (c) be amended to incorporate the wording suggested in the submission, as follows (emphasis added to show amended wording):
‘Landscaping that retains existing landscape features such as trees, flora and fauna habitats and retains and regenerates riparian zones around urban streams’
Part 3.2.4, 3.3.5, 3.4.5
Addition of Desired Outcome:
‘Setbacks that preserve and protect existing trees onsite and neighbouring properties’
It is recommended that an additional Desired Outcome be incorporated into the Setbacks section. However, the wording suggested in the submission has been incorporated and adapted to wording from Ku-ring-gai Council’s DCP which is also identified in the submission, to reflect the assumption that in some form, development that is consistent with the zoning of the land will be permitted.
‘Setbacks that preserve and protect existing trees around the perimeter of sites and provide effective deep soil areas that are able to create a garden setting, including substantial canopy trees to all sides of the building.’
Part 3.2.6, 3.3.7, 3.4.7
Amend Desired Outcome to read:
‘Development that retains existing landscape features such as trees, flora and fauna habitats and urban streams’
The suggested amendment to the Desired Outcome is consistent with the wording for the existing Desired Outcome in the General Landscaping section of the DCP. It is recommended that Desired Outcome (b) be amended to incorporate the wording suggested in the submission, as follows (emphasis added to show amended wording):
‘Development that retains existing landscaping features such as trees, flora and fauna habitats and urban streams’
Materials and Finishes
Parts 3.2.10, 3.3.10, 3.4.10, 3.5.10
Amend Desired Outcome to read:
‘Development that enhances the visual quality of the public domain’.
The suggested amendment involves deletion of the phrase ‘does not diminish’ and replacement with the term ‘enhances’.
Desired Outcomes should be written as positive statements. It is therefore recommended that the Desired Outcome in the Materials and Finishes section, 3.2.10(a), 3.3.10(a), 3.4.10(a), 3.5.10(a) be amended as suggested in the submission as follows:
‘Development that enhances the visual quality of the public domain’.
Recommend: The ‘Desired Outcomes’ identified in the comments section of the table above be incorporated in the DCP amendments.
5. Street Trees
The draft DCP amendments include a prescriptive measure (in Part 3.2.6, 3.3.7 and 3.4.7) for street trees to be planted for every 7 metres of road frontage. A submission suggests this provision should be amended to encourage this planting to be trees that are indigenous to Hornsby Shire.
Comment: The Urban Design Consultant’s review suggests that species selection should be based on a number of factors including presence of footpaths, power lines, below ground services, existing buildings, provision of shade, windbreaks, screening, feature specimens and hedging, taking into consideration road hierarchy and street character. As part of the Accelerated LEP Review, Council has endorsed the preparation of an Urban Forest Strategy which will set measurable and achievable targets to mitigate the decreasing tree canopy within the Shire. The scope of works for the Strategy includes a review of Council’s planning controls and recommendations for amendments to the HLEP and HDCP.
Recommend: No changes to the draft DCP amendments for street trees are recommended. Council note that further recommendations for DCP amendments would form part of the Urban Forest Strategy.
6. Green Offset Code
A number of submissions suggest that reference should be made to the Green Offset Code where trees are proposed for removal.
Comment: The Green Offset code is currently referenced in Part 1B.6.1 Tree Preservation under provision ‘(m)’ which states:
Any tree approved to be removed from a site should be replaced with a tree of like habit and indigenous to the Hornsby Shire, planted as near as practicable to the location of the removed tree, grown to maturity and replaced if the planting fails to survive and thrive in accordance with Council’s Green Offset Code.
The Design Excellence Review was not intended to be a review of Council’s tree controls or Green Offsets Code provisions, which should be reviewed as a separate matter. Council is currently reviewing its Green Offsets Policy which will be the subject of a separate report to Council early in the New Year. Additional recommendations based on the review of trees controls and/or the Green Offsets Code can be implemented as DCP amendments for separate exhibition when completed.
Recommend: No changes to the draft DCP amendments in regards to Council’s Green Offsets Code. Council note that a review of tree controls and the Green Offsets Code is subject to a separate review.
7. Deep Soil Zones
Submissions raise concern with the following control recommended by the Urban Design Consultant to be added as a prescriptive measure under the Landscaping section:
‘Where there is minimal opportunity for deep soil zones, deep soil landscaped areas with minimum dimensions of 2m x 2m should be provided along the basement walls for planting’.
The submission suggests this is problematic due to the following:
· Any tree within 3m of a building footprint can be removed without a permit.
· 2m x 2m is insufficient room for the growth and spread of a medium to large tree, particularly against a wall.
· It may encourage developers to utilise this clause instead of providing adequate deep soil zones that sustain tree growth.
Comment: The urban design consultant recommends this control, noting that there are often obstacles to the corridors between buildings and side boundaries, such as extended basements, car parking vents, substations, booster valves and driveways. The control is intended to provide allowance for constrained planting when deep soil zones are not achieved. However, the issues raised in the submission are valid. It cannot be guaranteed that trees within a 2m x 2m landscaped area along the wall of a basement will be retained in the future, and the Design Excellence Advisory panel input at pre – DA stage is intended to ensure that basements, parking vents, substations and driveways are planned in a coordinated manner to achieve deep soil setbacks.
Recommend: The proposed prescriptive measure under Landscaping (3.2.6 (c), 3.3.7 (d), 3.4.7(e), 3.5.7 (d)) be deleted from the draft DCP amendments in accordance with the submission on Deep Soil Zones.
Two submissions comment that the HDCP requires additional heritage controls.
Comment: The draft DCP amendments, as exhibited, include changes to some wording in the Heritage section of the DCP relating to retention of trees. Council has now resolved to undertake a Comprehensive Heritage Review which will include a review of heritage controls in the HDCP. Additional changes to Part 9 of the HDCP are outside the scope of the current Design Excellence review which relates to build outcomes and improvements to landscaping and should be considered as part of the Comprehensive Heritage Review.
Recommend: No changes to the draft DCP amendments in regards to heritage. Council note that further recommendations for DCP amendments would form part of the Comprehensive Heritage Review.
9. Landscaping and Tree Protection
Submissions include a number of suggestions for additional prescriptive measures for tree protection controls to be inserted in Landscaping (Parts 1 & 3) and Setbacks (Part 3) of the HDCP.
Comment: Tree and Vegetation Protection provisions are contained in Part 1B of the HDCP and regulate clearing that is not ancillary to development requiring consent. The Landscaping sections of the HDCP generally relate to additional landscaping and plantings rather than detailed controls relating to tree protection. In acknowledgement of this, the draft DCP amendments considered by Council at its meeting on 13 June 2018 included a new section in Part 1: Tree Management on Development Sites to better regulate clearing or tree removal which is ancillary to development requiring consent.
Following the June meeting, Council’s legal team was consulted concerning the implications of the new clause and its compatibility with current Tree Protection controls in Part 1B of the HDCP and State Environmental Planning Policy (Vegetation in Non-Rural Areas) (Vegetation SEPP). Although the new section would not undermine the Vegetation SEPP or the existing DCP controls, some improvements could be made to Council’s DCP tree controls in Part 1B and 1C to avoid difficulties in interpretation and application of the controls. The Tree Management on Development on Sites was withdrawn from the current draft DCP amendments to enable this section to form part of a wider review and amendments to Council’s tree controls and avoid delays in proceeding with new HDCP control for built form.
Having regard to the above, it is appropriate that the suggestions for additional prescriptive tree protection controls to be inserted into the Landscaping and Setbacks sections of the HDCP not be considered or implemented in isolation but rather form part of Council’s wider review of tree controls.
Recommend: No changes to the draft DCP amendments as a result of submissions suggesting additional prescriptive measures for tree protection ahead of a wider review.
10. Maintenance of Landscaping
Submissions include a number of suggestions for additional prescriptive measures for the maintenance of landscaped areas, including water conservation and irrigation measures and technologies.
Comment: As indicated above, the approach to the preparation of the HDCP in 2013 was to provide simple and concise language and content to create a DCP that is easy to interpret and apply, with a succinct list of Desired Outcomes and Prescriptive Measures in each section. The addition of large amounts of text concerning maintenance, water conservation and irrigation is not consistent with the concise approach to the preparation of the HDCP. However, it is recommended that information regarding maintenance of landscaped areas, water conservation and irrigation be outlined in Council’s DA Submission Guideline and that a plan addressing maintenance issues be included as a DA submission requirement in the Guideline.
Recommend: No changes to the draft DCP amendments in regards to maintenance of landscaping. The DA Submission Guideline be amended to incorporate information regarding maintenance of landscaped areas, water conservation and irrigation in accordance with the submission on landscape maintenance.
11. Screening of Structures in Front Setbacks
Two submissions raise concern that the controls for screening of structures in the front setback do not strictly require all structures in the front setback to be screened. The submissions suggest the addition of more strict requirements for structures to be screened.
Comment: Standards for electricity kiosks require them to be directly accessible to the street and unscreened. It is therefore not appropriate for all structures in the front setback to be screened. The amended DCP controls prescribe screening for fire hydrants in accordance with Australian Standards, as there are specific provisions in this standard for the size, weight and removability of the screening for access by emergency services.
Recommend: No changes to the draft DCP amendments as a result of submissions commenting on screening of structures. However, it is recommended that an additional prescriptive measure be included requiring that, where a new electricity kiosk is required to service a development, proponents demonstrate that they have undertaken steps to share such facilities with adjacent developments.
12. Roof Top Open Space
Submissions suggest that controls that permit roof top open space and discourage mezzanines for 5 storey development should be included for other developments, such as 10 storey and townhouses.
Comment: The controls for 10 storey developments already permit roof top terraces and green roofs. The DCP amendments delete the restriction on roof top open space for 5 storey controls to increase the provision of open space. Townhouse developments in certain precincts are permitted as two storey plus attic. Therefore, no further controls are recommended for to be applied to 10 storey or townhouse developments.
However, it has been identified that there is the need for an additional control to ensure roof top terraces include adequate landscaping, consistent with the objectives of the review. The following control is recommended:
‘Roof terraces should include a minimum 25% planted area, with the majority of the planting around the edge to reduce opportunities for overlooking and improve the visual amenity of the building when viewed from the public domain’.
Recommend: Include the above control as a prescriptive measure in Part 3.4.7 Landscaping.
Submissions comment that additional controls should be applied to respond to urban heat and encourage solar panels.
Comment: Submissions concerning urban heat and sustainability in general are valid. The State Government’s Apartment Design Guide includes energy efficiency controls and developments are required to demonstrate compliance with, and satisfy BASIX commitments. It is recognised that more could be done to encourage better environmental performance of developments and it is becoming increasingly important to understand where hotspots or heat islands occur as they can affect the way we live and in particular can affect vulnerable members of the community. However, these considerations are outside the scope of the current review which relates to build outcomes and improvements to landscaping. Council has adopted a program of works as part of its Accelerated LEP Review which includes projects on Urban Heat Mapping and Climate Change Adaptation. The outcomes of these studies will include recommendations for amendments to the HLEP and HDCP.
Recommend: No changes to the draft DCP amendments in regards to sustainability. Council note that further recommendations for DCP amendments would form part of the Urban Heat Mapping and Climate Change Adaptation projects.
14. Scale of Town House Developments
Two submissions raise concerns about the scale of townhouse developments recently constructed in R3 Medium Density Residential zones. The submissions note that townhouse developments resemble residential flat buildings what would not ordinarily be envisaged as a town house development.
Comment: Townhouse developments comprising two storeys and an attic are permissible in R3 Residential zones. DCP setback, landscaping and building envelope controls provide limitations on the bulk and scale of development.
The urban design consultant’s review included an evaluation of the controls for townhouse developments. They note that as townhouse developments are not affected by SEPP 65, the Apartment Design Guide and the Design excellence provisions under the HLEP, there has not been a high level of design quality scrutiny through the planning approval process.
To ensure the impacts of built form on the amenity of surrounding areas are thoroughly considered in the assessment process, the consultants recommend an additional DCP control requiring street elevation plans demonstrating the height of the building against the height of adjacent development and include potential future height envelopes. A further control was recommended for coordinated services to maximise landscaped areas. These controls were incorporated into the exhibited draft DCP amendments. The formal Design Excellence Advisory Panel will provide additional design scrutiny to achieve improved development outcomes for townhouses and Council has also resolved to write to the Minster for planning requesting that a Design Guide apply to townhouse developments.
Recommend: No changes to the draft DCP amendments are recommended for townhouses.
15. Floor Space Ratio
Submissions suggest that a Floor Space Ratio control should be introduced to limit the bulk and scale of developments.
Comment: During the preparation of the planning controls for 5 storey developments, advice was sought from an urban design consultant, who recommended a suite of controls to manage bulk and scale, including site coverage, building heights, setbacks, landscaped area and outdoor living area. The urban design analysis undertaken at the time noted that floor space ratio is a proportionate measure with no direct bearing on urban design quality, compatibility with neighbourhood character or residential amenity. As the measure is a comparison of floor space to the area of a development site, larger sites can result in over-scaled built forms and additional pressure for the removal of existing vegetation to achieve the maximum floor space allowance.
The introduction of a floor space ratio would require careful consideration and further analysis outside the scope of the Design Excellence review, which did not include recommendations relating to floor space ratio. Subsequent to consideration and analysis, any floor space ratio control would need to be implemented through an amendment to the HLEP in accordance with Department of Planning and Environment policy requiring floor space ratio controls to be applied in LEPs rather than DCPs.
Recommend: No changes to the draft DCP amendments as a result of submissions in relation to Floor Space Ratio.
16. Power Lines
One submission raises the issue of overhead power lines in precincts which can appear visually unappealing in the streetscape and inhibit the establishment of tree canopies.
Comment: It is acknowledged that placing services underground would provide an improved public domain. As development in the majority of the Housing Strategy Precincts is largely either developed, under construction or approved, Council is currently considering the feasibility of placing powerlines underground in the preparation of the public domain improvement plans for nominated precincts. However, it would be appropriate to include a provision in the DCP to encourage power lines to be placed underground to facilitate any development consents to be conditioned accordingly.
Recommend: A prescriptive measure be included in the DCP amendments to encourage power lines to be placed underground.
17. Car Parking
Submissions comment that the HDCP requires additional parking to avoid residents and visitors parking on the street, and provisions of wash bays.
Comment: Car parking requirements are set out in Part 1C General Controls of the HDCP and are based on guidance from the Department of Planning and Environment and Roads and Maritime Services traffic generation surveys and parking rates. Review of car parking rates and requirements is outside the scope of the current DCP amendments which are based on built form.
Recommend: No change to the draft DCP amendments in regards to parking rates.
18. Articulation, Built Form and Separation Controls
One submission comments that the removal of prescriptive measures for articulation in Part 3.4.6 of the HDCP will result in poorer built outcomes.
Comment: The formal Design Excellence Advisory Panel will provide guidance and influence on the design quality of residential apartment buildings. Flexibility in the form of how articulation is achieved will create more variety in the appearance of developments. However, upon review of submissions and further discussion with the urban design consultant, it is considered that the 4m x 4m indentation (one of the prescriptive measures removed in the exhibited DCP amendments) provides an appropriate break in the built form and this control should be reinstated. In addition to articulation, the indentation provides additional areas for landscaping and trees.
Recommend: The 4m x 4m indentation control be re-instated in Part 3.4.6 (b) Building Form and Separation.
19. Apartment Design Guide
A number of matters raised in submissions include recommendations for DCP controls which are covered in the State Government’s Apartment Design Guide (ADG). The ADG provides development controls and guidelines to improve the planning and design of residential apartment development in NSW. State Environmental Planning Policy No. 65 – Design Quality of Residential Flat Buildings requires consideration of the ADG. The ADG states that Parts 3 and 4 of the ADG prevail to the extent of any inconsistency with a DCP. In this regard, it is not necessary to replicate all the ADG controls into a DCP to ensure these controls are applied. The following matters raised in submissions reference parts of the ADG.
Existing ADG control
Screening of Balconies
More controls needed for screening of balconies to ensure clothes drying areas, barbeques, air-conditioning units and the like are not visible from the street and surrounding areas.
Part 4E-3: Private Open Space and Balconies
· Where clothes drying areas, storage or air conditioning units are located on balconies, they should be screened and integrated in the building design.
· Solid, partially solid or transparent fences and balustrades are selected to respond to location. They are designed to allow views and passive surveillance of the street while maintaining the visual privacy and allowing for a range of uses on the balcony. Solid and partially sold balustrades are preferred.
· Full width full height glass balustrades are generally not desirable.
The location of the driveway can impact on the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, be unsightly and result in noise and amenity impacts. The submission suggests additional DCP controls to address this matter.
Part 3H-1: Vehicle Access
· Car park entries to be located on secondary streets or lanes where available.
· Car park access should be integrated with the buildings overall façade. Design solutions may include the materials and colour palette to minimise visibility from the street.
· Adequate separation between distances should be provided between vehicle entries and street interactions.
· The width and number of vehicle access points should be limited to a minimum.
Additional controls should apply that require the placement of windows to be offset from the windows of adjoining developments (either existing or proposed) to minimise privacy conflicts.
Part 3F-1 and 3F-2: Visual Privacy
· Provides numerical building separation controls between windows and balconies of opposing developments ensure visual privacy is achieved.
· Windows should be offset from the windows of adjacent buildings.
Design for Social Interaction
Controls required for design of buildings for social interaction, such as location of lifts and covered seating areas.
Part 3C: Public Domain Interface
· Opportunities should be provided for casual interaction between residents and the public domain. Design solutions such as may include seating at building entries, near letter boxes and in private courtyards adjacent to streets.
4F - 2: Common Circulation and Space
· Incidental spaces, for example space for seating in a corridor, at a stair landing, or near a window are provided.
· Direct and legible access should be provided between vertical circulation points and apartment entries by minimising corridor or gallery length to give short, straight, clear sight lines.
Given that the above matters are addressed by way of existing controls in the ADG, it is not necessary to replicate controls in the HDCP for the purpose of this review.
Recommend: No change to the draft DCP amendments.
Consultant costs associated with the Design Excellence Planning Controls Review and the public exhibition have been met with funds from the Strategic Planning Annual Operating Budget.
Part 3 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment (EP&A) Regulation 2000 applies to the making of DCPs. The additional amendments proposed as a result of submissions are minor in nature and do not warrant exhibition. Should Council be of a mind to adopt the amendments subsequent to this report on submissions, they would come into force upon notification in a local newspaper.
At its meeting on 10 October 2018, Council considered Group Manager’s Report No. PL26/18 regarding the Design Excellence Review of Planning Controls and resolved to exhibit draft amendments to the Hornsby Development Control Plan (HDCP) 2013.
The draft amendments to the HDCP were exhibited from 23 October 2018 to 23 November 2018, during which time, 11 submissions were received. A number of changes to the exhibited DCP amendments are proposed in response to submissions, including:
· Amended and additional Desired Outcomes.
· Amendments to wording of prescriptive measures.
· Deletion of a prescriptive measure which may limit the achievement of adequate deep soil zones.
· An additional prescriptive measure to encourage powerlines to be placed underground.
· An additional prescriptive measure to ensure that roof terraces include adequate landscaping.
· Reinstating the 4m x 4m indentation control for to promote articulation of buildings and additional areas for landscaping and trees.
The additional amendments proposed in response to submissions are minor in nature and do not warrant exhibition. It is recommended that Council adopt the amendments to HDCP 2013 as amended after the exhibition period and attached to Group Manager’s Report PL34/18.
The officer responsible for the preparation of this Report is the Manager Strategic Planning Branch – Katherine Vickery - who can be contacted on 9847 6744.
Manager - Strategic Planning
Group Manager Planning
File Reference: F2014/00312
Document Number: D07559534