Many residents came away from the recent community workshops with the understanding that the maximum heights of buildings in residential streets would be 9 metres / 3 storeys.
Unfortunately the workshops were unclear on the guidelines and thus Save Ivanhoe sought clarification from Council. We sent a letter to Council asking for clarification on a number of issues. You can find our letter here. Specifically we had some fairly succinct questions that Council has not been able to answer with succinct clear responses. One of the core questions was:
On more than one occasion, we have had comments from both Council officers and MGS that developments could be higher than 9 metres. Is this the case? If so, can you please outline in what circumstances building heights will be able to exceed 9 metres and/or 3 storeys?
The long answer is in Council's response (attached). The response is not clear however the short answer is the new draft structure plan does not provide guidelines for maximum heights in residential streets. 4 storeys and above development is allowed in residential streets under the new proposed guidelines.
Other activity centres do provide such protection. You can find some examples here.
- Limit the height of new developments to a maximum of two storeys to minimise the impact of new development of key vistas into and through the activity centre from the east.
You can download Council's full response to Save Ivanhoe's letter here:
Throughout the response Council refers to the the State Government’s Guidelines for Higher Density Residential Development to defend not including maximum heights restrictions in residential streets. However these same guidelines state policy should "reinforce valued aspects of existing neighbourhood character unless planning policies identify a new character, or a new character needs to be created to achieve the planning policies for the area. Increased densities do not always depend on tall buildings. Similar densities can be achieved using different development scenarios such as high rise-low site coverage, low rise-high site coverage and medium rise-site coverage. The type of development chosen should be appropriate to the area."
Save Ivanhoe will continue to seek further clarification over the coming weeks and we encourage you to do the same. Talk to your neighbours. Let them know the structure plan will have guidelines that allow 4 storey or above buildings in their street.
More information when it comes to hand.