Page 1326 - Week 04 - Thursday, 7 April 2016

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built form outcomes. In certain areas development is limited to a set height, such as RL617 in Canberra City. This means that building heights relative to ground level are reduced at higher elevations. In other areas a height limit may be similarly specified, or the requirements for a particular zone will nominate a height limit for a building’s height above the ground (either in metres or number of storeys).

(3) Yes, however height limits are generally dependent on the location and zone of the development rather than building type. Height limits range from two storeys in suburban residential areas, to six storeys and above in the high density residential zone and in several master planned group centres. Commercial areas outside of the town and group centres have varying height limits depending on the character of the area, such as Northbourne Avenue corridor where up to 32 metres is permissible. Height limits in town centres vary as already mentioned in the response to question 1.

(4) Development applications for particular buildings are assessed against the development codes of the Territory Plan. These codes include Rules and Criteria about the built form elements of buildings, including height. Where Rules are mandatory, there is no discretion to exceed specified maximum heights. Where Criteria exist, particular proposals with heights exceeding the stated height in the rules may be considered on their merits.

(5) Criteria for exceeding the stated height in the rules, include: the desired character of the locality, relationship to nearby buildings, solar access to dwellings and open space on adjacent residential land, sunlight access to adjacent main public pedestrian and access routes, the minimisation of overshadowing and excessive scale, and the degree of articulation in built form.

(6) The National Construction Code sets minimum performance standards for all buildings which incorporate a consideration of the building’s size, complexity and use. For example, a high-rise building with a large number of occupants would need to provide a higher level of fire protection and a greater capacity for emergency egress so that occupants can safely exit the building than a small low-rise building.

(7) While there are not prescriptive requirements for the aesthetics of buildings, there are criteria in both the residential and commercial development codes of the Territory Plan that provide for an assessment of the aesthetic quality of a building. The criteria include articulation of form, detailing, visual interest, contribution to the amenity and character of nearby public spaces, reflectivity of material, and consistency with existing development or the desired character of the location. Particular attention to the assessment of aesthetic quality is given to development proposals.

(8) Yes. The application of the Rules and Criteria in the development codes provides for an assessment of the visual impact and building dominance of a development proposal, in its context.

(9) As the location needs for public housing changes over time, the provision of public housing is managed by the Community Services Directorate to ensure that public housing is located in areas appropriate to meet the needs of the community and to provide ongoing management and maintenance as required in a timely manner.

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