28 June 2023
The final draft of Nillumbik’s Neighbourhood Character Strategy, an extremely important document that will guide new development ensuring it respects and responds to the existing or preferred valued features or character of our area, i.e. what we know and love, is out for review.
You can review and comment on the draft on Participate Nillumbik until 11.59pm Sunday July 30th 2023. https://participate.nillumbik.vic.gov.au/neighbourhood-character-strategy
The ECAG committee has compared the final draft with the previous draft. Our key findings follow, with regard to:
– improvements in this final draft– continuing concerns – how to locate the Neighbourhood Character area and statements that apply to your property – how to give feedback.
We are pleased that Council listened to the community and responded in relation to…– the cover photo, which now includes a canopy of eucalypts in a low profile setting (the previous featured exotic autumn trees in a formal setting) – the inclusion of definitions of ‘grey’ areas/terms that may require clarification in order to be clearly understood by all using the strategy e.g. builders, architects, developers, home owners, VCAT. – the inclusion of clearer and stronger statements regarding vegetation e.g. canopy trees, amenity trees, indigenous vegetation, native vegetation and the importance of this to Nillumbik’s Neighbourhood Character – the inclusion of a muted earthy and bush toned colour palette and reference to natural materials.
Areas of continuing concern include…– No rear setbacks are given for any Neighbourhood Character (NC) area.- – No front setbacks are given for any NC area.
The Design Guidelines, pages 119-122 in the NC Strategy Draft (available on the Participate Nillumbik page), state ‘ Minimum Front Setbacks…..None specified’.
Surely the front setback is crucial to retaining NC! Why are figures given for minimum side setbacks and site coverage, but not for front setbacks or rear setbacks?– No site coverage/permeability figures are given for some NC areas. – Continued use of ‘predominantly’ e.g. ‘predominantly low scale/1-2 storey’ – Lack of reference to preferred colour palette in some areas. – Inaccuracies in statements regarding some areas.
Your feedback is important.
What has Council got right? Are there inaccurate statements regarding your area? Do you agree with the stated preferred character of your area?
Go to Participate Nillumbik https://participate.nillumbik.vic.gov.au/neighbourhood-character-strategy
You can then either:– access and read the whole NC Draft Strategy. – read the feedback and analysis of the Stage 1 draft – or go straight to what affects your property, or any other property in which you are interested, by typing the relevant address in the Property Search bar and then clicking ‘Read Report.’
Give your feedback by returning to the first page, clicking on the Feedback bar and typing your feedback.
Alternatively you can email a written submission.
The ‘key threats and issues affecting Nillumbik’s Neighbourhood Character’ section (found in the questions section on the Participate Nillumbik NC page) could be of interest when compiling your feedback.
Nillumbik’s Neighbourhood Character Strategy needs to ‘get it right’ as it will be used to inform the Housing Strategy that is due to be commenced soon. Pressure to increase housing stock is a government priority and a strong Neighbourhood Character Strategy will help ensure future housing respects our valued character.