What is Neighbourhood Character?

Council documents say:
Neighbourhood character is the way the features of an area come together to give that area its own particular sense of place. In Nillumbik, all new residential development needs to respect and contribute to the neighbourhood character of the area.
Neighbourhood character is essentially how an area looks and feels and the qualities that make that area distinct from others.

Take a walk around your area. Think about what you like, don’t like, and what should be preserved and continued.

Think about the existing threats to the area and the potential impact if they are increased. Planners call this an emerging character.

Some specific aspects to think about, remembering that each location is unique:

Streetscape .. roads.. winding/straight, wide/narrow, made/unmade, kerbs

Paths..formal/informal, made/unmade, one side/both sides, concrete/bitumen

Nature strip…vegetated, formal/informal, planted/remnant vegetation


Signage..needed/obtrusive/the amount

Buildings..dominant/screened by vegetation (canopy/understorey)

Public areas…pocket parks, formal/informal,

Lots/properties… size, shape and topography, how are they laid out

Building setbacks… how they affect the streetscape

Building height, bulk and form… does it respect the area/dominate it/ architectural styles, colours, materials/do they fit the existing character

Private land interface with the public street – if fences …materials, welcoming/barriers, softening vegetation

Gardens, trees and other vegetation…. bushy, screening, landscaped, formal/informal, exotic/native/mixed

Is the area changing, positively or negatively from your point of view?

Write a submission or answer the survey on Participate Nillumbik – by 8th of May

For more information:

To find what the existing neighbourhood character is where you live, according to the planning scheme, click here.