Knock-down-rebuild is no-longer environmentally feasible and “urban renewal” in suburban sites requires an new approach. The three key groups we identified are landowners, developers and local government. This section is for developers. The first version of the developers playbook (below) presents a new approach to positively transform the built environment of neighbourhoods and precincts. This site is an overview of the steps required for developers.
Most suburban redevelopment happens on a single lot, where a house is added to the front or rear, or the existing housing is demolished and two or more are built in its place. The effect of this is to make almost all of the land into either house or driveway. This significantly reduces the amount of trees in areas, as well as significantly increases flood risk and increased urban heat effect (where built-out areas hold and magnify heat). Almost all suburban land is potentially redevelopable, meaning that, if we don’t change, cities and suburbs will become unlivable into the future.
One of the problems with current redevelopment is the reduced permeability that stems from the small lot size. With larger lots we can optimize the buildings to increase the amount of open space, number of trees and parking spaces. But we can only achieve larger lot-sizes if landowners sell or the develop their land at the same time.
In order to encourage this process, council will allocate areas where the development rules make this more viable IF landowners work together AND if the development can also show community benefit. To date the the concessions are: 1 additional storey on amalgamated lots of greater than 2000 square metres; and removal of third party objection rights if developments adhere to the precinct plan and the precinct design guide. However, to achieve these precinct designs, developers must also deliver both onsite and off-site precinct additionalities. On site aspects will be covered through the design guide, but off-site benefits will be implemented through value capture mechanisms and developer contributions. These are available on request.
It is anticipated that new councils will need to define their own benefits, concessions and statutory responses, all of which is covered in the municipal playbook.
Financial: Larger lot sizes mean larger developments on a single site. Furthermore, could will be offering incentives to promote the concept. If managed well, this will lead to higher volumes of sale-able stock. Furthermore, the economies of scale on a single site should allow for greater efficiencies across the board.
Certainty: Council will have spent significant time and resources developing their precinct plans and will have a formal set of obligations that need to be met. This will allow for far more effective feasibility analysis at project’s commencement.
Community acceptance: In order to implement the scheme, council has already done significant community consultation and established agreed upon design guides. By following these guides developers will avoid community resistance to planning proposals.