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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.


Download playbook

What is the current impact from development?

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.

What is the new approach to redevelopment?

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.

How will the new approach benefit developers?

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.

How should landowners participate
in the process?

Step 1 Learn

Familiarise yourself on what can be developed, and the contributions required

Step 2 Explore

Understand what communication and engagement work has been undertaken by the local council

Step 3 Assess

Understand risks associated with this multi-lot amalgamation approach to residential redevelopment

Step 4 Participate

Precinct wide renewal may occur in several ways. They may be instigated by council, landowner groups, or developers. The approach will differ based on the context.

Developers Playbook

Want To Participate?

This process is in its infancy and we are pushing for more councils to become involved. If you have contacts in council you can direct them to this site or tell them to get in touch with us directly. The Playbook for Local Governments has all of the steps necessary to implement the scheme and staff at Swinburn University have all of the skills to start the process.