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This section is for municipalities that want to implement precinct regeneration as part of their local planning scheme. It covers the processes required to establish the project locally, the design and planning work to establish feasible outcomes, the communiy and stakeholder engagemnt activities, and al other processes to move towards a statutury amendment. This information is based on the specific geographical, political and policy contexts we have encountered to date. Furthermore, the focus has largely been on sustainabiltiy and livability outcomes, which may not as significent in new contexts. As such, the processes herin are open to modification in new councils.


Download playbook


Urban renewal on greyfields includes playbooks for three key participants; i.e. landowners, developers and local government. This playbook is for the local governments across Australia on how to implement urban renewal in greyfields. This first version of playbook presents a step-by-step approach for urban renewal on greyfields, with focus on green infrastructure and water sensitive urban design (WSUD). It seeks to promote a paradigm shift from traditional lot-by-lot infill redevelopment to an approach where landowners work with their neighbours to amalgamate individual housing lots into a larger parcel of land, the “super lot”. This ‘super lot’ on a precinct level approach not only provides financial benefits for landowners, but through careful design, is set to transform local neighbourhoods into vibrant, active, healthy places to live, which furthermore use the valuable resource of land efficiently and productively. The playbook presents an innovative approach that presents a paradigm shift from a traditional regulatory approach to a multi-pronged approach, where design, planning and engagement and governance of implementation all have an important role to positively transform the built environment of neighbourhoods and precincts.

The four pillars of the approach are:

  • Engagement

    Clearly articulated neighbourhood planning process and tools to effectively engagement the landowners, community and developer
  • Statutory Planning

    Clearly articulated planning scheme that facilitates a mechanism for effective engagement with the landowners and developers
  • Design

    Clearly articulated design objectives for streets, public open spaces and dwellings, along with clear alignment between the public and private realm design objectives.
  • Governance & Implementation

    An innovative and efficient governance structure that facilitates third party broker arrangements, inter-agency collaboration and project management

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 Municipalities?

Policy implementation: Insofar as possible, this scheme attempts to befit all parties in the redevelopment sphere; landowners, developers, the surrounding community and the municipality it is occurring within. Landowners and developers will benefit from the higher land values and densities achievable on larger lots, while the surrounding community will benefit from the co-benefit (additionalities) that the precinct will bring to, however, since the municipality informs what these co-benefits should be, municipal planners are in a position to push for contextually appropriate municipal objectives to be fulfilled. By way of example, the development requirements for precincts could include:

  • Additional tree canopy and/or additional open-space
  • Housing diversity and/or affordable housing
  • Flood or urban heat island mitigation
  • Street activation and/or improvement

Community involvement: As the process needs to illustrate benefit to the surrounding community, community members will need to be involved in the prioritisation of policies, locating precincts and the assessing forms of additionality that would best benefit those areas. This approached makes the process largely a bottom-up one; both de-risking it politically and turning it into a desired scheme, as opposed to an imposed one.

Whole of government response: Part of the method utilities cross departmental engagement within the municipality (and later with state planning authorities). To ensure that the most appropriate co-benefit occurs in the most appropriate area, team members from engineering, housing, sustainability and others municipal functions relating to the policy priority areas the scheme will address. The effect of this is to make the process one that occurs across the municipality, rather than in one isolated department.

How should local governments facilitate precinct regeneration?

Step 1 Map municipal priorities

Identify the top two or three municipal policies that the scheme will address

Step 2 Set up project

Establish the project internally and apply budget to it

Step 3 Precinct selection

Community and whole-of-government engagement to identity areas of affect within the municipality.

Step 4 Precinct assessment

Community and government negotiation on the form and viability of precinct additionality.

Step 5 Precinct engagemnt

Land owner engagement within the identified precincts

Step 6 Precinct planning

Formally draft the planning regime for the precinct

Step 7 Engagement with developers

Socialise the concept with local developers

Step 8 Implementation model

Build the business model for the process

Local Government Playbook

Want to facilitate precinct regeneration?

All relevant informaiton can be found in the Playbook for Local Government Practitioners, which is available in the resources section. However if you would like to talk about the process, or have questions regarding its implementation then please contact