- The building responds positively to the immediate context and street environment, and the design is informed by the existing or desired character
Street setback (front yard)
The setback of buildings from the back edge of public pavement influences a range of issues. These include the perception of the streetscape and the experience of being in that street, the level of activity conveyed by the building onto the street, and the relationship of building's occupants to the street (i.e. the privacy of internal spaces and the potential for occupants to overlook the street).
Street setbacks help to maintain and enhance an area's character. In new areas it will help to establish the character of the street by providing a consistent building line for adjacent buildings to align with. Setback may also occur at the upper storeys of a building, affecting the height-to-width ratio of a street as well as sunlight penetration.
In residential streets front yards also provide privacy for the front apartments of a development. Passers by are kept away from windows and the front yard allows for some landscape screening.
Side and rear setbacks (side and back yards)
Front yard setbacks
Where no front yard setback is required:
- ensure any setback enhances the streetscape by providing a high quality open space or maintaining an existing pattern of setbacks along the street
- ensure the setback supports the intended development use and location (e.g. town centres and business zones will require zero setback);
- any setback should match that of existing developments. Where some variation is desired, offset the building frontage by a small amount from its neighbours.
Side yard setbacks
- maintains light, air, sun and privacy
- can provide a space for landscaping between developments
- allows windows and articulation on the side of the building
- provides a transition space between different buildings, particularly if they are different heights. This helps to prevent the dominance of larger buildings over smaller ones.
The setback can also continue or create a pattern of development that positively defines the streetscape. The spaces between buildings must be designed to be organised and coherent, and not determined by what is left over around the building form.
Rear yard setbacks