Designing for neighbourhood character Print

Design Outcome

Design Checklist

  1. The design of the frontage of the site responds to the context of the wider street.


In order to maintain the character of a street, the setback of the house and design of the front and side yards should relate to the street and surrounding properties.

The fundamental principle is to identify and respond positively to aspects of the streetscape that are valued, and improve any aspects that are not. 

In well-established areas where large change is unlikely, the building setback should be similar to that of existing houses. In areas where large-scale change is likely to happen, it may be more appropriate to place houses closer to the street.

Better Design Practice

Design the front of a site within the context of the surrounding area.
  • Consider the setbacks of existing houses and their front yard landscaping. If these features already meet good design standards repeat them or make reference to them in your design. 
  • If the existing environment exhibits bad design elements (such as high fences which cut the house off from the street), avoid repeating them. Instead, refer to the design guidance in this section.​

Design any house on a street corner to address and overlook both streets.​
The primary frontage will generally be to the busiest street. It will have low fencing, direct access from the street to the front door and outlook from the main living area onto the street. The secondary frontage might include some higher fencing and privacy screening, but should still include outlook from the main living room onto the street.​​​

Aim for the final design outcome to positively contribute to and improve the streetscape. 
This may need to be holistically balanced with other competing design requirements to create an optimal outcome for the site.​

Rules of Thumb

Provide Feedback Next Page   Previous Page