Respect the neighbours Print

Design Outcome

Design Chec​klist​

  1. All habitable rooms have a good level of privacy in relation to the street, public spaces and neighboring properties
  2. The arrangement of terraced housing enhances privacy for the residents and neighbours
  3. The views from principal rooms and private open space are maximised without compromising visual privacy​​
The home is a private setting and should be a place of retreat while also providing the opportunity to look out onto surrounding open space.

The immediate proximity of individual houses within a terraced housing development requires greater focus on achieving visual and acoustic privacy, and access to light and outlook in the design.

The occupants of any developments on neighbouring sites or adjacent terraced houses should be considered. It is important that individual desires for privacy are balanced with potentially conflicting communal desires for safety and security through natural surveillance.​

Better Design Practice

Orientate any proposed balconies and outdoor spaces towards the street or to the back yard. 
Avoid orientation directly over the side or rear boundaries wherever possible. Consider the position and aspect of habitable rooms. Avoid placing windows or balconies where they directly face in to neighbouring dwellings, and consider the placement of gardens.

Consider potential future development on adjacent sites and ensure that the proposed development guards against any resulting potential adverse effects. 
By checking the development rights and potential building envelopes of adjacent sites, principal living spaces and primary views can be located where they will not be blocked or built out.

Design building layouts to minimise direct overlooking of neighbouring development (on the same or adjacent sites) and their private open spaces. 

Maximising the separation distance is always the best practice response. The following can also help: 
  • screening balconies and ground level private open space. Screening devices and fences will be effective for the first floor, and onsite planting can screen a maximum of three stories on most sites. When planting trees leave enough space to support its long term growth. 
  • separating, offsetting or screening terraced housing windows from communal open spaces, common areas and circulation routes. 
  • orientating adjacent terraces so that they do not directly face each other 
  • introducing a change in level between ground floor private space (both indoor and outdoor) and the public domain or communal open space.

Use detailed site and building design elements to increase privacy without compromising access to light and air. 

Design options may include:
  • offset windows or balconies on elevations that face each other 
  • staggering the building line or incorporating vertical fins between each terraced house 
  • recessed balconies or vertical fins between adjacent balconies
  • solid or semi-solid balustrades on balconies
  • louvres or screen panels on windows and/or balconies
  • fencing
  • vegetation as a screen between spaces
  • incorporating planter boxes into walls or balustrades to increase the visual separation between areas
  • pergolas or other shading devices can also limit overlooking onto adjacent terraced houses and their private open space.

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