We are currently preparing a new Neighbourhood Character Strategy for Nillumbik
Council is developing a new Neighbourhood Character Strategy for the Shire's residential areas (including the rural townships)
Thank you for your feedback. Submissions to the draft Neighbourhood Character Strategy are now closed. Go to the 'Next Steps' section at the bottom of the page to see future updates.
The objectives of this project are to:
- Conduct an assessment of current neighbourhood character conditions and conduct a review of relevant documents, including the current Neighbourhood Character Study and Precinct Guidelines from 2001 (amended in 2003).
- Identify and define the distinctive and valued elements of neighbourhood character in Nillumbik’s residential areas.
- Identify the different neighbourhood character areas within the Shire including the attributes and boundaries of the identified neighbourhood character precincts.
- Identify and develop preferred future neighbourhood character statements and guidelines for all character areas in the Shire.
- Develop the Nillumbik Neighbourhood Character Strategy and Neighbourhood Character Guidelines.
- Develop the Strategy through effective and significant consultation with the community and stakeholders.
A first draft of the Neighbourhood Character Strategy has now been developed. It proposes eight different neighbourhood character types which have been informed by community input during our first round of consultation earlier this year. For each character area, a statement of preferred character and character attributes, threats to the character and design guidelines for future development have been provided.
Specifically, the draft Neighbourhood Character Strategy provides the following:
- Definition of neighbourhood character
- Outline of the methodology conducted
- Overview of policy and statutory context
- Overview of existing strategies and background information
- Summary of community consultation
- Identification and summary of the key issues and threats of character in Nillumbik Shire
- Proposed Precinct Profiles of each neighbourhood character area, including:
- Character Area description
- Design Guidelines
- Character Area Maps
- Character Objectives
- Preferred Character Statement
- Key Attributes
Community input from Engagement 1 has been important into understanding the character of each area and an essential part of the process in drafting a new Neighbourhood Character Strategy. Thank you to those who shared their thoughts and opinions about the Shire's residential neighbourhood character by completing the online survey or by making a written submission.
The final Neighbourhood Character Strategy will be an important planning policy document that will provide a robust framework to guide development within Nillumbik’s residential zones, with a focus on appropriately protecting the preferred character of our residential and township areas.
If you wish to stay informed and receive future updates, we encourage you to follow this page by clicking the 'Follow' button at the top of the page or click 'Stay Informed' in the side bar and provide your details.
About The Project
Neighbourhood Character is what visually differentiates one neighbourhood from another, and is the measure of a locality’s identity. It encompasses the way a neighbourhood looks and feels. It is created through a combination of the following attributes:
Watch this short video to learn more about neighbourhood character and what it means for you.
The Neighbourhood Character Strategy is being developed in response to an associated priority action within the current Nillumbik Council Plan 2021-2025 as well as to reflect changes to State Government policy and planning reforms over many years. It will replace the existing ‘Neighbourhood Character Study: Residential Design Guidelines’ prepared in 2001 (amended in 2003).
The new Strategy will strengthen Council’s ability to protect the character of the Shire’s residential areas, including within its townships, and provide greater clarity to landowners, developers, architects, designers, Council, State Government and the community about what constitutes neighbourhood character and what are appropriate siting and design responses for Nillumbik.
Once finalised, the new Neighbourhood Character Strategy and design guidelines are scheduled to be implemented and given statutory weight through a planning scheme amendment to the Nillumbik Planning Scheme. Consideration of that planning scheme amendment will be subject to further community consultation, which will include full public exhibition of the amendment in accordance with the Planning and Environment Act 1987.
To develop the Strategy, neighbourhood character profiles are used to document the key attributes of a character area, and subsequently form a major component of the Strategy itself. The profiles comprise precinct maps, character statements, character elements, and issues and threats applicable to that character area.
The Neighbourhood Character Strategy aims to guide new development in residential areas, ensuring that it respects and responds to the existing or preferred valued features or character of an area, whilst importantly still meeting Shire-wide targets required by State Planning Policy for growth in housing supply and housing diversity.
The following documents are provided in the project library as further reference and reading regarding the project:
- A first draft of the Neighbourhood Character Strategy being exhibited for community and stakeholder feedback.
- A Housing Policy Hierarchy that identifies the how the Neighbourhood Character Strategy sits within the broader planning policy and the role the Strategy plays in developing the Shire’s housing policy.
- A Local Policies/Strategies Framework that identifies the existing Council policies and strategies that influence upon an area’s neighbourhood character.
- A Summary Brochure for the project
- A document containing responses to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that may assist with general queries people may have regarding development of the Nillumbik Neighbourhood Character Strategy.
The Neighbourhood Character Strategy only pertains to land within residential zones in the Shire. The map in the drop down below broadly identifies the residential areas that will be covered by the Neighbourhood Character Strategy (orange areas), which includes all residential land within the:
- General Residential Zone (GRZ)
- Neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ)
- Mixed Use Zone (MUZ)
- Low Density Residential Zone (LDRZ) and
- Township Zone (TZ).
Localities that are covered by the study area include:
- Diamond Creek
- Eltham North
- North Warrandyte
- Panton Hill
- St Andrews
- Wattle Glen
Some localities are split across the Urban Growth Boundary and Green Wedge, including Diamond Creek, Hurstbridge, North Warrandyte, Panton Hill, Plenty, Research, St Andrews, Wattle Glen and Yarrambat. As noted above, only the residential zoned land within these localities are included within the Strategy's study area.
These areas within the Urban Growth Boundary are more likely to experience housing change and growth into the future and therefore need guidelines in place to ensure any new development is respectful of the relevant neighbourhood character features and values of that area.
You can use the below map to identify whether a property is included within the neighbourhood character study area by searching the address in the interactive map below using the search bar tool
If you would like to view the study area by locality, please click on the relevant map below.
In order to inform appropriate future planning provisions for the Neighbourhood Character Strategy (as part of future strategic work), the key character issues applicable to the Nillumbik study area have been considered in the draft Strategy.
These threats are listed below and are based on the survey findings of the project team, initial consultation with the community and working groups with Council's planning officers.
The following themes have been identified as the key issues and threats:
- Contemporary infill
- Loss of vegetation & landscaping
- Large scale development - Retirement Villages, Aged Care, Medical & other services
- Dominant fencing styles
- Inconsistent siting & scale
- Dominant car access & storage
- Inconsistent colours & materials
- Interrupted Viewlines
- Bushfire Management
(Please refer to Section 4 within the draft Strategy for a full description and analysis of these threats. Refer to Section 5.2 for issues and threats pertaining to Bushfire Management).
Neighbourhood character profiles are used to document the key attributes of a character area, and form a major component of the Neighbourhood Character Strategy.
Neighbourhood character precinct profiles have been prepared for each neighbourhood character area identified within Nillumbik Shire. The draft Neighbourhood Charter Strategy has proposed a total of 8 character areas across the Shire's residential areas. These are:
- Bush Residential 1
- Bush Residential 2
- Garden Court 1
- Garden Court 2
- Garden Court 3
- Garden Residential
- Rural Residential 1
- Rural Residential 2
Each profile provides a summary of character area with associated character objectives and design guidelines to provide guidance to future development, ensuring that it reflects the preferred character as best as possible.
The profiles are intended to replace the character areas identified as part of Nillumbik Shire’s previous Neighbourhood Character Study and Design Guidelines (amended in 2003).
The profiles include the follwoing:
- Character Description;
- Character Area map;
- Summary of key character attributes
- Preferred Character Statement;
- Preferred Character Objectives;
- Design Guidelines; and
Please click on the Property Search tool link to view and find out which character precinct you are located in.
Input from the community and stakeholders who live in and experience these unique residential areas is an essential part of developing the Nillumbik Neighbourhood Character Strategy. A total of three rounds of community engagement are proposed for the project. The table schedule below outlines these periods:
First round of engagement – Championing the strategy
Second round of engagement - Consultation on the draft Neighbourhood Character Strategy
Third round of engagement – Close the loop
28 March – 8 May 2022 (6 weeks)
29 August - 9 October 2022 (6 weeks)
Purpose: To inform the community about the project, the concept of neighbourhood character, the Strategy and the process to develop the Strategy. Further, to engage on what the community value about their neighbourhoods.
Purpose: To seek feedback on a first draft of the Strategy.
Purpose: To “check in” with the community on changes Council is proposing to make to the draft Strategy, having considered the community feedback provided in Engagement 2 to the first draft of the document.
Current – Engagement 2 (29 August to 10 October 2022) – Draft Neighbourhood Character Strategy
Council is undertaking a second round of public engagement between the 29 August to 10 October 2022.
The purpose of this stage of engagement is to seek feedback on the draft Neighbourhood Character Strategy and test findings of previous engagement with the community and stakeholders.
In particular, we are seeking feedback regarding whether:
- We have accurately described the character areas?
- We have captured the things that are most important to the preferred character of your local area?
The feedback form for the second round of engagement contained within the Property Search tool has three focus areas:
- Draft Neighbourhood Character Areas.
- Preferred Character Statements, Objectives and Guidelines.
- Feedback on the overall draft strategy.
This stage will include:
- Updated project page;
- An interactive mapping tool;
- Online and hard copy feedback form;
- Written submission portal;
- Place-based pop-ups x 2;
- Online Q&A sessions x 2;
- Face-to-face community drop-in sessions x 3;
- Online one-on-one interviews x 2;
- Email notifications to key stakeholder groups;
- Posters and postcards distributed to various locations within the Shire's urban and rural township localities;
- Information in Nillumbik Shire News/e-News and other relevant Council newsletters;
- Regular social media posts on Council’s social media platforms as well as paid social media advertisements.
Council values your thoughts and opinions on the draft Neighbourhood Character Strategy and we look forward to receiving your submissions so we can further improve the document.
Completed – Engagement 1 (28 March to 8 May 2022) – Championing the Strategy
Council undertook a first round of public engagement for the Strategy in late March - early May 2022 (6 week period).
This first engagement was intended to inform the community about the project and sought input from the community and stakeholders regarding:
- what people value most about their neighbourhoods and think are the important features that contribute to the character of the area.
- how people would like to see new development managed in the Shire’s residential areas.
It included the following engagement activities and resources:
- A Virtual walking tour video;
- Project webpage with FAQ function;
- Council Community Advisory Committee meetings x 4 (Environment and Sustainability, Inclusion an Access, Positive Ageing, Youth Council).
- Email notifications to key stakeholder groups;
- Online and hard copy survey;
- Written submission portal;
- Information in Nillumbik Shire News/e-News and other relevant Council newsletters;
- Regular social media posts on Council’s social media platforms as well as paid social media advertisements;
- Posters and postcards distributed to various locations within the Shire's urban and rural township localities.
- Place-based pop-ups x 3 (Hurstbridge, Diamond Creek, Eltham).
The input to this first engagement period has assisted Council in preparing the draft Neighbourhood Character Strategy for the Shire’s residential areas (including designated rural townships).
Upon closing of the engagement period, Council officers will collate all submissions received during Engagement 2 (Stage 6A - Consultation on the Draft Strategy) and present a report to Council’s Planning and Consultation Committee (PCC), which will consider the responses to this round of engagement and any verbal submissions from interested stakeholders.
Following this, Council officers will then consider all submissions received during Engagement 2 and make relevant changes to the Strategy. A final draft version of the Strategy will then be presented to Council where officers will seek endorsement of the final draft for one final round of engagement (Engagement 3 - Closing the Loop). This final round of engagement is to ensure all community feedback relevant to the draft Strategy has been captured. The Strategy at this stage will also then provide recommendations and details for implementation and next steps.
Engagement 1 - Championing the Strategy Findings
What We Heard
On the 14 June, Council under its delegated Planning and Consultation Committee (PCC) were presented with the various survey responses and submissions that were received to the first round of engagement for the Neighbourhood Character Strategy project. A total of 322 submissions were received to the first engagement period; comprising of 312 survey responses and 20 general written submissions. The Committee unanimously resolved to carry Council officers’ recommendations to:
- The community response to the first round of engagement for the Nillumbik Neighbourhood Character Strategy.
- That a first draft of the Nillumbik Neighbourhood Character Strategy is scheduled to be presented to the August 2022 Council meeting to be endorsed for public engagement.
- Resolves that the confidential un-redacted copies of survey responses and general written submissions to the recent public engagement for the Neighbourhood Character Strategy, as provided in Attachments 5 and 6, remain confidential on the grounds specified in the definition of confidential information in section 3(1)(g)(ii) of the Local Government Act 2020
- Requests Officers write to all respondents to the community engagement to express Council’s gratitude for their contribution and to advise them of Council’s resolution and the next scheduled steps in the project.
The links to the consolidated redacted survey responses and general written submissions received to the first round of engagement as well as the Consultation Findings Report can be found below.