Thank you for your input to help us develop the new Neighbourhood Character Strategy

Objectives of the project are to:

  • 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.
  • 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.

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.

Community input has been important into understanding the character of each area and an essential part of the process. 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.

Feedback has now closed.

Next Steps

Council will review the community’s feedback at the 14 June 2022 Planning and Consultation Committee, where community members that have provided written input (e.g. by completing a survey or making a submission) will be able to speak to the Planning and Consultation Committee meeting.

To register to speak at the Planning and Consultation Committee meeting click here.

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:

The 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 “Policy Hierarchy”, which identifies the Neighbourhood Character Strategy within the broader planning policy and the role the Strategy plays in developing the Shire’s housing policy.
  • 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 proposed Strategy will only deal with 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).

These areas 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.

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 (6 weeks)

Late 2022

Early-Mid 2023

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, on have considered the community feedback provided in late 2022 to the first draft of the document.

The First Round of Engagement (28 March to 8 May 2022) – Championing the Strategy

Council is currently undertaking the first round of public engagement for the Strategy. This first engagement will inform the community about the project and seek 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.

Your input in this first engagement period will assist Council to prepare a draft Neighbourhood Character Strategy for the Shire’s residential areas (including designated rural townships).

This first round of engagement will commence on Monday 28 March and conclude at 11.59pm on Sunday 8 May 2022. It includes the following engagement activities and resources:

  • A virtual walking tour video.
  • An online or hard copy survey or the ability to provide a general submission.
  • 3 x place-based pop-up information stalls.

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.

Diamond Creek


Eltham North



North Warrandyte

Panton Hill



St Andrews

Wattle Glen