Planning for Growth – Reports
Ordinary Meeting - 12 February 2014
Will the subdivision create an appropriate streetscape for Plumridge Street? The plan shows two lots abutting Plumridge Street - Lot 15 and Lot 17. Lot 15 is flood prone and any future dwelling will need to be built close to the internal street, well away from Plumridge Street. With respect to Lot 17 there will be space to construct a dwelling no closer than 4m from Plumridge Street. Driveway access from Plumridge Street won’t be allowed to either lot. The streetscape outcome of this subdivision layout will be such that Lot 17 will provide a 40m sideage to Plumridge Street while the balance of this street interface will be vacant. No further details have been provided about the likely built form outcome on Lot 17 other than to say that a future dwelling will have “the ability to address Plumridge Street”. This streetscape outcome is challenged by one of the objectors. They argue that these lots should formally front onto Plumridge Street so that they are in keeping with the existing houses to the east of the site. If this can’t be done then the objector says that any dwelling on these lots should address Plumridge Street and that fencing should respect the existing streetscape character. An active street frontage is a laudable objective to achieve in this circumstance. However it must be balanced against the particular constraints of Plumridge Street. Plumridge Street, in the vicinity of the subject site, is lined by mature elm trees. There are three elm trees directly in front of the site. These trees restrict the ability to install a vehicle crossover to service any potential lot. Furthermore, the adjacent primary school relies on Plumridge Street for on-street parking during drop-off and pick-up times. There is also a school crossing located in front of the site. Introducing new crossovers into the street would potentially erode valuable parking spaces and may be a source of traffic conflict. It’s not hard to imagine the school objecting if lots were permitted to gain access from Plumridge Street. In this context it’s preferable that none of the lots directly front Plumridge Street. Nonetheless Lot 17 should have the appearance of addressing Plumridge Street. This could be achieved through a combination of siting techniques and detailed design, including the careful selection of front fencing. It’s proposed to deal with this as a condition of the permit. It will be a requirement that house plans be prepared for Lot 17 that accord with specific design objectives aimed at creating an active streetscape appearance. The requirement for an active frontage should not be applied to Lot 15. Putting aside the fact that flood constraints prevents a dwelling on Lot 15 from fronting Plumridge Street, the absence of built form in this location won’t offend the streetscape. For all intents and purposes Lot 15 will share the same open appearance as the creek that it abuts. Is the walkway acceptable? A 4m wide walkway is planned as part of the subdivision that will link the new internal street to Plumridge Street. The walkway will only be open to pedestrians. Some of the objectors point out that the walkway may result in people parking in the internal street during school drop-off and pick-up times.