A RISE in landholders wanting to add second dwellings and loft apartments to heritage buildings has prompted Wagga City Council (WWCC) to change its development control plan (DCP) for the first time in five years.
An industry planner has welcomed a new report that will allow for larger garages and secondary dwellings on rear lanes, and introduce setback provisions.
MJM Consulting Engineers planning manager Stephanie Anderson believes the changes are a step in the right direction to reflect a trend in landholders redeveloping heritage buildings in conservation areas.
Developers will now be able develop triple garages of 67.5 square metres and secondary dwellings on rear lanes up to 60 square metres or 33 per cent of the size of the main dwelling.
Ms Anderson said the changes provided clarity for council and for the industry in designing development fronting rear lanes.
She believed the reported rise in development in the conservation area was a natural cycle, given most of the buildings were constructed 80 to 100 years ago.
“Many of these heritage dwellings are only 120 square metres or so in size, whereas a new home built in a new estate is likely to be at least double that,” she said.
“Whether it be through additions to the dwelling, a detached loft or secondary dwelling, landowners in the conservation area are needing that additional living space, in line with the massive changes in lifestyle and preferences that have occurred since these buildings were originally constructed.”
Ms Anderson fought WWCC to demolish an 80-year-old building in the conservation area of Thorne Street in December to make way for a new residence, overcoming objections relating to overshadowing neighbouring properties, privacy and street aesthetics.
Laneways in the heritage conservation area have been an integral part of Wagga’s layout by providing visual separation and privacy between properties and reinforces the wide street pattern that characterises the heritage conservation area.
“I think the industry would welcome council relaxing some of the DCP controls to encourage certain types of development that they see as desirable,” Ms Anderson said.
The development control plan is a non-legal document that supports the local environmental plan with more detailed planning and design guidelines.
The plan is guided by principles including sustainability, climate change management, design quality and the necessity to make public spaces attractive.
It was first approved by council on May 27, 2010 and applies to all land in the area.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.