Walking the Walk means more Talk

ARBOR SERVICE 1920x1200

Walking the Walk means more Talk

The new Queensland Government Model Code for Neighbourhood Design has been introduced to “support healthy and active communities and promote the creation of walkable neighbourhoods…” The details of this new Code, along with the recently released IPWEA Street Design Manual (SDM), means that for new communities to walk the walk Project Teams will need more talk, talk.

These new standards intensify the competition for space in already crowded residential road verges. Hence, they require intense, early collaboration amongst Project Teams to avoid major potential pitfalls.

The Model Code includes the following mandatory provisions to the Queensland Planning Regulation;

  • Maximum 250m street block lengths
  • Lots to be within 400m of a Park or other open space accessible to the public
  • At least 1 tree being planted per 15m on each side of a new road
  • Construction of footpaths in all new roads to SDM standards

The impacts of these mandatory provisions are twofold.

Firstly, on Urban Design, where block length and open space provision must now comply. Although there may be some impact, these standards have been the hallmark of good urban design practice for some time now and so are not unexpected. It will be interesting to see how the open space requirement will intersect with Local Government Infrastructure Plans (LGIPs) to determine how the green space required will be funded.

Most noticeably, the last two items add to already crowded road verges. With average lot sizes becoming smaller and widths narrower a number of service providers currently jostle for space including;

  • Water Authorities – Water Mains & Meters, Sewerage Mains & potentially Grey water mains
  • Electrical Providers – Electrical Mains & Pillars, Street Lighting
  • Gas Providers – Gas Mains
  • Telcos – Internet/Telephony
  • Local Authorities – Footpaths, Street Trees, Stormwater mains/pits, Bin Pads, Parking Bays, Driveways

The pinch is felt not so much within the road verge but along property frontages. These need to accommodate the numerous service connection points, an access driveway and now a street tree. All possible, until external complicating factors, such as Street Lights, Stormwater Pits or Bin Pads come into play, at which time intense collaboration between the Project Design Team is required to ensure that all services can be provided within the requirements of the new Model Code.

The upshot is that preliminary design for Street Trees, Footpaths and all Services will now need to be undertaken during the Development Application (DA) phase rather than being left to the Operational Works phase, as is currently the case.

As a multi-disciplinary consultancy that is built on the premise of collaboration between Project Design Professionals, our Clients and Authorities, JFP is mindful of the challenges and opportunities that the Model Code & SDM will bring and is well prepared to assist you to navigate them.

Contact Us to find out more about how the Model Code & SDM may impact your Development.

No Comments

Post A Comment