Project update - 21 April 2023

The Housing and Neighbourhood Character Strategies draft background report contains the research and analysis, and results from the preliminary consultation undertaken to establish the priority themes and project aims for the strategies.

Our City is growing and changing. To manage this, we are preparing 3 new strategies to guide how Brimbank’s residential areas should develop in the future.

Together the new Housing Strategy, Neighbourhood Character Strategy and Residential Development Framework (the Project) will provide direction on where and how new residential development should occur across Brimbank, over the next 20 years.

Our aim is to ensure that Brimbank’s diverse neighbourhoods and housing supply will offer something for everyone.

In this phase of community engagement we are gathering information to understand:

  • what people value about their neighbourhoods
  • what kind of housing they will need in the future.

To do this, we need to understand the existing neighbourhood character of Brimbank’s residential areas.

Key elements that make up neighbourhood character

  • Height

    • How tall buildings are
    • How many storeys they contain.

  • Space around buildings

    • How far buildings and houses are from the street
    • Distance from building to side and rear property boundaries.
  • Vegetation and landscaping

    How gardens, grasses, trees, plants and shrubs look including:

    • vegetation in front gardens
    • the sides of houses and backyards
    • street trees and nature strip plantings.
  • Built Form

    • Architectural style of buildings,
    • Era/time when they were built
    • Size and shape
  • Materials and colours

    • Type of building materials. For example, brick, weatherboard or render.
    • Colours and combinations of building materials
  • Roof styles

    • Roof angles. For example, flat or pitched.
    • Roof materials. For example, tiled or steel.
    • Colours of roofing materials
  • Car parking

    Location of parking and vehicle access:

    • driveways along the side of house or via back lanes
    • garages next to, behind or as part of the house
    • use of open carports
  • Front fencing

    • Height - low or high
    • Style - solid or open
    • Materials - steel, timber or brick
    • No front fencing
  • Views

    • What can be seen from or is visible around the neighbourhood
    • Topography of the land.
  • Street layout

    Pattern of streets and how blocks are arranged:

    • straight / grid layout
    • curved and winding streets
    • cul-de-sac /no through roads

We are gathering information about all Brimbank’s residential areas to identify their existing neighbourhood character.

A draft neighbourhood character strategy will explain how we propose to either respect the existing character or encourage a change in character, depending on what the aspirations for housing growth are.

The Housing Strategy will set the housing growth aspirations, and the preferred locations for growth.

What this project won’t do

The State Government has directed all residential zones support and allow increased housing. This means Council is unable to restrict dwelling densities in residential areas, except in exceptional circumstances. So, this project will not limit housing growth or density. Rather, it will investigate and recommend ways to manage housing growth in a way that meets the needs of the existing and future community.

No changes are proposed to existing:

  • commercial areas
  • planning policy applying to:
    • Sydenham/Watergardens Major Activity Centre
    • St Albans Major Activity Centre
    • Sunshine Metropolitan Activity Centre.

This project will not assess the heritage significance of heritage places in Brimbank. They are identified and protected through Heritage Overlays. This is distinct from neighbourhood character.


Neighbourhood character