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14 August 2020

City of Kingston - New Housing Strategy and Neighbourhood Character Study

The City of Kingston has adopted a new Housing Strategy and Neighbourhood Character Study, which seek to underpin significant changes to the residential zonings in the municipality as well as provide stronger guidance on neighbourhood character outcomes.

The proposed residential framework aims to balance the broader State directive and obligation for Council to meet targets for housing growth and change, whilst also responding to community concerns that have been raised during consultation.

The upshot is that Council are now proposing to further ‘dial down’ the level of housing growth to be accommodated in selected residential areas, to provide more prescriptive built form character outcomes, and to concentrate development opportunities within defined areas such as activity centres.

As far as changes to the residential zoning maps, Council has responded to community consultation by proposing to reallocate about one-quarter of the residential zoned land in the municipality from General Residential Zone to Neighbourhood Residential Zone, whilst the amount of Residential Growth Zone remains very modest. 

The table pictured right provides an overall snapshot of what is envisaged by Council, including how the proposed implementation of the residential zones has evolved from the draft version to the final version following the consultation phase.

The Housing Strategy provides a sliding scale of preferred development intensity, using the following common planning concepts:

  • Limited change;
  • Incremental change;
  • Transitional change; and
  • Substantial change.

The Council’s approach to preparing the new residential framework and proposed residential zonings has aimed to strike a balance between meeting the housing targets and population forecasts as directed by State Government whilst also responding to the desire of the local community to protect the valued characteristics of Kingston’s residential neighbourhoods.

Neighbourhood character is another big-ticket item of the Strategy, as it seeks to apply new policy and overlays that provide stronger direction on new development contributing towards preferred built form outcomes for various genres of housing stock.

As the next step, Council will seek to implement the Housing Strategy and Neighbourhood Character Study via a full planning scheme amendment, which will include public exhibition and independent review by a Panel.

In the context of Kingston CC, there is a significant need to optimise housing opportunities in well serviced locations to address critical issues around housing supply, affordability and diversity. 

As the Strategy is now adopted by Council, this may be considered in determining any current or future residential projects in the City of Kingston. For further information on how this may affect your site or project, please contact either Robbie McKenzie, Claire Helfer, or your existing contact at ratio:


Author: Robbie McKenzie, Director: Planning and Claire Helfer, Senior Planner.


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20200814 kingston housing and neighbourhood character
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