Darwin Regional Land Use Plan
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DARWIN REGIONAL LAND USE PLAN 2015 70 Development Related Constraints and Opportunities Desired Regional Outcome A region that offers a range of well-planned, discrete, and sustainable communities providing convenient and accessible residential, employment, transport and other service opportunities. Anticipated growth across the region will be significant, placing high demand on the regional fabric, infrastructure and services. The location, distribution, and operational aspects of existing and future development can significantly influence accessibility, cost efficiency, community quality and opportunities for economic activities. Development Structure Key Development Structure Objectives Recognise the diversity of the community and the consequential range of aspirations in relation to housing type, location and lifestyle. Enhance the economic viability of infrastructure and services by creating sustainable local communities. Create more compact development, in particular localities that minimise the development impacts on the majority of established communities. Encourage consolidated and compact development that facilitates land use and infrastructure efficiencies, increases choice and conserves the regional environment. Encourage mixed use development, focused in and around activity centres and public transport nodes or high frequency routes. Encourage the provision of a range of housing options that facilitate housing choice and affordability to meet diverse community needs. Encourage urban design that takes account of the tropical climate to minimise the creation of heat islands. Develop activity centres to maximise local employment opportunities, availability of services, walkable neighbourhoods and the use of public transport. Compact Urban Form Population growth in the Darwin Region has historically been predominantly accommodated in new low density urban suburbs or on rural lifestyle lots of 2 ha or 8 ha. This approach, responding to the preference of many residents for single detached houses, has seen extensive areas of natural vegetation and habitat replaced with human habitat and, in some cases, less than optimal use of land and infrastructure. The undersupply of urban residential land in recent years has contributed to rising housing costs and, increasingly, higher density residential development in the city centre and more compact new suburbs. Notwithstanding these changes, housing prices and the residential rental market remain beyond the reach of many, particularly those wanting to move to the region or enter the market. While many residents continue to aspire to traditional urban or rural lifestyle lots, affordability is encouraging many in the community to consider alternatives. Within that context a fundamental principle in the land use plan is the provision of land to accommodate genuine choice of housing types and locations, and an appropriate supply of each to address affordability. The overarching priority in accommodating growth is to maintain the amenity enjoyed by the majority of residents in existing suburbs and established rural lifestyle areas, while providing opportunities for infill development close to facilities and services (particularly public transport) to satisfy the varying aspirations within the community. Future urban growth areas will provide a range of housing opportunities including traditional single detached dwellings, with more compact and higher densities in appropriate locations particularly those close to facilities and services. Within existing urban and rural lifestyle areas priority will be given to maximising the potential population capacity of infill sites. This will: make the most efficient use of available infrastructure capacity and local services contribute to the creation of viable communities limit the impact on the majority of existing residents reduce the need to travel improve access to services reduce impacts on the environment and natural resources. More compact residential development, particularly on previously undeveloped sites in established areas and in greenfield developments, creates opportunities for synergies between various land uses such as education and health facilities. It also assists in protecting the landscape and resources. More compact development, which provides mixed uses and greater housing choice while limiting the impact on established areas, can also assist in creating stronger and more active communities.
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