Urban Design Advisory Panel

Urban Design is the process by which we create attractive, liveable, activated, safe and easy to understand urban spaces and Cities that responds and reflects the needs of all members of society.

The Urban Design Advisory Panel was formed in October 2011 to provide independent and professional urban design advice on proposed projects within the city. The panel promotes good design and a quality urban environment.

The panel provides both pre-application advice to developers on significant developments, as well as providing advice to the Council for lodged applications.

This panel plays an integral role in the success the City has in creating itself as a place that people will want to visit, work and recreate in.

What is the Urban Design Advisory Panel?

The Panel is made up of independent professionals that provides professional and technical advice in an informal manner, to the Council and applicants in relation to the design of developments within the Municipality.

The members are appointed for a three year term.

The Panel is independent from the Council and does not make decisions. The Council is the permit authority and is responsible for determining development applications.

The Panel assist the Council with the following:

  • Providing independent expert advice and recommendations on urban design issues
  • Providing pre-application advice to developers on significant developments
  • Providing urban design advice to Council on significant planning applications and whether they meet the relevant design provisions of the planning schemes.
  • Providing urban design advice to the Council on significant Council capital works projects
  • Promoting good urban design to make our communities more liveable and attractive with good connectivity
  • Recognising and protecting cultural identity and sense of space


Which planning applications will the Panel consider?

Once a planning application is lodged with the Council, the Panel will be referred those proposals that meet the following criteria:

Proposals requiring planning consent that are located within the area covered by the Sullivans Cove Planning Scheme 1997 and the Hobart Interim Planning Scheme 2015 (Central Business, General Business, Commercial and Urban Mixed Use Zones and when proposed developments exceed 2000 m2 in floor area or 3 storeys in height).

The Panel will also review any City of Hobart capital works project with a value of $1 million or greater, which is intended for public use, or to which the public have regular access and that the Council or the General Manager consider would benefit from receiving urban design advice.

Or any other development that a Director considers that the Council would benefit from receiving urban design advice.

What will the Panel look at?

Design assessment criteria and or design guidelines in the relevant planning scheme will form the basis for an urban design panel review.

The elements that the Panel will normally consider include: 

  • Quality of the architecture and its contextual relationship to Hobart;
  • Visual appearance and design principles including scale and composition, architectural details, articulation of facades and the treatment of rooftops;
  • The relationship of the proposed development to street, public spaces and adjacent buildings and to the character of surrounding areas;
  • The location of activities and their relationship to streets and public spaces particularly at the ground floor;
  • The design of pedestrian and vehicle entrances and access to and around buildings;
  • The relationship to existing heritage buildings and significant open spaces in the vicinity;
  • The amenity and quality of outdoor spaces associated with the development;
  • The level of amenity for residential accommodation including outlook, sunlight access, visual and acoustic privacy, ventilation, size and design
  • The integration of publically accessible artworks into the development;
  • Circulation and servicing;
  • Safety for users and pedestrians.

Who is on the Panel?

The Panel is made up of six members and together bring a wealth of knowledge and real world experience in landscape architecture, planning, urban design and architecture.

 The Panel: 

  • Chairman with suitable urban design and public administration experience
  • The Tasmanian State Architect (currently vacant)
  • Member who currently holds an academic position in urban design
  • Nomination from the Tasmanian - Australian Institute of Architects
  • Nomination from the Tasmanian - Australian Institute of Landscape Architects 
  • Member with both planning and urban design expertise

All members are required to declare if they have a conflict of interest and may not take part in any panel meeting for which they have declared a conflict of interest.

Can I request a meeting prior to lodging a plan?

Yes, this is referred to as a pre-application enquiry.

We recommended applicants take up the offer to present to the Panel at this early stage. It provides a structured forum in which critical issues can be raised earlier in the development process, helping applicants to make well-informed decisions about the design development of proposals prior to lodgement.  This may assist in reducing the assessment times of the application.

To request a meeting please email udappanel@hobartcity.com.au or contact Sandy Ross by calling (03) 6238 2142.

What will happen at the meeting?

Once a meeting date and time has been confirmed, you will be provided with some information about what you need to provide. To assist with your preparations please download and read the Urban Design Advisory Panel Checklist(PDF, 18KB).

Confirmation for the meeting will be sent out to the Panel members one week before the panel meeting date.  Meetings are not open to the public.

At the meeting you will be given an opportunity to present your proposal to the Panel. Normally the Panel allows 15 minutes for each presentation. At the end of your presentation, each member may ask questions, seeking clarification of your proposal.

A 3D model of the proposed development will be inserted into Council’s 3D city-wide model and presented to the Panel. The applicant can also use the 3D model to clarify their design intent during the meeting.

Once your presentation and questions have concluded, you will be asked to leave the meeting and the panel will review and discuss your proposal.


Is there a cost associated with the meeting?

There is currently no cost to applicants for the meeting if the planning application has been lodged.

Currently there is no cost for a pre-application meeting, although there is a cost associated with accessing the advice service if 3D modelling services is required. Please refer to Council’s fees and charges for 3D GIS Services.

For further enquiries contact the Urban Design Advisory Panel - Administrative Coordinator by emailing udappanel@hobartcity.com.au.


To request a meeting, complete the online form or contact Sandy Ross by calling (03) 6238 2142.