Building Height Standards Review
To ensure the height of development in the central area of Hobart and Sullivans Cove makes a positive contribution to the streetscape and townscape values, and meets community expectations, in June 2018, the City of Hobart commissioned an architect and urban design consultant Leigh Woolley to undertake a review of its current building height standards.
Leigh Woolley prepared a Building Height Standards Review, which was used by the City of Hobart to develop a report – Central Hobart Building Height Standards Review Project - Proposed Planning Scheme Amendments. The report presents the outcomes of the review and outlines appropriate maximum (non-discretionary) height limits for inclusion in the Hobart Interim Planning Scheme 2015 (HIPS 2015) and the Sullivans Cove Planning Scheme 1997 (SCPS 1997).
Download the Building Height Standards Review(PDF, 119MB) report, the Central Hobart Building Height Standards Review Project - Proposed Planning Scheme Amendments(PDF, 588KB) report and the attachments(PDF, 47MB) to the report.
In September 2018, the Council endorsed the release of the Building Height Standards Review (L Woolley, 30 June 2018) report and the suggested planning scheme amendments to implement its recommendations, for public comment for a six week period, prior to consideration of formally endorsing the report and initiating any planning scheme amendments in response.
Community consultation outcomes
We have received 319 submissions. The key conclusions are:
- 275 (86%) respondents support the concept of including absolute maximum height limits in the planning schemes.
- 22 (7%) respondents did not support the concept of including maximum height limits in the planning schemes and in the remaining 21 (6.5%) it was unclear whether height limits were supported or not.
- Of the respondents that supported maximum height limits, 83 (30%) supported the limits suggested in the draft planning scheme amendments, 69 (25%) did not support the limits suggested, 22 (8%) expressed partial support and in the other 101 (37%) submissions support for or against was not clear.
- Of the respondents that did not agree with, or only partially agreed with, the limits suggested in the draft planning scheme amendments, 89 (98%) considered that the limits were too high.
- 21 (7%) respondents specifically stated that a maximum building height of 60m was too high.
- A number of suggestions were made as to what the maximum height limits should be; these ranged from a maximum of 15m for the whole city to a maximum of 75 m. In Sullivans Cove suggested maximum heights ranged from 12m to 18m.
View the full report(PDF, 224KB).
Find out more about the engagement process on the Your Say Hobart website.
At its meeting on 17 December 2018, the Council considered a report on the consultation outcomes and proposed planning scheme amendments to implement the outcomes of the Building Height Standards Review and resolved as follows:
That a report be commissioned that considers the social, environmental, economic, affordable housing, Airbnb and holiday accommodation impact assessment which compares the impacts of the four proposed height restrictions as detailed in:
- The current planning scheme regulations.
- The original Leigh Woolley report.
- The amendments recommended to the Leigh Woolley report as contained in the officer report, marked as attachment B to item 8.2 of the City Planning Agenda of 10 December 2018.
- The City Planning Committee recommendations of 10 December 2018 to Council. View the Agenda for the 10 December City Planning Committee Meeting.
On 4 March 2019, the Council considered a report on the project brief for an assessment of the potential environmental, social and economic impacts of applying various building height standards in central Hobart. Also at that meeting the Council considered a letter from the Minister for Planning, the Hon Roger Jaensch, who offered a pathway forward on both the issue of building heights within central Hobart and progressing the City Deal strategic approach to urban growth through the development of a comprehensive precinct plan.
The Council resolution in relation to that item was:
That based on the correspondence tabled at the meeting by State Government Minister Jaensch, the item be deferred to enable urgent discussions between the Government, Lord Mayor and General Manager, and a report on the outcomes be provided prior to the next Council meeting to be held on 18 March 2018.
The Minister subsequently followed this offer up with a meeting with elected members on 8 April 2019, where he tabled an indicative scoping document developed between officers of the Council and the State Government.
At its meeting on 15 April 2019, the Council considered a report on the outcomes of the meeting with the Minister and the scope of work for the preparation of a Precinct Plan and resolved that:
- The Council agrees to work with the State Government to prepare a Terms of Reference and detailed work breakdown including a proposed allocation of tasks, funding and in-kind contribution for a Hobart Precinct Plan for the area of the city as outlined in Attachment B to item 3.1 of the Special Open City Planning Committee agenda of 15 April 2019.
- That the draft Terms of Reference and work plan developed with the State Government be the subject of a subsequent report for consideration by the Council.
- The Council enquire with the Minister for Planning regarding the ability of the outcomes from the Precinct Plan work to be incorporated within the Local Provisions Schedule currently being considered by the Tasmanian Planning Commission including height restrictions.
Council officers have commenced preparation of the draft Terms of Reference and work plan and will report further to Council in June 2019. It is intended that the social, environmental and economic impacts of height limits will be considered as part of the Central Hobart Precinct Plan Project. That project will also examine appropriate built form outcomes taking into account the Central Hobart Building Height Standards Review (L Woolley 2018).
Council will consider the Central Hobart Precinct Plan Terms of Reference when considering the officer report in June 2019.
At its meeting on 6 May 2019, Council reaffirmed its decision to work with the State Government to develop a Precinct Plan for Central Hobart and also resolved not to initiate the planning scheme amendments provided in Attachment B to item 8.2 of the Open City Planning Committee agenda of 10 December 2018 to the Hobart Interim Planning Scheme 2015 and the Sullivans Cove Planning Scheme 1997.
On 16 April, the City of Hobart hosted a public meeting in response to a petition received from the community on the Building Heights Standards review. To listen to the audio from that meeting, click on the link below.