YIMBY Qld’s greatest achievement so far has been the success of our shady rooftops campaign. Read about the issue below.
WHAT IS THE ISSUE?
Brisbane is a beautiful, subtropical city that is perfect for year-round outdoor living. For many people living in apartment buildings, active rooftops can be a great place to have a barbeque, kick a ball around, or let the dog off leash.
However, in Queensland, adding a fixed shade structure to a rooftop creates an extra story, according to the planning scheme.
This means, for example, that a five-storey apartment complex with a rooftop dog park and a fixed shade structure becomes six storeys, and therefore exceeds the ‘acceptable outcome’ for building height.
This is the case even where the shade structure is designed well, set back from the edges of the building, made of lightweight materials and kept open or semi-enclosed.
In sunny, subtropical Brisbane, active but unshaded rooftops are no good if a lack of shade means we can only use them a few hours a day.
The planning scheme makes it more difficult for innovative rooftop uses to be built, and increases the time, cost, and risk of getting an approval.
WHAT WE DID
We asked Brisbane City Council to change the planning scheme to remove barriers to providing shade on rooftops, where that shade is well designed. Specifically,
- Exclude fixed shade structures on rooftops from being a storey, where meeting certain agreed criteria (i.e., heights, size, and setbacks) by changing section 1.7.7 of City Plan 2014;
- Size (no more than 50% of the roof space)
- Height (maximum of 5 metres)
- Setback (needs to achieve a 45-degree angle from rooftop edge).
- When planning scheme codes use metres (instead of storeys) to indicate maximum building heights, add a note to exclude the height of any ‘shady rooftop’ structures from overall building height;
- Recognise the value of shade provision in our sub-tropical climate by incorporating measures into the performance outcomes regarding height.
We also suggested that activated rooftops could be encouraged in Brisbane by publicising examples and showcasing them in the next version of Buildings that Breath. We also suggested an incentive policy based on similar principles to Singapore’s successful LUSH (Landscaping for Urban Spaces and High-rises) Incentive Scheme. You can read our full submission here.
WHERE TO FROM HERE?
We asked Brisbane City Council to change the planning scheme to make it easier to create activated, shady rooftops. They listened and announced in the Blueprint that they will make the City Plan amendments.
We look forward to this taking shape.