An Urban Design Advisory Panel for the Sunshine Coast
  • Saturday 08 August 2009

Transparent advice, better design outcomes and guidance on good design principles are some of the benefits Sunshine Coast Council will receive from the new Urban Design Advisory Panel.

An independent panel of external experts from fields such as urban design, architecture and landscape architecture will provide council with design advice and recommendations on policy issues, professional trends, master plans and some major development applications.

Statutory and Regional Planning portfolio and division 11 councillor Russell Green is very supportive of this panel which he says will be a good information source and help council to keep in touch and up-to-date with industry trends— ultimately creating better outcomes for the Sunshine Coast.

“Council already has internal urban design specialists who design council works and interpret the impacts of certain proposals. The collective knowledge of the Urban Design Advisory Panel members will add to council’s expertise and perhaps put some different ideas on the table,” Cr Green said.

“This support from outside council can be used to help shape key sites and ensure council receives good guidance and advice early on in the process.

Cr Green said that council has received requests from industry bodies to set up the advisory panel, with the state architect offering further support on a recent visit.

“Design opinions are varied and all may be equally valid. Setting the Urban Design Advisory Panel is one way council can get external expert advice—improving urban design outcomes on the Sunshine Coast.

“Members will provide council with a significant knowledge base to draw from and may guide future policy formation and subsequent decisions on development.

“This panel is one tool council will draw on to reach the best possible and most sustainable development outcomes for the region, particularly as we commence work on the new planning scheme.”

Members will volunteer their time and expertise and meet approximately four times a year. Council will appoint members through an expression of interest process.

The Urban Design Advisory Panel will provide advice on:

  • built form—the overall built form merits
  • public realm—the relationship with, support for enhancement of and impact upon the public realm of its immediate locality/precinct
  • urban fabric—the support for or impact upon the essential structure of the locality/precinct
  • character and heritage—the support for the desired character of the precinct including its impact upon heritage structures, significant natural features and landmarks
  • architectural design—the quality of the architectural design, including its relationship to adjoining development and the street and its enhancement of the amenity of the area
  • sustainability—designed to be resource-efficient, climatically appropriate and a contribution to environmental sustainability, including TOD principles
  • urban design—the demonstration of other qualities of best practice urban design including its CPTED performance, protection of important view corridors and lively civic places.