INGLEWOOD developers could get more creative in backyards and along laneways under a plan from Stirling council to add “flexibility” to its heritage rules.
At Tuesday’s planning and development committee, councillors voted on whether to ease restrictions in the Inglewood heritage protection area after consultation showed it was broadly supported.
Currently all developments in the area have to “strictly replicate the design and materials of traditional homes,” according to a planner’s report to the council.
That will still stand for homes along clearly defined “character streets”, however the middle section of the block will get more flexibility along the less-visible ground floor and along the sides of upper-floor additions.
At the back third of the block, new developments would only have to “reference” traditional designs and materials while conforming to the area’s bulk, scale and setbacks.
“This will allow increased design flexibility, however where design flexibility is exercised, the development will not be permitted to dominate the existing traditional dwelling,” the report said.
Those who responded to the council’s survey or attended workshops on the issue supported greater diversity along laneways, which were generally thought to have lost much of their heritage cred along the way. But it won’t be carte blanche for builders, who can go “contemporary” as long as they again reference the neighbourhood’s design elements and character.
Solar panels are now in along the character streets, with concern about climate change overriding heritage aesthetics for now.
If the council endorses the committee’s position and the new guidelines are accepted, they’ll be split from the current policy which also ropes in Mt Lawley and Menora to a stand-alone policy which will have to be publicly advertised before being adopted.
by STEVE GRANT