Feedback from drop-in centre and public meeting
Community feedback from the Khandallah ‘drop-in’ centre (21-23 October 2015)and public meeting (19 December 2015).
While residents could understand the rationale for medium-density housing (i.e. providing an alternative form of housing to accommodate differing housing needs), many had a sense of unease about this occurring in Khandallah and there was limited support on this basis.
People recognised that suburbs do change over time. However, people were concerned about the impact medium-density development would have on existing residential amenity (sunlight, outlook, noise, and physical dominance).
The demand for medium-density housing in Khandallah was questioned, given that population growth has been slow in recent years and the forecast growth remains low.
Concerns were strongly expressed in relation to the lack of prior consultation regarding the decision to engage with the residents of Khandallah after a decision has already been made by Council to investigate medium-density housing in this suburb.
Other general matters raised:
Residents of existing medium-density housing in Khandallah noted that they enjoy their current living environment.
- Some expressed a desire to down-size, or live in a co-share arrangement, but noted that there are limited opportunities to do-so.
- Schools were seen to have limited spare capacity – they are already using their playground areas to construct additional classrooms.
- Existing on-street parking is at capacity to the extent that many streets are effectively one-way due to parked cars on both sides of the street – developments should provide off-street car parking.
- There were comments about whether people want to live in developments managed by body corporates.
- Neighbours approval should be sought where medium-density housing goes next to them.
- There was concern about how this would affect property values.
- It was viewed that network infrastructure is at capacity (3 Waters).
The most accepted locations for medium-density housing are around the Town Centre and along public transport routes. Although some people questioned whether Khandallah residents walk to the local shops and services.
Some residents raised concern about the medium-density area being located close to schools (largely due to traffic/parking concerns).
Khandallah residents made these comments about medium-density housing scale and design:
- Small scale housing is more appropriate, rather than large scale developments.
- Two-storeys (rather than three) is the preferred medium-density housing height.
- Additional height could be appropriate where sites are large and streets are wide.
- Design controls are important; such as setbacks, heights, open space provisions, and sunlight and noise controls.
Design and appearance
Residents clearly stated that medium-density housing should not compromise the existing character of Khandallah – high quality design is required:
- Character should be protected and design controls should be specific to Khandallah – i.e. a ‘cookie cutter’ design standard should not apply to Khandallah.
- Modern looking developments should not be built throughout Khandallah, as this form of homogenous housing is not consistent with the more traditional housing style in Khandallah.
- Limit the number of developments that can occur within one street to avoid too much change occurring in one place.
- High-quality design and materials are necessary to ensure new housing is appropriate in the local context.
- There is concern that developers and architects/designers will not produce high quality design and that the Council will not adequately ensure developments are of a high standard. Residents pointed out various examples of what they considered to be poor design outcomes.
- Housing needs to be designed to accommodate needs – i.e. elderly people may not want to live in multi-storey homes.
- Encourage eco-friendly design and building solutions.
- Khandallah’s well vegetated and green nature is important to the community and should be kept.
- Concern about an increase in impervious surfaces.
The following themes were raised regarding the Khandallah Town Centre plan:
- Khandallah village centre is small, but adequate.
- There are not enough park/play areas close to the main village.
- Car parking should be increased and improved – visibility is limited with angle parking, which could be dangerous.
- There should be a limit on the number of takeaway stores located in the Town Centre.
- Apartments above the ground floor shops and at the rear of commercial sites could be encouraged.
- Retain the public library/improve the facilities.
- Whilst the supermarket is good, there was a feeling it is an inefficient use of space and could be planned out better.
- There was very little support for making the centre any bigger.
- Positive feedback around the recent creation of the Khandallah Business Improvement District (BID) policy.
- There should be some way to recognise the work of Ian Athfield.