Controls for the Street layout and design and typical cross-sections are found in the main body of the Growth Centres DCP under Section 3.4.1 in Part 3 – Neighbourhood and subdivision design. Clause 10 of these controls, which allows Council a discretion to reduce a verge width to a minimum of 1m on sites adjoining open space or drainage land, is ambiguous and open to interpretation.
Due to the lack of clarity in the way Clause 10 is worded, without providing any requirements to consider the design levels, it has become the expectation by the developers, surveyors and engineers taking it as a given. There have been cases where some developers have been taken advantage of this clause to reduce the verge width to 1m regardless of level differences between the road/verge and the adjacent open space or drainage land.
As a consequence a number of undesirable design conditions have resulted, such as batters on public open space land, retaining walls with vehicular barriers to retain the road resulting in no access or safe pedestrian zone along the public open space land and misalignments of the connecting street’s kerbs adjacent to public open space lands.
It is a growing problem in the Growth Centre precincts with several applications progressing to Section 34 Conciliation Hearings and/or Land and Environment Court cases.