One of the most effective ways of improving the quality of housing projects is to establish its development context before the site planning and design phase. Too often development projects are submitted to planning authorities without a detailed analysis of how the new development relates to its context. As a result, neighbouring property owners are often unnecessarily adversely affected. The development context involves four aspects:
planning and development intentions for the site.
the relationship of the site to the local community.
the relationship of the site to adjoining properties.
physical characteristics of the site.
PLANNING INTENTIONS: AMCORD
Encourages local authorities to clarify the strategic planning and development intentions upfront so that the development context and hence appropriate housing is developed.
Upfront planning should also provide information relevant to the local community. Issues include the locality's identity and character, the streetscape, and the relationship of that site to local movement and social networks.
The relationship of the proposed development to its neighbours is of critical importance. When housing is to be built among existing dwellings, the design must take into account factors extending beyond the site.
The arrangement of buildings and spaces on a site is also part of the development context and will influence the quality of the residential environment. Issues include the building 'footprint', private open space, semi public open space (setting for the dwellings), setbacks for amenity, street appearance, access and parking, and services and facilities.