What are the current height limits?

    The current template planning controls across Tasmania address height with two types of control, the first is an ‘Acceptable Solution’ and the second is a merit-based assessment using ‘Performance Criteria’. 

    There are no actual height limits in the Launceston planning scheme, although the scheme lays out 'acceptable solutions' of 14.5m in the Central Business Zone and 12m in the Urban Mixed Use zone.

    This does not provide certainty to either applicants or Council, unless the proposal fits within the Acceptable Solution controls. It also does not provide any guidance or assistance in considering proposals for height that are significantly beyond the Acceptable Solution. 

    While a merit-based assessment has some benefits, without sound tangible parameters, it can encourage applications that are not likely to be acceptable but which have to be argued through the assessment and appeal process. With a relatively untested background in Launceston, proposals for height well in excess of the Acceptable Solution, do not have precedents and each application would have to be assessed from first principles.

    Why do the building heights need to be defined?

    The objective is:

    • to protect the historic character of Launceston,

    • to protect amenity and other values set out in the Planning Scheme,

    • to manage the potential increase in demand for development in the city with buildings that

    may seek greater height and scale, and

    • to facilitate appropriate and contextually designed developments.

    What does 'Maximum approvable height' mean?

    The maximum allowable height above ground level. This control is an absolute control in that no part of a building or infrastructure may exceed this height including plant, lift over-runs, communication towers etc. This control is a fall-back control beyond which Council will not grant an approval. If a proposal seeks a greater height, it must propose a Planning Scheme Amendment where the merits of the approach can be set out and considered.

    What does 'Deemed to comply' mean?

    These are specific height controls mapped for areas that are assessed to have greater capacity for higher developments.

    What does 'Street front height' mean?

    The maximum height allowable at the street front. The provision of a setback control provides potential for some greater development where that height is unlikely to affect the character of the city.  The study recommends tight street front controls on height as they are key to retaining the core character of the city.

    What is a streetscape?

    A view or scene of streets, especially in a city.

    What is a setback?

    This is the distance from any lot boundary to a building on the lot.

    What is a building footprint?

    This is the area of land enclosed by the external walls of a building, measured at finished ground level.

    What is a building envelope?

    This is a three-dimensional space within which buildings are to occur.