3Orientation and outlook

Design Outcome

Subdivisions are carefully planned relative to slope and orientation to maximise sunshine, views and privacy

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Better Design Practice

  • Density should be focussed where residents can benefit from views and outlook. 
  • Where a high quality view exists, fronts and backs should be carefully managed between lots so that future development will not impact upon privacy. 
  • Design lots to get the most sunshine possible. Sunny private spaces should be located away from public spaces (so that if residents put up large walls / fences for privacy, it does not impact upon the street), while lots and subsequent buildings should provide a ‘front’ that addresses the street or public space.
  • Lot shapes should be varied in shape and size, to benefit from maximum sunshine in relation to their orientation. For example: 
    • sites facing south can be narrower and deeper, which means a house in front and a north-facing outdoor living area behind.
    • sites facing north can be wider and shallower, which means a house and an outdoor area can sit side-by-side and enjoy a good aspect
    • sites facing east or west can have vehicle crossings and building platforms specified on the southern side, leaving the northern side clear for sunny outdoor living.

Rules of Thumb

1. Show a building platform, outdoor living space and any turning space on a subdivision plan.


2. Aim for lots to have only one boundary on a public ‘front’ or street, to help achieve a high level of privacy and amenity.


A lot on a street corner (including fronting onto a road and an open space) will have up to two public ‘fronts’ to consider.

3. Plan lots so that vehicle access is not on the northern edge of a site, which can stop sunshine from reaching habitable rooms.


This is relevant when planning for street trees and on-street parking bays.

4. Consider imposing development controls the building platform of lots that may block the views of lots behind, such as:


 • requiring development on a section fronting the coast to be within a certain height or RL (‘reduced level’) limit, so that development on a lot behind can see out above it.

• requiring development on a lot to follow a contour so as to maintain the form of a prominent ridge or landform.