What is a Character Area?

A Character Area refers to a defined area, whether a suburb, street or groups of lots which has a particular characteristic and cohesiveness worthy of retention or enhancement.

What rules apply in a Character Area?

It's different for each area depending on which architectural elements are significant. There are currently two identified Character Areas under Planning Policy No. 7.5.15. The guidelines developed for Character Retention Areas ensure that new development will be sympathetic to the character of the streetscape and provide guidance to landowners on how to adapt character homes to modern living without negatively affecting the character of the area.

What if I want to subdivide my block or build more than one dwelling on my block in a Character Area?

Being in a Character Area does not impact on your ability to subdivide or develop your property – this is purely dependant on the zoning and coding of your lot. 

How has the idea of Character Area in Mount Hawthorn come about?

The initiative to consider Mount Hawthorn as a Character Area has been led by the community.  The City received nominations from residents to consider 3 streets within the Mount Hawthorn areas as Character Areas. This has prompted the City to conduct wider engagement to gauge the thoughts of a broader area of the Mount Hawthorn community on the issue of character within their street. The City will only consider designating a Character Area where there is significant support from the community and will only proceed with the nomination where it is demonstrated by the nominee that owners of at least 40% of affected properties support proceeding with the nomination.

How are the character design guidelines going to be created?

Character Area guidelines are developed in partnership with local residents and the City’s Design Review Panel, including a specialist heritage architect. 

Where can I view the relevant policy for this proposal?

The relevant policy for this proposal is LPP 7.5.15 – Character Retention Areas and Heritage Areas and can be found on the City’s website.

What elements of the area will be guided by the policy?

The draft guidelines may include provisions relating to the following issues: 
·  Street setbacks;
·  Height;
·  Setbacks of Garages and Carports;
·  Street surveillance; 
·  Street walls and fences; 
·  General building design.

What if I want to demolish the existing dwelling on my block in a Character Area?

Being in a Character Area does not prevent you from demolishing your property.

What does 40% support of the nomination mean?

The City requires a Character Area nomination be supported by a minimum of 40% of owners in the nominated area to start the process. This helps the City know there is initial interest from the community before we commence any community engagement.  40% support is not required for final adoption of Character Area guidelines - this will be determined by Council taking into consideration all submissions received during a subsequent formal advertising period.

How do I get to comment on the proposal?

The community forum held on 7 August was the initial engagement to discuss character areas with the Mount Hawthorn community. The forum was not a decision making exercise and those who could not attend still have the opportunity to share their thoughts online or via email.

The feedback from the forum and the feedback received online and via email will assist us in deciding how we proceed with character retention in Mount Hawthorn.

If you could not attend the forum, or you would like to submit further comments, you can do so via our online engagement tools below or write to us at mail@vincent.wa.gov.au