Government proposes simplifying solar access rules

Solar-rules

The Government is seeking community comment on proposed changes to simplify the solar access rules that control the extent to which shadows cast by development on one residential block impact a neighbouring block.

The proposed changes will better meet community and industry needs while ensuring adequate solar access for residential development, protecting the solar access of neighbouring blocks and encouraging the design of houses with good solar amenity.

The changes are part of Territory Plan Draft Variation 346, which is out for community consultation. They aim to simplify the current provisions for how much shade a house can cast on its southern neighbour.

The new provisions, developed in consultation with industry and community representatives, allow slightly more shadow from a block on the northern boundary of a house, but are designed so the shadow at the winter solstice (the longest shadow) will be minimal.

At the same time the provisions allow homeowners to build closer to the southern boundary than has previously been allowed.  The new provisions will also mean more sunshine for internal daytime living areas that face north.

The changes would apply to dwellings constructed on mid-size and compact blocks approved on or after 5 July 2013 and to all large blocks.

In order to protect the interface between new and existing homes in Coombs and Wright, the existing Coombs and Wright Precinct Maps and Codes will not be affected, but any new estates or sub-divisions in these suburbs would need to comply with the new provisions.

Consultation on the proposed draft variation is open until 7 April. Go to www.act.gov.au/draftvariations to see an explanatory fact sheet and the draft variation.