Building Standards; Getting It Right!
Jan 27, 2021 12:17 am
My wife and I are doing a knock-down and rebuild in SE Melbourne and are "enjoying" the challenges it presents.
We're currently at contract stage and noticed on the latest drawings that a set of upstairs windows at the front of the house are to be made obscure. On questioning this with the builder it seems that the angle of view from the window covers a corner of our neighbour's fenced front yard. According to the Builder, as the yard is a Private Open Space the requirement for obscured windows has been triggered.
I have added part of the provided drawing with annotation in this post for reference.
I've had a look at the regs and believe that the relevant section relating to a secluded private open space requires two components:
(a) screened for at least 90% of its perimeter by a wall, fence or other barrier that is at least 1·5 m high and that has no more than 25% of its area open; and
(b) primarily intended for outdoor recreation activities
While the area is absolutely screened, it is also fully covered with a garden bed with small bushes. From my interpretation the area's primary intent is for vegetation and not outdoor recreation activities and so we shouldn't be required to install obscured windows.
I accept that my interpretation is fully self serving and subjective and so I am reaching out to any of you with similar experience, or with a better grasp of the regs than me, to let me know if I'm either dreaming and to suck it up, or if I have a good case to challenge the builder.
Re: Secluded Private Open Space - interpretation advice4
Jan 27, 2021 12:09 pm
Althom Magic8ball That's a very fair point and I appreciate your responses.
I wonder to what extent potential future amendment to the primary intent of the area is a factor in decision making? Reason I ask is that, to my knowledge and I stand to be corrected, 2 factors are required to designate a secluded private space (SPOS). If 1 factor is in place and the other not at the time of construction, but consideration needs to be applied to the possibility of the 2nd factor being introduced in the future, then that could cause issues with many new builds.
For example, if a front yard has no front fence but is fully decked out with a lawn used for play then it's clearly ticked the recreational space box but not the screening box so wouldn't be an SPOS. But the owner of that house could choose to build a fence in the future and make it an SPOS. Would an adjacent build therefore need to obscure their windows to allow for that possibility?
Anyway, I'm sure you're both right and I'll need to accept the decision and move on.
Re: Secluded Private Open Space - interpretation advice5
Feb 05, 2021 5:10 pm
Can you publish (or send me) your full floor plans and elevations?
Double Glazing in Aluminium & Thermally Broken Aluminium
Replacement Window Experts Including Installation (Melb)
Tel. 1800 326 326
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Does anyone have any experience with the inclusion or exclusion of the truncation area in the calculation for open space? I.e., can you have a bigger house due to the…
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also you're looking at the wrong regulation. Reg 79 captures what you're talking about http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/ ... 0/s79.html