Development in a Character Precinct
Character Precincts are precincts that through a combination of building style, siting, and physical environment (streetscape), contain characteristics of various stages of development in the life of Cairns. They are generally characterised by traditional tin and timber houses or a group of prominent historic buildings (such as hotels, civic buildings, shops, etc).
The code seeks to ensure precincts retain their cultural heritage significance and streetscape values. This is achieved by retaining multiple historical phases of Cairns architecture/buildings that contribute to the streetscape and character of the city, ensuring that new buildings are sympathetic to character and streetscape values.
Several Character Precincts are identified in CairnsPlan including the CBD, Parramatta Park, Edge Hill, Gordonvale, Machans Beach and Stratford/Freshwater.
Douglas Shire planning scheme
The Douglas Scheme identifies 'Valuable Conservation Features' and 'Valuable Sites' in all localities, particularly Port Douglas, Mossman and the Coastal Townships.
Level of assessment
The relevant assessment table for the planning district / locality identifies the level of assessment. The level of assessment can be raised by the location of the land in a Character Precinct. Exemptions can be considered in certain circumstances where there is clearly no streetscape or character impact.
A development application is required for all applications for development affected by the Valuable Conservation Features and Valuable Sites overlay of the Douglas Scheme. In respect to single detached houses, should any future application not comply with the setback requirements of the Queensland Development Code then the siting of the proposed works will be considered in the assessment of the application under the Planning Scheme. Therefore, separate approval from Council’s Building Services Department for an alternative siting is not required.