Sydney Councils

LOOKING AT A NEW BUILD, EXTENSION OR LARGE EXTERNAL paving?

Homeowner’s looking at building or renovating your house surroundings, may be looking for guidance on the concept of ‘non hard paving’.

Being new to the Development Application (DA) process you are possible wondering;

  • What are Councils concerns with hard landscaping
  • Soft landscaping alternatives and advantages
  • List of Councils that specifically approve StoneSet as Soft Landscaping

Storm water management

Local Councils have a responsibility when approving development, not to overload the existing wastewater infrastructure. Without a control of the ratio of hard surface (paving, roofs etc.) to soft surfaces (gardens and lawn).

Overloaded or ‘Non-compliant’ stormwater systems can result in in flooding, erosion and compromise the health of the environment (i.e. large surrounding trees that rely on ground water).

At worst, flooding can cause traffic accidents and death. It is critical for homeowners not to risk being on the wrong side of the law. Costly fines, years of disputes and notices to redo the work can be encountered.

Councils and non-hard paving

The ideal situation would be a set number of rules that one must follow when paving surfaces to comply with the building law. However the reality is much more complex.

Each council typically surveys all the factors on a property by property basis before approving building works and issuing the final Occupational Certificate. Consideration of slopes, local creeks, surrounding trees and buildings are some of the factors that influence building requirements.

Homeowners liaising with your council contact will be asked to submit an overall design with a suitable hard to soft landscaping ratio. This is essentially the total area of water-runoff generating area (the house or ‘hardscape’) vs the water absorbing areas (softscape).

It can be difficult going ‘back and forth’ in order to work in with some councils whilst other councils even offer a rebate for replacing an existing impervious surface.

Make the area porous!

By the time you factor in the essentials – kitchen, living, bedrooms and add in your desired dream home additionals – garage, second story, patio etc. The building very quickly fills out the plot of land.

By sheers size, the driveway offers one of the largest immediate possibilities to bring down the hard surface area of your property and gain extra value in the size or spread of your build.

All StoneSet products are fully porous/permeable which allows water to penetrate the surface and flow through to the ground below. Whilst DIY products are available, an installed and guaranteed paved surface for driveways requires StoneSet’s optimised blend of stone size and resin type.

Therefore, we recommend to contract a professional construction company that will help you to meet council requirement. StoneSet is always available for free phone consultation to guide and help you with all paving aspects and requirements.

Below are local examples of Soft landscaping which Sydney Councils have approved StoneSet Porous Paving, in consideration of allowing further the development

 

KU-RING-GAI COUNCIL

This north shore council has one of the strictest requirements on hard surface landscaping ratios.

From our experience StoneSet is the only surface with a porosity rate near enough to satisfy Ku Ring Gai council of being ‘fully porous’. This includes other permeable surface paving options such as pavers and stones.

Ku Ring Gai also offers residents the opportunity of a financial rebate when replacing an existing impervious surface.

Fully porous driveways

Below are photos of fully porous driveways that have been approved by Ku Ring Gai council specifically as soft landscaping. The difference between a porous and overlay stone driveway can be explored further here.

https://www.stoneset.com.au/projects/private-promo-permeable-driveway-

http://www.stoneset.com.au/projects/private-permeable-driveway-roseville/

http://www.stoneset.com.au/projects/private-permeable-driveway-wahroonga/

You can navigate to these driveways on your phone by searching the suburb here

Below is an interview with a Lindfield resident who needed to install a porous driveway in order to offset the hard surface paving at the rear of the property. Ku Ring Gai properties have similar restrictions to the rest of Sydney regarding hard-soft landscaping ratios. Whilst the paving has a very high porosity rate (watch the video to see how porous) councils will at times only permit this to pass as 50% porous, often due to their expectation of low maintenance meaning pores will clog up over time and the surface becomes non-porous.

 

Willoughby Shire Council

Being on the lower north shore, the area of properties is much smaller and therefore the soft landscaping ratio requirement is quite high when considering driveways and other surrounds.

See below some of the properties we have applied StoneSet in this council. Willoughby council has a number of requirements in regard to hard surface ratio and permeability for development applications, depending on your project.

UNSURE WHAT COUNCILS’ CONSIDER ‘SOFT LANDSCAPING’? 

Download our guide to permeability here

 

 

 

 

Waverly Council

Waverly Council have a minimum of 20% of the site is to be soft landscaping – excluding the swimming pool area. They allow StoneSet as a soft landscaping alternative to increase this footprint. Scroll the images below to see examples of work we’ve done on properties in Waverly Council

 

If you are a Home Owner looking at building or renovating your house surroundings, you  Looking for some guidance on the specific advantages of using StoneSet with regard to your building works?

Being new to the DA process you are possible wondering;

  • What are Councils concerns with hard landscaping
  • Soft landscaping alternatives and advantages
  • List of Councils that specifically approve StoneSet as Soft Landscaping

UNSURE WHAT COUNCILS’ CONSIDER ‘SOFT LANDSCAPING’? 

Download our guide to permeability here

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canada Bay CounciL

Below are local examples of Soft landscaping which Sydney Councils have approved StoneSet Porous Paving, in consideration of allowing further the development. Canada Bay Properties have similar restrictions to the rest of Sydney regarding hard-soft landscaping ratios.

 

UNSURE WHAT COUNCILS’ CONSIDER ‘SOFT LANDSCAPING’? 

Download our guide to permeability here