National policies such as the Building Better Cities program have pointed the way towards urban consolidation. Urban consolidation is being used to reduce the pressures of fringe development. Local authorities have implemented this aim of providing higher density residences close to the city centre. Implementation strategies have taken various forms including redeveloping derelict industrial areas, redeveloping the city’s waterfront areas, and infill housing. Unique problems arise with infill housing as the new developments need to integrate with the existing urban fabric already in place.
There have been many examples in South East Queensland (SEQ), where new developments have clashed with the existing community and this is most evident where six-pack type units have been developed in areas predominated by Queenslander style housing. This inappropriate infill development disrupts the unity of a group of buildings and spoils the existing character. This conflict manifests itself in terms of building materials, scale, destruction of the continuity of street frontages etc. It is these bad examples of infill development which create community opposition as the perceived effect is an erosion of the area’s amenity.
Well designed infill buildings can have substantial social, historical, visual, and financial value for the whole community. An example of this is where a new terrace house completes a row of terrace housing. This type of development positively utilises vacant land parcels in the community.
Further difficulties in infill developments need to be surmounted...
This study examines the issues concerning infill developments, and from a systematic evaluation of the strategies used so far, provides information which can contribute to the improved design and implementation of future urban infill developments. A set of Infill Development Guidelines are presented from p. 127 and in the appendices. These have been developed by the author and are a possible response to overcome the weaknesses of the current system of planning controls over whole communities. These criteria have been developed for inner city residential areas of Brisbane, but should be general enough to be applied elsewhere, with minor modifications. Case studies are used to test this approach and further refinements suggested.