Neighbourhood Character Study 2002

The aim of the Hobsons Bay Neighbourhood Character Study 2002 (NCS) is to ensure that residential development respects and enhances the future preferred character of the city. The study describes the character, and contains design guidelines for each part of the city.

The character of Hobsons Bay ranges from the beach side or coastal areas, to the historic areas, to the garden dominated suburbs. The Hobsons Bay Neighbourhood Character Study describes the key characteristics and the preferred neighbourhood character of each part of the City, developed with input from the community, using words and pictures. It goes on to translate these variations in character into design guidelines which are to be used in formulating and assessing development proposals.

Review of the NCS

Council is undertaking an update of the Neighbourhood Character Study. One of the catalysts for doing this piece of work is the introduction of the New Residential Zones. A new Neighbourhood Character Study is important in providing direction on the appropriate location of these new zones.

The NCS defines areas in the City

The study defines a total of 42 precincts in the city. The precincts were defined on the basis of consistent style and era of development, and the relationship of dwellings to the streetscape and landscape in different parts of the city.

The Hobsons Bay Neighbourhood Character Study was conducted with considerable input from Hobsons Bay residents and a committee of community representatives including design and development professionals.  

Character Description


Summarises the elements of the Precinct that make it different or distinctive

Key characteristics

List of key elements of the existing neighbourhood character, covering aspects such as vegetation type, era / style of development, front fence style and public domain treatments

Community values

A summary of values raised by the community at a workshop held in the area during preparation of the study and by the Steering Committee

Preferred neighbourhood character statement

  • Establishes a future direction for development in the precinct, and then lists the key components of that direction.


  • Issues / threats to the achievement of the preferred neighbourhood character are also listed
Table 1. The Character Description covers the above criteria.

Design Guidelines

Character element

Lists aspects of the neighbourhood character such as vegetation, siting, height and form and front boundary treatment


State the intention and desired outcome for that character element

Design responses

Are the preferred method to satisfy the relevant character element objective(s). Other methods of achieving the relevant objective may be demonstrated to the Council's satisfaction


Statements of key points of misunderstanding or common errors


Visually demonstrate some of the design response statements

Table 2. Design guidelines have been created for each precinct and cover the above elements.


Neighbourhood Character Study - North Precincts

The North Neighbourhood Character Precincts(PDF, 11MB) include Newport, Spotswood, South Kingsville, Altona North and Brooklyn.

North Precincts Map


Neighbourhood Character Study - South Precincts

 The South Neighbourhood Character Precincts(PDF, 8MB) include Altona and Seaholme.

South Precincts Map


Neighbourhood Character Study - East Precincts

The East Neighbourhood Character Precincts(PDF, 9MB) include Williamstown, Williamstown North and part of Newport.

 East Precincts Map

Neighbourhood Character Study - West Precincts

The West Neighbourhood Character Precincts(PDF, 9MB) include Altona Meadows, Laverton and Seabrook. 

West Precincts Map