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Colour schemes within sensitive landscapes

We have looked at development within sensitive landscapes and the importance of ensuring that the design is sympathetic to and recognises the important features of a landscape. In addition to the location, scale and form of a dwelling within these landscapes, consideration should also be given to colours. This is important consideration to ensure that the building sits into the landscape and compliments the environment, rather than dominating it.

The Auckland Unitary Plan (Operative in Part) (AUP(OP)) seeks to ensure that the colours and materials used for roofs, walls and windows (exterior finishes) are of low reflectivity and that they merge with the surrounding landscape within specific parts of Auckland. These sensitive landscapes are located throughout the region. Buildings should be finished in dark recessive colours with low reflectivity and/or with natural finishes.

Recessive colours create less glare and as a result enable buildings to appear unobtrusive within the landscape. The degree of recessiveness that a colour has is determined by its Light Reflectivity Value (LRV). Light colours have a high LRV and dark colours have a low LRV. Within the AUP(OP), dwellings within sensitive areas are required to be finished in recessive colours with an LRV of 30% or less. The LRV rating of a colour can be found within its paint specifications, but include dark browns, dark greys, and black. Wood can also be stained in dark colours, and natural materials such as stone used. Light colours such as white and cream should be avoided, even in small areas such as window trims.

These controls have implications on the design and appearance of a building and even on what type of materials which can be used for the cladding. It is therefore important to get good planning advice at the beginning of a project to check whether these additional controls apply to the site where you are wishing to build. You need to design development of your site with these constraints in mind and try to reduce effects on important landscapes rather than trying to impose inappropriate designs and colours in these areas. You should use these to guide your development in a similar way to geotechnical or servicing considerations; leaving landscape issues as an after thought will only lead to problems in the resource consent process.

If you have a site in a sensitive landscape, give our experienced team a call today on 09 427 9966 to discuss your development.

Alice is a Planner at Planning Plus, and has over 6 years of planning experience in multi-disciplinary consultancy’s and within the public sector, both in Auckland and Melbourne.

Alice has been involved in both preparing assessments of environmental effects and analysing resource consent applications, for a variety of commercial, residential and rural developments.

Disclaimer As with all our blogs, the information detailed here is general in nature and meant as a preliminary guide only. This should not be substituted for your own investigations or use of your own professional’s. Planning Plus is not liable for any errors or omissions.

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