The Corner Block Advantage

A few weeks ago, Mandeep left a comment asking us whether Council is more lenient on subdividing Corner Blocks if the resultant lots can be accessed from separate driveways.

We’re glad that you’re Thinking Parking, Mandeep!

The good news is that there’s a not-so-obvious benefit from subdividing Corner Blocks over and above separate driveways…

The Corner Block Advantage

Corner Blocks do indeed have the advantage of the possibility of separate driveways thus making it easier to achieve a Dual Occupancy subdivision without common property.

Separate vehicle access and no common property is one advantage – although this can still be achieved on a ‘regular’ (non-corner) block.

The real advantage that Corner Blocks offer over regular blocks is a little-talked about secret known as the Side Setback.

Side Setbacks for Corner Sites: The Corner Block Advantage

Clause 55.03-1 Standard B6 states that:

Side walls of new development on a corner site should be setback:

The same distance as the setback of the front wall of any existing building on the abutting allotment facing the side street, or 2 metres

– whichever is the lesser.

Front walls of new development fronting the side street of a corner site should be setback:

  • At least the same distance as the setback of the front wall of any existing building on the abutting allotment facing the side street, or
  • 3 metres

– whichever is the lesser“.

‘Regular’ Setbacks

Contrast the setback rules of Corner Blocks (above) with those of ‘regular’ blocks with dwellings on both sides.

In such cases, Clause 55.03-1 Standard B6 states that the minimum front setback is:

“The average distance of the setbacks of the front walls of the existing buildings on the abutting allotments facing the front street, or 9 metres – whichever is the lesser.”

Corner Block Advantage Case Study

In English, Clause 55.03-1 Standard B6 (above) means that Corner Blocks offer the possibility of a larger building envelope since building is allowed further forward than on a ‘regular’ block.

This can be demonstrated when looking at an aerial view of a typical suburban Corner Block Dual Occupancy Subdivision (below):

The Yellow line represents the 9 metre minimum Front Wall Setback for a ‘regular’ block on the street. As can be seen by the house under construction, this yellow line represents how far forward you can build if you owned a ‘regular block’.

The Green line represents the 2 metre Side Setback advantage enjoyed by the Corner unit.  (Although a little harder to see, the Front wall of the second new unit conforms to the slightly larger 3 metre setback).

Particularly in smaller developments, these extra few metres gained by the Corner Block advantage can be the difference between having a Planning Permit accepted or rejected.

The Corner Block Advantage: Conclusion

Corner Blocks offer a distinct advantage over ‘regular’ blocks – the Side Setback rule.

Clause 55.03-1 Standard B6 states that:

“Corner blocks are allowed to have a Side Setback of the abutting neighbour’s front wall setback *OR* 2m – whichever is *lesser*.”

This means that Corner Blocks offer the possibility of a larger building envelope since building is allowed further forward than on a regular block.

Particularly in smaller developments, these extra few metres gained by the Corner Block advantage can be the difference between having a Planning Permit accepted or rejected.