Boarding Houses

Few dispute that there is a high need in many areas for more affordable and flexible rental accommodation. Despite this need, boarding house developments are often contentious and planning approval can be difficult to obtain. Even well designed and located projects can face strong objection from neighbours.
Frequently, objections are based on a poor understanding of the type of people who live in boarding houses – everyday people who may already be living in the area, including key workers such as nurses, bus drivers, cleaners, retail assistants and waiters. So it is important for developments to be skilfully designed to minimise impacts on neighbours and to fit in with the local area – and to be supported by a comprehensive, well-reasoned and clearly presented planning report and supporting information.

Mark Shanahan, the director of Shanahan Planning, has unparalleled experience in boarding house planning issues.

In assessing State Government concurrence to boarding house conversion and upgrading proposals over 10 years, Mark inspected dozens of boarding houses, reviewed the design and feasibility of proposals and engaged with many operators, council officers and residents.
As a policy adviser to State Government, Mark had a leading role in development of the boarding house provisions of the Affordable Rental Housing SEPP and guidelines. These provisions enable the development of ‘new generation’ boarding houses that cater for the more diverse groups now seeking affordable and flexible accommodation in convenient locations.
By closely reviewing all of the Land & Environment Court cases on boarding houses since introduction of the Affordable Housing SEPP – and being directly involved in cases – we are familiar with the most significant issues that determine DA and appeal outcomes and how to avoid common pitfalls in site selection, design and the DA process.
Shanahan Planning is therefore uniquely qualified to offer developers and councils the following services for boarding houses:

  • Evaluating site development potential;
  • Reviewing and advising on design to minimise impacts and ensure good neighbourhood fit;
  • Preparing development applications for boarding houses of any scale, co-ordinating specialist consultants and project managing the DA process;
  • Preparing Social Impact Assessments, Plans of Management and House Rules;
  • Providing strategic advice and expert town planning evidence for Land & Environment Court appeals;
  • Preparing and negotiating applications for grants under the State Government’s Boarding Housing Financial Assistance Program;
  • Undertaking independent assessment of DAs on behalf of councils;
  • Advising councils on planning controls, guidelines and policies to facilitate good boarding house development.

Read our blog article – The Evolution of Boarding Houses