Assist the private sector to redevelop buildings in Launceston’s CBD for residential purposes


Project Description

We will establish a working group to implement actions to assist the private sector to redevelop underutilised buildings in the CBD. This will increase commercial activity, increase residential density, support new tourist and student accommodation, increase vibrancy and increase property values.

Assist the private sector to redevelop buildings in Launceston's CBD for residential purposes


The working group will include the Commonwealth Government, the Tasmanian Government, the City of Launceston, the University of Tasmania’s School of Architecture and Design, building surveyors and the Launceston Chamber of Commerce.

The working group will:

  • Map existing regulations across the three levels of government and identify those that are over and above the requirements of the National Construction Code.
  • Develop and promote cost effective performance solutions to meeting building codes.
  • Release a development guide to help building surveyors, planners, developers and architects to meet regulatory requirements.
  • Increase the knowledge of and use of performance criteria in the National Construction Code, in particular, how they apply to emerging technologies.

The Tasmanian Government will continue to promote the range of flexible options available in terms of Tasmanian regulatory requirements relating to the conversion of first floor spaces into sole occupancy.

Progress Statement

The Director of Building Control within the Department of Justice, in consultation with the Launceston Chamber of Commerce and the Launceston City Council, developed a regulation to exempt certain types of buildings from the access requirements of the National Construction Code.  The regulation allows for the redevelopment of a second storey above a shop or office as apartments, without the need to comply with the access requirements of a Class 2 building.  Regulation 82 of the Building Regulations 2016.

After further reviewing the objectives of the commitment it was determined that a more direct approach to achieving the commitment could be taken than establishing a working group. To contribute to the inputs of this commitment, as part of the Population Growth Strategy, the Department of State Growth is undertaking a project to consider options for urban infill. In April 2018, the Department of State Growth liaised with the City of Launceston and the Department of Justice on the draft project brief to progress infill development in Tasmania, noting the findings will also be useful to inform residential infill development in the Launceston CBD.

The consultancy will deliver the following tasks that will assist the private sector to redevelop buildings for residential purposes, including the CBD:

  • Prepare a contemporary overview of actual and perceived barriers related to infill.
  • Provide Tasmanian examples of infill developments that have confronted the barriers outlined above.
  • Undertake a review of relevant legislation, planning scheme provisions and other regulations (building) and identify specific regulatory barriers/restrictions.
  • Provide recommendations to overcome the barriers identified above, including any changes to planning schemes \ to enable a variety of residential infill developments.
  • Identify the policy settings required to support infill development.
  • Provide an overview of possible tradeoffs that developers can offer in order to offset a discretion or a number of discretions. 
  • An outline of ‘current’ Best Practice Design Principles for Infill Development that will support engagement and innovation in infill housing development.  

The consultancy will be managed by the Department of State Growth, who will provide updates to the stakeholder group, including opportunities for input and engagement.

The Office of the Coordinator General, City of Launceston, Department of Justice and the Launceston Chamber of Commerce will hold a CBD residential infill workshop in Q3. The workshop will provide information to potential developers on the National Construction Code, planning provisions, where to go for advice and current best practice standards being applied to CBD residential projects.

Next Steps and Milestones

Q2 2018: Toward Infill Housing Development consultancy awarded.

Q2 2018: Establish ongoing support via concierge assistance within City of Launceston.

Q3 2018: Hold CBD residential infill workshop.

Q4 2018: Share findings of the Tasmanian Government's Toward Infill Housing Development consultancy.

Financial Information

Funding partners:

  • City of Launceston
  • $150 000 - Tasmanian Government


The Tasmanian Government will lead and establish the working group.

The Australian and Tasmanian Governments and the City of Launceston will map existing regulations and identify opportunities to reduce costs.

The Tasmanian Government will introduce any Tasmanian regulatory exemptions considered necessary.

The City of Launceston will work with the Tasmanian Government to release the development guide, deliver workshops and increase the knowledge and use of performance criteria.