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The Hill Thalis master plan physically defines the Narara ecovillage. The master plan is set out in the Design Report included in the development application for stage 1 works and is reference in our Building and Landscape Standards  for homes built on the lots created by those works.

The masterplan envisaged recasting of Narara agricultural research station into an vibrant ecovillage.

The architect as master planner has been influenced by Robert C. Gilman who defined an ecovillage as “a human-scale, full-featured settlement in which human activities are harmlessly integrated into the natural world in a way that is supportive of healthy human development and can be successfully continued into an indefinite future".

With this objective Hill Thalis has sought to design an inter-generational, inclusive community fostering rich and friendly relationships; incorporating sustainable environmental and ecological technologies based on permaculture ethics: care of the Earth, care of People and Fair Share;-adaptive reuse of existing buildings and infrastructure;-on-site power generation;-integrated on-site water cycle management including potable water production,stormwater capture, tertiary treatment of sewage, and reuse of the treated effluent.

Hill Thalis goals reflect those of ecovillage community and are incorporated into the NEV Building and Landscape Standards through its NEV Building Standards scoresheet and formally through the Hill Thalis compliance report.


Navigate to Content on this Page 

  1.  Hill Thalis Home Page Link
  2.  Hill Thalis Design Report
  3.  Building Footprint, Area & Setbacks Controls
  4.  Architectural Controls

Navigate to Other Pages 

  1. Table of Contents
  2. Schedule 1 of CMS - Building Standards
  3. Schedule 2 of CMS - Landscape Standards
  4. Useful Reports, Forms & Templates
  5. Building Standards - Workshops

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Design Report

Select the image to download the report section

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Building Footprint, Area & Setbacks Controls

 The following controls addressing building footprint, area and setbacks are set out in the Hill Thalis design report





Actual text





  • Place houses on their lots to maximise their environmental performance in relation to solar access.
  • Site houses so that they consider the solar access and amenity of their neighbours.
  • Rather than maintain a consistent line with adjacent buildings, houses can step forward or backward relative to their neighbours.





Ensure that any on-site car parking in the front setback is subordinate to both the landscape and the house.

Street Setback

3 m

6 m


  • Provide primary setbacks from the street lot boundary of generally between 3 and 6 metres.
  • There are no setback requirements for secondary street or walkway frontages.
  • A greater setback is allowed if it improves solar accesses for Eigner ther the subject lot or its neighbours.
  • If off street parking is located under a house on a steeply sloping site, a reduced setback is desirable and allowable.

North Setback

3 m



Make north side setback more generous; 900 mm minimum with a 3 metre average.

South Setback

900 mm



Make south side setbacks tighter in dimension 0mm minimum with a 900 mm average.

Rear Setback




6m building setback in total comprising 4 m for Common Garden Easement + 2.0 m additional.





Limit the use of front and side fences. Instead use planting and subtle level changes to define the edges of lots.

House Size (Footprint)

35% lot area

45% lot area or 240 M2 whichever is the lesser.


Limit the footprint and size of all houses to minimise energy use and resources, and so that the landscape becomes pre-eminent.

Restrict the built footprint of all structures (including houses decks, verandahs, sheds, pools, spas, pavilions, above ground water tanks, and the like) on each lot to a preferred maximum of 35% of the lot area (with 40% being allowed).

Restrict the site coverage of above and below ground structures and hard impermeable landscaping to 45% of the lot area or 240 m2 whichever is the lesser.

Internal House Area

150 M2

180 M2


Limit individual houses to a preferred maximum internal area of 150 m2 (with a maximum of 180 m2 being allowed).

Dual Occupancy House Area

180 M2

240 M2


Limit dual occupancies on individual sites to a preferred maximum internal area of 180 m2 (with a maximum of 240 m2 being allowed).

Secondary House Area

60 M2

120 M2


Limit dual occupancies secondary dwelling to a maximum internal area  of 70 m2 (with a  maximum of 120 m2  being allowed). Note the Local Environment Plan administered by Central Coast Council generally limits the size of secondary dwellings (Granny Flats) to 60 m2.

Street Frontage




Subject to exceptions for secondary street or walkway frontages (Section 4.01) restrict building frontages along street boundaries to 6 m.

Building Height

8.0 M

10.0 M


Consolidate building height towards the street frontage to consolidate and optimise solar access to the primary living spaces of neighbours and common gardens.

Limit houses to a predominant maximum height of 8.0 metres (measured vertically from the existing ground level).  Minor encroachments may be permitted due to the slope of the terrain, minor roof top elements environmental systems such as solar collectors and the like. Any height above 8.0 metres (up to a maximum of 10 metres) should be concentrated towards the street and not add any additional shadow over neighbouring lots.

Solar Access &




Achieve a minimum of 3 hours sun at the winter solstice to major living spaces of all houses between sunrise and sunset. It's preferably all houses recleive solar access in accordance with Appendix 3 - Solar Access of the Building Standards & Guidelines.

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Architectural Controls


The following architectural controls are set out in the Hills Thalis design report

Natural Ventilation

Principle: Design all houses to have excellent natural ventilation.

  • Use any combination of cross ventilation, stack effect ventilation, thermal chimneys, adjustable vents and the like to maximise natural airflow.
  • Consider carefully the window and door design and operation so that a range of ventilation options are possible without compromising security.
  • Arrange all subfloor and roof spaces should be both well ventilated and sufficiently insulated.

Active Water Systems

Provide all houses with water tanks to locally capture rain water for productive reuse.

  • Include water tanks to maximise rainwater harvesting for all houses; average 10.5m3 per household (external potable water back up would be provided from 45ML dam); - Allow rainwater tanks to be above ground or in-ground, arranged individually or in series.
  • Use tank water with disinfection / filtration for potable purposes.

Solar Power

Covered in Building Standards - 2 kWp for the first bedroom plus 1 kWp for each additional bedroom.


Use materials with potential for end of life recycling or which are manufactured with high levels of recycled or waste materials.

  • Minimise waste, provide for composting, separate glass plastic, metal and paper.
  • Reduce the demand for rare and/or non-renewable resources (such as rainforest and old growth forest timbers); Promote the use of materials that are made from or contain recycled materials or can be recycled at the end of their useful life.
  • Make provision for recycling and temporary storage of waste vegetative material (chip & re-spread, compost).
  • Use recycled materials in paving / retaining and garden walls / steps / concrete / mulch and drainage materials, and the like.

Landscaping +
Common Gardens

Configure all lots so that they contribute to a site-wide system of Common Gardens in the heart of each block.

  • Provide Common Garden plots as stipulated on the block plans. The Common Gardens are to have a minimum depth of 6 metres, and be supplemented by swales and common pathways.


Landscape all lots at Narara so that they predominantly comprise area for cultivated gardens and planting appropriate to Narara’s environment.

  • Plant appropriate landscaping between all houses for productive gardens, a green outlook & privacy screening.
  • All lots to provide the stipulated area of Common Gardens for their block.
  • All lots must have a total soft landscaped area of a preferred minimum of 55% of their lot (with a minimum of 50% being allowed). Soft landscaped area excludes building footprints, sheds, pools, spas, pavilions, water tanks, impermeable elements, hard landscape and the like but includes any Common Garden easement on the lot.

Garden Spaces

Adopt permaculture principles and practices in all garden areas.

  • Conserve and regenerate degraded land.
  • Use plant species which are well adapted to their niche environment, and remove plant species which are listed as bushland weeds.
  • Use planting and water storage for sustainable irrigation during long periods of dry conditions.
  • Use the site’s topography to generate a range of microclimatic conditions, both for public amenity and environmental biodiversity, for example, the creation of cool shady areas within the site’s eastern gully.

Hard Landscaping

Keep an open and unimpeded landscape.

  • Avoid conventional fences.
  • Use modest landscape elements like platforms and low retaining walls to make places for happy socialisation.

Lot Access
Accessibility and Adaptability

Allow all houses to be adapted to suit their occupant evolving requirements.

  • Encourage house types and configurations that allow for change and adaptation over time, beyond the limiting requirements of various codes and Australian Standards.
  • Allow where appropriate elements such as stair chairs, personal lifts and inclinators to be accommodated or retrofitted to provide access for residents with particular needs.

Lot Access
Cars and Bicycles

Reduce car dependency, and contain most car parking to the common street reserve, or with as little intrusion as possible onto individual lots.

  • Allow temporary parking for pick up and drop off to shared driveways on common property; - Allow car storage under the house within the building footprint, on sites enabled by the terrain.
  • Allow corner lots to have car access from their longer or side boundary.
  • Carports are allowed. Free standing enclosed garages are not permitted.
  • Use of cluster parking areas on common property is preferred but is not mandatory.

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