No science behind Cairns Regional Council hillside light-coloured roofing ban
THERE is no science behind banning light-coloured roofs on hillside homes in Cairns, but the rule should stay in place for the sake of scenery, the council's town planners say.In what looms as a showdown between developers seeking a more flexible colour palette and residents who want to preserve the look of local hill slopes, Cairns Regional councillors have been told to let the issue lie until a sweeping review of local planning rules later this year.
The debate was reopened by southern suburbs councillor and former builder John Schilling in September, when he asked for a scientific justification for allowing only dark roofs and walls on hillside homes.
CRC planning officers will table their response at a meeting today, saying the rule was imposed after extensive consultation found that residents don't want obtrusive rooftops spoiling the panorama of green hills.
Cr Schilling accepts that explanation, but believes the review of the Cairns Plan this year would be a good time to judge whether the policy should stay.
"What may have been good policy in times gone by may not be a good policy today," he said.
"It's something that I've come up against over the years as a builder -- having to tell customers the colours they're restricted to -- and people have asked why they've got to do it that way."
Cr Schilling said any change would be made by the full council and take into account community desires.
But he believes the current policy defies State Government regulations that require new homes to be built with energy-efficient elements such as light coloured roofs and external walls.
In a report to councillors, CRC planning officer Sarah Cook points out light exteriors are only one of the State Government's recommendations, and the building code recognises some regions will have local laws that better suit the lay of the land.
Susan McQuillan, who is having her home built, said she felt "restrained" choosing colours from a limited palette.
"If I had the choice, I would've chosen a different colour," she said.
"But I wouldn't build something that was vibrant and stood out. Where I'm building, you can't even see my house and yet I still have to choose from a limited range."
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