Designing Better

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Designing Better cover image - sylistic building and landscaping plan with NTPC logo and text: DESIGNING BETTER
Ideas for Improving Mixed Use and Residential Apartment Developments

The Designing Better Project is a suite of suggestions by the Northern Territory Planning Commission that specifically relates to apartment and mixed use buildings.

The project applies to:

  • Zone MR (Medium Density Residential);
  • Zone HR (High Density Residential);
  • Zone CB (Central Business); and
  • Zone C (Commercial)

Designing Better is Territory-wide in scope and seeks to encourage and enable residential apartment and mixed use buildings in the Northern Territory to:

  • respond to context and celebrate local and regional differences;
  • respond to climate and contribute to the Territory’s built form character;
  • embrace Innovation through flexible, best practice design solutions; and
  • make great places that provide meaningful, vibrant and liveable spaces for people.

This project draws upon feedback received from the community and industry through other projects and targets a number of key design elements for improvement.

The Designing Better project will ultimately inform revised development requirements in the Northern Territory Planning Scheme and be complemented by the locality-specific guidance of Area Plans.



The Designing Better Project is a suite of suggestions by the Northern Territory Planning Commission that specifically relates to apartment and mixed use buildings.

The project applies to:

  • Zone MR (Medium Density Residential);
  • Zone HR (High Density Residential);
  • Zone CB (Central Business); and
  • Zone C (Commercial)

Designing Better is Territory-wide in scope and seeks to encourage and enable residential apartment and mixed use buildings in the Northern Territory to:

  • respond to context and celebrate local and regional differences;
  • respond to climate and contribute to the Territory’s built form character;
  • embrace Innovation through flexible, best practice design solutions; and
  • make great places that provide meaningful, vibrant and liveable spaces for people.

This project draws upon feedback received from the community and industry through other projects and targets a number of key design elements for improvement.

The Designing Better project will ultimately inform revised development requirements in the Northern Territory Planning Scheme and be complemented by the locality-specific guidance of Area Plans.



  • Stage 2 Consultation

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    10 Mar 2021

    We want your feedback on proposed development requirements and guidance notes that could be included in the NT Planning Scheme 2020.

    Open sessions will be held across the Territory during March - make an appointment or just drop in and chat to the team about what this project means for you.

    • Tennant Creek: Monday 15 March, Government Centre, 8.30am-5.30pm
    • Alice Springs: Wednesday 17 March, DoubleTree by Hilton, 8.30am-5.30pm
    • Darwin: Wednesday 24 - Friday 26 March, Energy House, 8.30am-5.30pm
    • Katherine: Tuesday 30 March, Public Library, 8.30am-4pm

    If you can't make it to one of the open sessions but would like to have a chat with the team, get in touch with us.

    Download the proposed design requirements and guidance notes now.

    Submissions on the proposed design requirements can be made online, via post or in person until Friday 16 April 2021.

  • Consultation Report Released

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    28 Jun 2020

    This week marks the completion of the first stage of consultation on the Northern Territory Planning Commission’s Designing Better project with the release of the Stage One Consultation Report.

    Consultation has been underway with key stakeholder groups regarding better designing practices.

    The public, industry and local government have helped frame the key ideas put forward as part of the Designing Better project, with a number of additional specific suggestions made by stakeholders on details including streetscapes, landscaping and setbacks

    Read the full consultation report.