Two Shire of Denmark local planning policies designed to promote more diverse housing options and promote appropriate building envelopes use are open for public comment for three more weeks. The council discussed the policies at December’s meeting where it voted in favour of the officer’s recommendations to advertise a 30-day public comment period for the two policies. The first of the polices focuses on revising the Shire’s existing ancillary dwelling policy. Changes to the policy had been proposed to improve its clarity a year on from its initial adoption in November 2021. The new draft policy has added in an extra objective to “define and provide for the development of detached habitable rooms within appropriate limits to enable flexible living and working spaces”. It also provides clearer definitions for ancillary dwelling – a self-contained dwelling on the same lot as a single house – and detached habitable room – a space constructed to be physically separate from the primary residence, but not to be used for overnight accommodation. The policy provisions specifically addressing ancillary dwellings have been expanded upon and provisions applicable to detached habitable rooms have been added. Other changes highlighted by the Shire include clarifying the maximum acceptable amounts of outdoor living areas and storerooms, providing guidance for the ancillary dwellings to be built in front of primary residences and specifying standards for potable water. The other policy open for comment focuses on the use of building envelopes, which are commonly used to designate where structures can be built on lots designated as special rural zones as well as selectively within other zoning. A list of objectives in the policy outlines it aims to provide detail on the purpose of designated building envelopes, guidance for the assessment of building envelope modifications and promoting the designation of building envelopes that are sensitive to their setting. Both draft policies are available to view in full via the Shire’s website and the public comment period will remain open until close of business on February 1.