Taking a look at the site itself is a big chunk of the Rapid Elimination Method. Some details are relatively easy to determine, such as:
- area of the site
- slope across the site
- aspect (which way it's facing)
But, there are other things to take note of, including whether or not there's an existing dwelling, where this existing dwelling is on the site and what condition it's in. The size, number and location of any trees on the site can affect the yield too.The Rules
From looking at the site itself, you need to move on to the various planning requirements that affect what you might be able to do with the site.
If you've done your research and are already an Area Expert in this particular council, then the site's zoning should immediately give you an idea of what you're likely to be able to achieve in terms of yield. You also need to check for any overlays on the property, and if they exist, what impact they will have.
Depending on your state, you will need to check either Council or State requirements for the zone in terms of:
- site coverage
- open space
- building height
Other elements such as driveways, car parking and waste management also need to be taken into consideration, as they can take up considerable space on the site and this needs to be deducted from space available for building dwellings.
While longer-term it will be up to your Architect or Designer to do a deep dive on all this information and come up with a design that meets all the requirements, you can still get a rough idea yourself for your feasibility. This is what's often referred to as a massing diagram.
If you've cultivated a relationship with a friendly Town Planner, they can be an enormous help in this area too. Many of them are happy to take a quick look at a site for free, on the understanding that if the deal goes through they'll be the ones looking after it for you. Knowing the inside workings of the local council can be a big help, particularly in Victoria.