The State Government has recently announced certain zoning reforms that will lead to impacts on the design and development of medium density housing. Most of you will be aware that planning reforms made by the previous State government, with Matthew Guy as Planning Minister, had led to many areas of Melbourne having a development limit of 2 dwellings per lot.
The Andrews Government is seeking to change those controls so that there is no 2 dwelling limit. At the same time, they are going to seek more garden space as part of medium density development. To summarise, these changes will be as follows:

  • Restriction on number of dwellings in neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ) to be removed;
  • The mandatory height limit in the NRZ to be increased to 9m;
  • Height limit in General Residential Zone (GRZ) increased to 11m and 3 storeys;
  • Mandatory garden requirements for lots over 400sqm, as follows:
Lot size Minimum garden %
400sqm – 500sqm 25%
501sqm – 650sqm 30%
650sqm + 35%

We are still unclear exactly how the minimum garden areas would be calculated. Our early understanding would be that these would not include the driveway area. But will the front setback count?
In any case, we think these planning scheme changes could occur quite rapidly. We will let you know more…. when we know more….