By Anna Barclay | 27 Mar 2017

The Victorian State Government has introduced further changes to the residential zones in Victoria.

The changes came into effect today and have been implemented into all Victorian Planning Schemes.

The changes follow the State Government’s announcement two weeks ago, and have significant implications for residential development, particularly sites in the General Residential Zone.

Here follows a summary of the key points.

The changes have significant implications for residential development, particularly sites in the General Residential Zone.

Garden area – varies by lot size, definition provided (see below) including a minimum dimension of 1m. Apply to new lots created. Includes new lots that will be under 400 sq m – except in PSP areas.

General Residential Zone – Biggest impact. 11m and 3 storey height limit and mandatory garden area requirement. Where Council has a zone schedule that nominates a different height that height will apply. Where there is a DDO (or other overlay) with a different height the more restrictive height will apply.

Significant impact on large sites and sites in / near activity centres.

Neighbourhood Residential Zone – dwelling number limit (previously 2) removed. Mandatory height limit and garden area apply. Therefore, this will only really benefit large lots.

Residential Growth Zone – up to and including 4 storeys remains in zone purpose despite advisory committee recommendation to remove it. Height limit is discretionary and garden area requirement does not apply. This is still the preferred zone for higher density.

Transitional Provisions – Minimum garden area, height and number of storeys does not apply to applications lodged before the approval date (27/03/2017).

Minimum Garden Area Requirement

This is mandatory and applies in the NRZ and GRZ, it varies depending on lot size:

Lot Size

Minimum Garden Area
(% of lot)

Less than 400 (subdivision of new vacant lots only)

25%

400-500 sq m

25%

501 – 650 sq m

30%

Above 650 sq m

35%

 

Garden Area Definition:

An uncovered outdoor area of a dwelling or residential building normally associated with a garden. It includes open entertaining areas, decks, lawns, garden beds, swimming pools, tennis courts and the like. It does not include a driveway, any area set aside for car parking, any building or roofed area and any area that has a dimension of less than 1 metre.

Applies to subdivision and development.

25 % for under 400 square metre – new lots only (does not apply to existing dwelling dwellings)

Neighbourhood Residential Zone

  • The default limit of two dwellings has been removed
  • building height and no. of storeys
  • Mandatory 9 metres and maximum 2 storeys (increased from mandatory 8 metres and no storey limit)
  • Council can set an alternative maximum height and number of storeys in a schedule to the zone. These must be more than 9 metres and 2 storeys.
  • Mandatory minimum garden requirement.

General Residential Zone

  • building height and no. of storeys
  • Mandatory 11 metres and maximum 3 storeys (increased from discretionary 9 metres and no storey limit).
  • Councils can set an alternative maximum height and number of storeys in a schedule to the zone. These must be more than 11 metres and 3 storeys.

Residential Growth Zone

  • “Up to and including 4 storeys” retained in the purpose to the zone.
  • No significant change.

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