Victorian Government Legislate To Protect The Backyard

The Andrews Labor Government announced that they plan to use the refreshed Plan Melbourne to protect the much-loved backyard and keep more garden space in Victorian suburbs.

Minister for Planning Richard Wynne announced there will no longer be a cap on how many dwellings can be built on a block, but new requirements mean developments must have a mandatory percentage of garden space.

The announced followed a review of suburban Residential Zones, which according to Mr Wynne found the zones had been implemented in an inconsistent manner across Melbourne.

“We’ve refreshed the vision and plugged the gaps, ensuring Victoria has plans to cater for population growth, deal with climate change and deliver a record pipeline of infrastructure,” he said.

There will no longer be a cap on how many dwellings can be built on a block, but new requirements mean developments must have a mandatory percentage of garden space.

Under new rules, blocks between 400-500 square metres require a 25 per cent minimum garden area, blocks between 501-600 metres need 30 per cent, and blocks larger than 650 square metres must have a 35 per cent garden area.

The Victorian Government said that it’s all about giving more Victorians access to the outdoor space that is the cornerstone of great homes, and giving kids more opportunities to form their childhood memories in backyards every day all over the state.

Plan Melbourne aims to deliver:

  • Jobs and services closer to where people live
  • A fixed urban boundary
  • Sustained investment in infrastructure, such as Melbourne Metro Rail and level crossing removals
  • Clarity about where growth can occur in the suburbs
  • Responses to climate change by reducing Melbourne’s carbon footprint and growing a green economy
  • A greater focus on social infrastructure such as parks
  • Well-connected, 20-minute neighbourhoods.

The HIA believed that the Government move is a step in the right direction, according to the ABC, compared to the new zone provisions introduced in 2014 which limited the design of new homes together with restricting the location of small medium density developments.

“The changes will hopefully provide greater opportunity for the design of dwellings to more appropriately respond to their situation and increases potential for innovative designs” HIA Acting Executive Director Keith Banks said.

“With a growing population in Melbourne, we need to be able to house some of the growth in our existing suburbs.

“The Governments “re-calibration” of the residential zones will go some way to addressing the situation and providing further and improved design opportunities.”

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