[Melbourne] Victorian Government releases draft apartment design standards for public consultation

New apartment design standards to improve development quality have been released for a final consultation round by the Victorian Government.

Better Apartments is part of the State Government’s reforms that aim to encourage a higher standard of development, maintain housing affordability and encouraging investment.

The draft standards address issues raised through comprehensive consultation with the community, local government and industry.

All new apartments will need to provide adequate daylight, storage, ventilation, energy and waste efficiency and minimise noise once final controls are adopted.

The standards address building setbacks, room depth, accessibility, waste and water, energy efficiency, storage, open space and noise minimisation.

Minimum apartment sizes are not included because the standards have been drafted to promote design innovation and encourage developers to provide a mix of apartment styles in developments.

Planning applications will need to meet the standards set or propose alternative plans which show how liveability will be ensured through design solutions, encouraging innovation and best-practice planning.

The Better Apartments discussion paper, launched by Minister Wynne in May last year, prompted debate from the property industry and community, drawing 1,700 survey responses and close to 150 detailed submissions.

Design guidance for Victorian apartments to-date has been minimal compared to other states, which has allowed apartments to be built which do not meet basic needs such as natural light, fresh air and storage.

Consultation on the draft apartment design standards is open for community and stakeholder feedback until 16 September 2016.

More information on the draft standards is available from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website at <http://haveyoursay.delwp.vic.gov.au/better-apartments>.

Source: News Release, Urbanalyst, 15th August, 2016


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