Creating Better Apartments And Public Space In Victoria

The Andrews Labor Government has released new guidelines to improve design standards for new apartment buildings in Victoria.

Minister for Planning Richard Wynne today released Apartment Design and Urban Design Guidelines for Victoria, to help state agencies, local councils, developers and consumers better understand recent improvements to design standards.

The Labor Government has already introduced new standards that ensure new apartments are built with light, storage, ventilation and enough room to fit beds and furniture.

These new guidelines will help developers meet their obligations and help local councils get their approvals right.

The Labor Government has listened to the industry and the community, running a series of workshops earlier this year to inform the Guidelines. Councils, planners, developers and consumers have all had their say.

The bar has been raised and the industry is responding. There has already been a vast reduction of apartments with saddleback bedrooms, increases to floor area, and a greater mix of dwellings all over Melbourne.

The Labor Government is planning a Design Advisory Service to offer specialist advice to developers.

The voluntary process will be aimed at larger-scale apartment developments and will include advice from experienced apartment design specialists such as architects, building designers, urban designers and planners.

An Apartment Buyers and Renters Guide has also been developed, giving prospective apartment buyers and renters up-to-date information about apartment standards.

The Labor Government has also introduced new Urban Design Guidelines, which are all about improving the design of public spaces and getting the design of buildings right so they integrate with areas around them.

The Guidelines will be an easy-to-use, interactive, online source of information – replacing a set of guidelines that have been in place more than a decade.

Both sets of guidelines are available at planning.vic.gov.au.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne

“We promised to put an end to cramped, dog-box apartments with borrowed light and no ventilation – and that’s exactly what we’ve done.”

“We’re cracking down on dodgy apartments and giving the industry the tools and resources it needs to comply with new standards that protect owners and tenants.”

“Our public space is what defines our city and what makes Melbourne the best place to live in the world. It’s vital that we get the planning right so that it stays that way.”

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