Raising Standards For Long-Term Liveable Apartments

New apartment standards to improve development quality have been released for a final consultation round, designed to raise the bar on liveable apartments across Victoria.

Better Apartments is part of the Andrews Labor Government’s reforms to encourage 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 1700 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 for five weeks, closing 16 September 2016.

More information on the draft standards is available http://haveyoursay.delwp.vic.gov.au/better-apartments

Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne

“Twenty years ago, apartments represented just 5 per cent of all new dwellings constructed in Victoria. Today they account for more than 33 per cent.”

“We are plugging a hole in the planning rules which allowed dog boxes to be built because we want future apartments to be constructed for long-term living.”

“Victoria needs liveable, affordable housing options to support our growing population, we’re pushing for new homes which are well-designed and accommodate different household types.”

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