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May 2017

VCAT News – DLA in the Media!

DEXUS Property Group Ltd v Minister for Planning [2017] VCAT 619

DLA Associate Urban Designer Brodie Blades was recently engaged to appear as an urban design expert witness at VCAT on behalf of the Minister for Planning with respect to a planning permit application at 32-44 Flinders Street, Melbourne. 

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planning, vcat, urban design, expert witness, melbourne

February 2017

Plantastic is Back for 2017

Are you inspired by planning and design? Are you interested in the latest trends in town planning and urban design both here and abroad? 

Here at DLA we are passionate about all things town planning, urban design and architecture and love discussing the latest trends in our monthly blog 'Plantastic and Designeriffic'. Stay up to date with the latest urban design tips, urban curiosities and interesting reads from the team by subscribing to our monthly newsletter at the link below! It's completely free, simple to unsubscribe and - best of all - always inspirational.

So what are you waiting for? Get 'designeriffic' today!

Sign up to our monthly newsletter here.

planning, design, plantastic, designerific, melbourne, sydney

December 2016

New Better Apartment Design Standards

Better Apartment Design Standards Released

The Victorian State Government has recently released its final version of the Better Apartment Design Standards (BADS) following exhibition of a hotly-discussed draft set of guidelines exhibitions. Released on Saturday, the new design standards appear to have responded to significant industry feedback (including submissions from DLA) and will influence new apartment development across Melbourne from March 2017 onwards.

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planning, melbourne, apartment, better apartment guidelines, statutory planning

DLA at the Hitachi Social Innovation Forum

Following the success of the Hitachi Social Innovation Forum throughout the Europe, America and Asia Pacific Region, Hitachi on December 1, 2016, held the Hitachi Social Innovation Forum for the very first time at the Sofitel Wentworth, Sydney. The one day event featured a myriad of speakers including the President and CEO of Hitachi Ltd, Mr Toshiaki Higashihara, NSW Premier Mike Baird and panels of experts including DLA’s own Director and principal, David Klingberg.

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innovation, sydney, planning sydney, social, collaboration

November 2016

Kirsty Smith Chairing Social Housing Reform Summit

DLA’s Kirsty Smith will be chairing the Social Housing Reform Summit in Sydney on December 1st. Kirsty is a passionate advocate of housing affordability and DLA are excited at her opportunity to take part in this event.

The summit tackles the important issue of housing affordability and liveability and “provides innovative solutions for the future of social housing”. It aims to create a strong policy driven discussion around the ways different stakeholders can engage in formulating a response to population growth, housing provision and accessibility.

Speakers are from a multitude of sectors, including government, planning firms, housing services and community groups.

Full details can be found on their website.

DLA's UDF Commended in PIA 2016 Awards

The implementation of David Lock Associates' Lara Town Centre Urban Design Framework was recently commended by the Planning Institute of Australia in the category ‘From Plan to Place’.

The City of Greater Geelong's Implementation Plan was applauded for its success in creating a “vibrant, active and pleasant destination”. The ambitious project, adopted by council in 2006, has resulted in the revitalisation of Lara Town Centre. The collaborative efforts of multiple stakeholders were central to driving the project’s success and delivering a better sense of community and place for Lara.

David Lock Associates congratulates the City of Greater Geelong in delivering the vision as set out in the UDF.

The awards ceremony, which can be found here, is an opportunity to recognise the accomplishments of planning across Victoria.

planning, pia, pia award, urban design

October 2016

Recent Projects

‘One St Kilda Junction’ (8-12 Punt Road and 3-7 Wellington Street, St Kilda)

DLA provided urban design input (including preliminary advice as well as expert urban design evidence services) regarding ‘One St Kilda Junction’. Located at the core of Melbourne’s St Kilda Junction, the approval will locate 286 apartments and a mix of commercial uses across two towers (26 storeys and 10 storeys in height). Designed by Plus Architects, a key feature of the proposal is an architecturally-integrated scrolling electronic advertising billboard that will perpetuate the existing signage character of the Junction. The height of the proposal responds to the ring of existing development surrounding the Junction, as well as the scale of that which exists west of the site along Wellington Street. 


42 Moray Street and 11-13 Hancock Street, Southbank

DLA is currently providing statutory town planning services regarding the ‘Sol Invictus’ tower at 42 Moray Street and 11-13 Hancock Street, Southbank. The 60 storey mixed-use development proposal contains 341 dwellings as well as critical regional community infrastructure, including childcare facilities, a medical centre and offices. Situated adjacent to the Westgate Freeway, the development forms a part of the broader Southbank Urban Renewal Area and seeks to set a new benchmark for tower development in Melbourne.

The building itself is designed to be a landmark, and to set new benchmarks regarding ESD by way of cutting-edge mechanisms including architecturally-integrated solar panels that will offset a substantial portion of the development’s energy requirements. Myriad public realm upgrades – including offsite pocket parks, freeway underpass upgrades and an architecturally designed pocket plaza - are also proposed as a means of repositioning Southbank as a high quality, enjoyable public destination.

DLA is proud to provide ongoing planning advice and guidance in the this landmark project, which we believe will set a solid precedent for future development in Melbourne.


NSW Urban Design Reports

DLA provides Urban Design Reports (UDR) in support of development applications or planning proposals. The UDR “tells the story” of the appropriate urban design response to the site and how this has been achieved, primarily in terms of building(s) siting, scale and massing. It assists in explaining how the urban design response is acceptable in the context of the site particularly for developments which seek to contravene current policy controls.

The UDR covers the strategic context of the site from both a spatial and urban design-related policy perspective. It also illustrates the relevant features of the surrounding urban context. It provides an analysis of the existing and emerging character of the site’s surroundings from a physical and policy context. This helps to create ‘Urban Design Principles’ which are used in the assessment of the proposal to show its suitability.

The UDR provides an analysis of the public realm interface of the site and neighbouring properties in terms of off-site amenity impacts and equitable development.

For any enquiries or information regarding preparation for an Urban Design Report, please contact Julia Bell at


For further information on how DLA’s planning team can assist with your town planning or urban design project, contact DLA’s planning team at 03 9682 8568.

planning, urban design, vcat, projects, dla

September 2016

Promotions and Appointments at DLA

David Lock Associates has recently made some changes at both our Sydney and Melbourne offices. We are pleased to announce the promotion of Kirsty Smith to associate in Sydney, and to announce the appointment of Jonathan Halaliku in Melbourne.

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DLA Submission to the Draft ‘Better Apartments’ Guidelines

In the wake of Mark Sheppard’s recent post on the impact of the Victorian State Government’s recently released draft ‘Better Apartments’ design guidelines (and his recent successful industry presentation on behalf of VPELA on 7th September 2016, accessible here), DLA has provided a detailed submission to the design guidelines that acknowledges the need for the introduction of appropriate standards whilst recommending a number of amendments from a planning and design perspective.

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urban design, melbourne, urban planning, state planning, guidelines

August 2016

Better Apartments
A step forward?

By Mark Sheppard, Principal, David Lock Associates


Victoria’s draft new apartment design standards are out for consultation.

The first thing to say is that they have adopted a ResCode-style format—the intention is that they will form part of the Particular Provisions, and have objectives that must be met and discretionary standards.  In other words, if you meet the standard, you pass.  But if you want to put forward an alternative design response, you can.

This continues Victoria’s preference for performance-based planning provisions, which provide not only the certainty of ‘deemed-to-satisfy’ provisions, but also the flexibility of allowing innovative or contextual responses where appropriate.  The objectives haven’t been expressly spelt out in the draft, although we can assume it will be a rewording of the purposes at the beginning of each standard.

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urban design, apartments, guidelines, standards, rescode, town planning melbourne

June 2016

Melbourne's Transport

Image source: Tom Loudon @ Flickr

By Amruta Purohit and Kathryn Cuddihy

Transport projects shape the future urban form of cities. The Victorian Government recently allocated $2.4 billion in the 2015-16 Budget to remove 50 of the most dangerous level crossings from the Melbourne network. While the primary aim of any transport project should be the focus on creating benefits for all community members, does this current series of projects go far enough?

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visioning, urban design, healthy cities, transport, transport planning

May 2016

The Changing Face
of Sydney

Image source: SMH

NSW Premier Mike Baird and the Minister for Local Government Paul Toole announced 19 new councils in NSW which commenced 12 May 2016. The Minister has indicated his in principle support to create a further nine new councils, subject to the decision of the courts.

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sydney, council amalgamation, planning, development approvals

Urban Greening
in High Density

Image Source: Dezeen

High density living is increasingly becoming the norm for the millions of people that want to live in our global cities. People assume that they must give up their connection to nature in order to live in central locations within our cities. However, given the increase in the amount of high rise residential apartments, designers are starting to shift towards locating high density development in locations adjacent to parklands and open spaces and are including tree planting within high density residential developments in city centres creating the “Vertical Forest”.

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planning, vertical forest, high density

April 2016

Sky Rail -
A missed opportunity?

Townhouses along former St Kilda railway line in Canterbury Road, St Kilda West

By Mark Sheppard, Principal, David Lock Associates

The Victorian Government’s level crossing removal program will significantly enhance the public transport experience and the efficiency of the road network in the vicinity of each project. It will also provide valuable improvements to local connectivity, including much more convenient access to shops and community services for residents on the opposite side of the rail line.

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skyrail, town planning melbourne, urban design melbourne, visioning, public infrastructure

February 2016

Why Badgery’s Creek
needs an Aerotropolis

Image source: Archdaily

By David Klingberg, CEO, David Lock Associates

‘The fastest, best-connected places will win in the new global economy.’- John Kasarda

Transportation infrastructure has always shaped business location, commercial activity and urban development. Just as highways were the main drivers of urban development in the 20th century, and railroads in the 19th century, airports are now becoming the main determinants of business location and growth in the 21st century.

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urban design melbourne, david lock associates, visioning, aerotropolis, urban planning melbourne

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