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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.
The Victorian Planning & Environmental Law Association (VPELA) recently held a seminar where the theme was 'To plot ratio or not to plot ratio?' Industry experts discussed the recent introduction of an interim plot ratio control in the Melbourne CBD (Schedule 10 of the Design and Development Overlay) that has taken the industry by surprise.
New interim controls over density and built form in the central city were gazetted without warning late on Friday 4 September 2015. Amendment C262 to the Melbourne Planning Scheme introduced:
- A new schedule to the Design and Development Overlay (DDO10) which contains mandatory controls in relation to maximum podium height and minimum tower setbacks, and a discretionary maximum plot ratio (density) control.
- Mandatory maximum height controls in place of the current discretionary height controls in DDO2 (CCZ), DDO7 (Former Fishmarket Site Northbank), DDO40 (River Environs), DDO60 (Southbank) and DDO62 (Bourke Hill).
- Mandatory requirements in the Central City Zone except Fishermans Bend (CCZ1-3) in relation to overshadowing of the north bank of the Yarra River and wind impacts.
- Changes to Clauses 22.01 (Urban Design within the Capital City Zone) and 22.02 (Sunlight to Public Spaces) to align with the interim controls above (replacing the previous 24m tower separation policy in Clause 22.01).
The Amendment also made the City of Melbourne a referral authority for all applications in the central city with a gross floor area (GFA) greater than 25,000m2.
Pier One Drive, Patterson Lakes, Victoria
John Demos Architects
David Lock Associates’s town planning team recently helped Cavendish Properties gain a planning approval for a six storey apartment building containing 72 apartments at the corner of Pier One Drive and McLeod Road, Patterson Lakes. The building has been designed by John Demos Architects, and has been designed to set a new benchmark for apartment living in Patterson Lakes.