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February 2018

DLA welcomes new Board Chair

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Graeme Parton as Non-Executive Chair of our board of directors. This recognises the growth and evolution of the business, bringing a need for independent and experienced leadership to help chart its future.

Graeme is a highly experienced property and development adviser, and non-executive director.  He is currently a director of Aequitas Advisory and Development Victoria, a committee member of the Property Council of Australia, and chair of RMIT University’s School of Property, Construction and Project Management Advisory Board.  His interests also extend to the arts and charity through his roles as a member of the Australian Ballet Redevelopment Committee, council member of the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne, and director of the charitable foundation St John’s Foundation Limited.

Graeme brings wide experience from his former roles as a director of Charter Keck Cramer, Pinnacle Property Group and Stirling Properties Limited, along with positions on numerous advisory boards and committees including Enterprise Geelong, Sunshine Town Centre Partnership Group, Victorian State of the Environment Urban Planning and Development report, and Postcode 3000.

Responding to his appointment, Graeme said “It’s exciting that the practice is entering its next phase of growth.  I look forward with enthusiasm to working closely with the DLA Board to guide this growth and optimise its potential.”

Graeme succeeds Michael McDonald, who stepped down after two years in the post.  We extend our deep gratitude to Michael for his wise counsel during a period of transition.

New Faces at DLA

Susan Mitchell

Susan is a senior planner who is proficient in urban design and has worked as a consultant on a range of significant projects throughout Melbourne and Victoria for the private and public sector. She is well-versed on a range of planning policy and has been involved in complex, large scale developments and planning scheme amendments, and well as providing support for planning and urban design expert evidence submissions and urban context reports. She understands that the important relationship between the planning statutory framework and providing great urban design outcomes is often difficult to discern, and is committed to finding the right solution for clients and the community. She has a demonstrated ability to work to a deadline, problem solve and innovate for success.

Susan has Bachelor of Applied Science-Planning (RMIT University) graduating with 1st Class Honors, along with a Diploma in Banking and Finance (RMIT University) which underpin her understanding the complexities of urban development. Susan is a member of Victorian Planning & Environmental Law Association (VPELA) & Planning Institute Australia (PIA).

Michael Mattner

Michael is a statutory urban designer who has previously worked in the public sector as an urban planner, possessing sound knowledge of the Victorian Planning Provisions and statutory planning processes. He uses his experience to provide support for Urban Design Advice and for Urban Design Expert Evidence submissions. Michael holds a Masters of Urban Planning and a Bachelor of Environments (Major in Architecture) from the University of Melbourne, which enables him to operate within both statutory and design frameworks.

Jane Witham

Jane is an urban planner with background in local government planning, with knowledge in a variety of planning systems within Victoria and interstate. Jane has a tailored skill set to statutory planning resulting in exposure to a broad range of planning applications. Jane has also undertaken various public art and placemaking projects throughout her professional career.  Jane’s creative side has led to a keen interest in urban design, whereby her ability for creative thinking coupled with extensive statutory planning experience provides for constructive and well considered development outcomes. Jane holds a Bachelor of Regional and Town Planning (hons) from the University of Queensland and a Graduate Certificate in Art in Public Spaces from RMIT, Melbourne. 

 

We are thrilled to have Susan, Michael and Jane on board in our Melbourne HQ. If you would like to get in touch with a Victorian expert town planning and urban design consultant, please call our Melbourne office (03) 9628 8568. 

October 2017

Victoria Harbour Melbourne: Urban Design Walking Tour

Our Principal Urban Designer, Mark Sheppard, recently took PIA “Doing it Differently” symposium delegates on a walking tour of Victoria Harbour in Melbourne’s Docklands.  

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planning, urban design, victoria harbour, walking tour, pia, mark sheppard, melbourne

New Urban Design Provisions for Fishermans Bend

A draft new planning framework has been released for Fishermans Bend

This follows the introduction of interim controls in 2015 and 2016, and foreshadows new permanent controls expected to be introduced by mid 2018. The Framework outlines overarching strategies for the whole of Fishermans Bend, but its detailed proposals focus on the four Capital City Zoned precincts (excluding the Employment Precinct north of the West Gate Freeway): Montague, Lorimer, Sandridge and Wirraway.

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planning, urban design, fishermans bend, melbourne

May 2017

BADS In Practice:
What do the new Victorian BADS planning controls mean for the design of apartment buildings?

The Victorian Better Apartment Design Standards (BADS) have now been officially introduced to planning schemes. New apartment developments (except those lodged before 13 April 2017) are now required to meet the requirements of the new Clause 58, or new apartment provisions in Clause 55.07 if they are in a residential zone and lower than five storeys. Notably, the Guidelines for Higher Density Residential Development remain in place, although new Apartment Design Guidelines are slated for May.

The new standards are largely focused on establishing minimum standards of internal amenity. But what are their other consequences for the design of apartment buildings? First, let’s look at the things that won’t change much.

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planning, urban design, bads, better apartment design guide, victoria, housing

Victorian Residential Zones: Reformed or Re-Form

DLA Associate Jonathan Halaliku takes a close look at the new Victorian Residential Zones and asks the key question: are the new Vic res zones sufficiently reformed, or should we be further reforming?

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planning, urban design, vic residential zones, housing, garden city

February 2017

Geoffrey Falk Drawing Training at DLA

Urban design is an integral component of the work we do here at DLA, and it is important to occasionally 'brush up' on the techniques and abilities we employ in urban design - including hand drawing. We were recently lucky enough to be visited by Geoffrey Falk (a renowned local Melbourne-based architect and illustrator whose amazing Melbourne-centric urban sketches have adorned many structure plans, development proposals and visioning materials) who shared his insight on urban sketching and his particular drawing style with the team. 

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drawing, urban design, architecture, melbourne

January 2017

Planning Reforms to Increase Sydney’s Housing Supply

By Julia Moiso, Assistant Planner, David Lock Associates

Changes to NSW planning legislation are being presented by the State Government as a means to increase housing supply in Sydney. The proposed amendments to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act (EP&A Act) will change the way that development applications are assessed.

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sydney, planning sydney, nsw, planning reforms, housing

New Associates at DLA

David Lock Associates is pleased to announce the promotion of two of our senior staff members to Associate. We would also like to extend a welcome to our most recent employee.

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associates, new hires, planning, melbourne, 2017

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

November 2016

Mark Sheppard Commended in PIA 2016 Awards

DLA’s Mark Sheppard was recently commended for his recent publication ‘Essentials of Urban Design’.

‘Essentials of Urban Design’ was described as “impressive”, “practical” and “fundamental” by the PIA VIC Awards Panel. 

The book, released in October 2015 explores the principles of urban design and enables both planners and the community to engage with its content. It further communicates how a respect and understanding of urban design can benefit planning professionals.

A copy of the commendation can be found here.

pia, pia award, urban design, essentials of urban design, mark sheppard

Housing Unaffordability
the Current Crisis

Source: SGS Economics and Planning Rental Affordability Index

By Kirsty Smith, Associate, David Lock Associates

 

This week has seen the release of the national Rental Affordability Index created in Partnership by National Shelter, Community Sector Banking and SGS Economics and Planning. The index confirms that there are more and more people stuck in a cycle of paying ever-increasing rents, with housing costs exceeding 30% of low income households' gross income.

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housing, sydney, affordability, planning

September 2016

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

June 2016

Future-proofing
Melbourne's Transport
Network

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

C270 - Observations
and Outcomes

Mark Sheppard recently joined a panel of industry experts at a VPELA event, 'Central City Built Form Controls - innovation or consternation?'

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c270, urban design melbourne, buillding heights

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