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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.

The key points included in our submission focus on a number of pertinent issues that we strongly urge the State Government to reconsider in the finalisation of the standards. Our primary concern relates to the absence of Objectives and Decision Guidelines within the exhibition of the draft standards – both of which are critically important aspects of the current ResCode system that in many aspects are more significant than the technical provisions of the standard. Commentary has also been provided with respect to building setbacks (which our analysis indicates will have a significant impact on the development capacity of an area where growth is anticipated), apartment depths, snorkel prohibition, and the locations of communal open space. 

Whilst we believe the exhibition of the draft standards is an important ‘conversation starter’ and step towards achieving vastly improved long term planning and design outcomes in Victoria, we look forward to further exhibition of the proposed objectives and decision guidelines as well as further industry and community engagement on these key aspects.

Should you require any assistance on the implications of the draft design standards, please contact your existing DLA contact or our planning team on (03) 9682 8568.

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

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