New apartment standards to improve development quality and promote a better level of apartment living in Victoria have been released to the public for a final consultation round.
Better Apartments is the name of the new draft standards which have been designed to encourage investment and higher standard of development while maintaining housing affordability.
The draft standards address issues which have been identified as a result of consultation with the community, local government and industry.
Minister for Planning Richard Wynne said the aim is to provide new homes which are designed to accommodate different household types.
“Victoria needs liveable, affordable housing options to support our growing population,” he said.
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.
“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,” Minister Wynne said.
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. The community can find more information on the draft standards and participate in the consultation by visiting http://haveyoursay.delwp.vic.gov.au/better-apartments