The Victorian State Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has been consulting on changes to the Better Apartment Design Standards, which were introduced to Victoria’s Planning Schemes in April 2017. The next phase of the Standards seeks to ensure apartment developments have a positive impact on their local area. DELWP has prepared a discussion paper proposing potential changes to the Apartment Standards, with five main policy aims seeking to provide:
- Green space in common areas of buildings, preferably with trees to provide shade and landscaping that softens the street. Proposed changes include requiring all apartment developments to include landscaped communal open space and prioritise canopy trees in landscaping schemes;
- High quality building facades made from robust, durable and attractive materials that complement surrounding buildings and provide visual interest. Proposed changes include requirements for high-quality external building design through form and fittings, durable building materials, and making external walls accessible for maintenance;
- Protection from wind impacts on surrounding streets and open space, so that spaces are comfortable to use and likely to be used more often. Proposed changes include an assessment of wind effects for buildings of five storeys or more;
- Attractive, engaging streets that enhance the amenity, safety and walkability of the neighbourhood and;
- Better managed construction impacts on existing neighbourhoods. Proposed changes include a requirement to consider how a site will be managed prior to and during construction.
Submissions closed on 27 September 2019 – but stay tuned for the outcomes.
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