APARTMENT BUILDINGS ON LARGE BLOCKS ONLY

“If a lot has an area less than 1,800m², a townhouse style development proposal only will be considered but should be a maximum of two storeys”

Manningham Council say they will no longer allow three storey apartment developments on land under 1800 sq m. (usually three house sites) . This applies to precincts A & B of the DDO8 (GRZ 1 & 2) but not in activity centres (shopping centres) or along main roads. The new regulations were contained in the C96 amendment, approved on the 13/2/2014.

Three Storey Complex on small block Click to enlarge

3 storey on small block
Click to enlarge

The changes were first proposed in 2011- 2012, following the retirement of Paul Molan the previous head of Manningham planning. The new officer in charge of planning had immediately called for an amendment to the DDO8 to remove ambiguity and perceived bias in an attempt to regain public trust. The residential strategy document had been introduced by way of amendment C50 back in 2006 but it contained so much ambiguity, it was allowing developers a free hand. Prior to amendment C96, we had the ridiculous situation where Manningham council were spending a fortune in ratepayers funds on employing  consultants and solicitors to defend the strategy against its own residents who had appealed at VCAT.

Most appeals

were the result of council allowing developers to overdevelop, up to four storeys in some cases., on small sites in courts and side streets.

However it still remains a question of interpretation writes David Willison of RAIDID (Residents Against Inappropriate Development In Doncaster) “The VCAT tribunal have found a blatant contradiction between Councils Policy and its DDO8 schedule. While the Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS) indicates a policy of limiting townhouse style development to two storeys on building sites with an area of less than 1800 sq m the DDO8 schedule makes no mention of storeys but only of a height limit of up to 10 meters which could comfortably fit three storeys. And where the MSS policy prescribes a three storey apartment developments on lots at least 1800 Sq m the DDO8 schedule prescribes a height of 11 meters which could accommodate four storeys with the normal excavation required on sloping sites”.

Adopted May 2013 after Panel C96

Town House Style Click to enlarge

Town House Style
Click to enlarge

Precinct A is an area where two storey units (9 metres) and three storey (11 metres)‘apartment style’ developments are encouraged. Three storey, contemporary developments may only occur on land with a minimum area of 1,800m2.  In this sub precinct, if a lot has an area less than 1,800m2, a townhouse style development proposal only will be considered, but development should be a maximum of two storeys. All development in Sub-precinct A should have a maximum site coverage of 60%.

Adopted in 2006 after panel C50.

Multi Unit Development Click to enlarge

Multi Unit Development
Click to enlarge

Precinct A is an area where two storey units and three storey ‘apartment style’ development are encouraged. Three storey, contemporary developments may only occur on consolidated sites with a minimum area of 1800 m2. In this precinct, if a lot has an area less than 1800 m2, a multi-unit development proposal can still be considered, but development should be a maximum of two storeys and have a maximum site coverage of 60%.

Use of 2000 sqm lot size and other mandatory provisions. It was commented at the hearing, that the wording of the amendment was such that a 2000sqm mandatory lot restriction would prohibit any form of apartment development in the precinct, as subdivision of individual lots would not be possible. It was also submitted by Council that the Council building surveyor had recommended that the minimum lot size should be reduced to 1,800 sqm to better facilitate the consolidation of three average lots of 650sqm.

Town House Building Click to enlarge

Town House Building
Click to enlarge

Recent approval of  a town house style development at 21 Clay Drive, Doncaster situated in precinct A, on land approximately 930 sqm. Under its previous discretionary options Manningham  council could have allowed a three storey contemporary apartment development but under the new mandatory provisions of the DDO8 building schedule it would require a land area of at least 1800 sqm

Town House Style Click to enlarge

Town House Style
Click to enlarge

6 Responses to “APARTMENT BUILDINGS ON LARGE BLOCKS ONLY”

  1. Lance says:

    The main purpose of the latest C96 amendment was to introduce mandatory controls. The previous C50 did allow some flexibility in assessing the merit of a permit applications, both in heights and minimum land areas, but unfortunately for residents the discretionary options got out of hand and became open slather. For example, where the planning schedule of the DDO8, pertaining to precinct A, stipulated a minimum land size of 1,800 sqm, before a three storey apartment development could be accepted, the officers responsible were using their discretionary options to allow these developments to occur on blocks of land as small as 997 sqm and 1,050 sqm. The C96 amendment came too late for a number of residents who had followed the advice of the senior official “to move away if they didn’t like it” and those who had spent so much time and money appealing to the bias Vcat tribunal.

  2. Dave says:

    Manningham council would have continued with the “discretionary options” had it not been for the high number of residents involved in the appeals, the work of RAIDID, the Doncaster Residents group and the creator of this website. There is no doubt that without them the Manningham planners would have continued with the discretionary policy. If the options had been applied more fairly it might have survived. The good news with the mandatory provisions is that, because of the high costs associated with land acquisition (usually three blocks of land) to achieve the minimum land area requirement, precincts A & B will consist of mainly two storey town house style developments.

    • Anonyme says:

      I thought the senior Manningham planning officer, the author of a commitment sent in letters to all affected residents, in newspaper articles and at explanatory sessions held at the Manningham officers in 2005, regarding the proposed mandatory provisions to be installed in the residential strategy was “thrown under the bus” when the officer’s own planning division agreed to accept the C50 panel’s ridiculous recommendation to remove the minimum land area restriction from the DDO8 schedule in spite of what had previously been agreed upon by fellow officers and councillors. Aside from the adherence to standard site coverage and setbacks provisions, the fallout from the discretionary options (not even mentioned in the DDO8 schedule or the MSS document), became a case of anything goes for developers costing the community their time and thousands of Dollars in appeals against permit applications that should never have been processed.

  3. Noholme says:

    Incorporating mandatory regulations was a sensible action. If we want to encourage investment in Manningham we must provide certainty in our residential strategy at least on the two key elements, maximum heights and minimum land areas. While I have sympathy for residents whose amenity might be affected by development in their area, council has complied with all necessary procedural requirements under the planning act including community consultation having responded to hundreds of queries from the community over the two year period between 2004-2006. Land values will increase sufficiently, as high density development increases, to allow residents the option to move and duplicate their present environment in other low scale development sections of the municipality.

  4. Deedoubleu says:

    .
    In Table 1 to Schedule 8 amend the minimum lot size from 2,000 sqm to 1,800 sqm.
    After Table 1 to Schedule 8 delete the words;
    “A permit cannot be granted to vary the minimum lot size specified in Table 1 to this Schedule”. (accepted by council)
    “A permit cannot be granted to vary the maximum height specified in Table 1 to this Schedule” (not accepted by council but overuled by Planning Minister)

    It was hard to see the logic of the above panel recommendation, back in 2006, proposing a minimum land size formula to limit over development on small lots and then contradict it by recommending it be made variable. As a result high rise apartment buildings were occurring everywhere and the resident tribunal appeals that followed were costing Manningham council hundreds of thousands of Dollars on solicitors and consultants trying to defend the anomoly. Fortunately the Manningham Planning arm relented and were able initiate an amendment (C96) to the planning scheme to restore the 1800 sqm minimum land size as a mandatory provision.

  5. Susan says:

    I have just spoken to an ex-councillor who advised that minimum land areas and maximum building heights, in regard to precinct A, were discretionary up until the C96 amendment. This is why council were allowing three storey, sometimes four, on small blocks of land during this period. It was confusing because the DDO8 schedule and council’s own policy document had indicated that minimum land areas and maximum heights were applicable.

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