C96 DD08 Precinct A ,small site – Not Safe.

After asking for clarity yesterday on what seemed a clear statement that big Apartments couldn’t be built in side streets on small sites we got the Council’s reply below.  It seems that there is still Council discretion to allow 10m high, 3 storey apartments on DD08 Precinct a sites less than 1800m2 (2 blocks) because the sections are not mandatory…

…if a lot has an area of less than 1800m2, a townhouse style development proposal only will be considered, but development should be a maximum of two storeys….

We received this explanatory email:  (Key here seems to be that DD08 can mandate things – MSS cannot, and these statements are written in the MSS.) 

I refer to your email regarding proposed changes regarding Sub-precinct A.  Firstly I clarify  that the changes you refer to  form part of Clause 21.05 Residential of the Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS) not the Design and Development Schedule 8.

The MSS is a statement of the key strategic planning, land use and development objectives for a municipality and details the strategies and actions for achieving those objectives.  The State Planning Policy Framework together with the MSS, provide the strategic basis for the application of zones, overlays and particular provisions.  The Manningham MSS is Council’s primary land use planning document and forms the basis of all other controls in the Planning Scheme. The MSS guides the implementation of key strategies e.g. Doncaster Hill Strategy and the Residential Strategy and Residential Character Guidelines.  The MSS must be taken into account when preparing amendments to the planning scheme or making decisions under the scheme.The MSS provides the broad local policy basis for making decisions under a planning scheme .

The existing MSS currently states:
Sub-precinct A is an area where two storey and three storey buildings including ‘apartment style’ developments are encouraged.  Three storey, contemporary developments are encouraged on consolidated sites with a minimum area of 1,800m2.’

As part of the exhibition of C96, this section was amended to read:
‘Sub-precinct A is an area where two storey units (9 metres) and three storey ‘apartment style’ development are encouraged.  Three storey, contemporary developments may only occur on consolidated sites with a minimum area of 1800m2. The area of 1800m2 must all be in the same sub-precinct.  In this precinct, if a lot has an area less than 1800m2, 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%.’

I agree, that following consideration of the Panel Report, this section is now proposed to read:
‘Sub-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 should  only occur on land  with a minimum area of 1800m2.  Where the land comprises more than one lot, the lots must be consecutive lots which are side by side and have a shared frontage. The area of 1800m2 must all be in the same sub-precinct.  In this sub-precinct, if a lot has an area less than 1800m2, 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%.

A number of changes to this statement were made following the Panel to strengthen the intent of wording regarding built form outcomes in the Sub-precinct A and to ensure consistency of  wording with the objectives in the DDO8.

As noted above, the MSS provides the broad planning framework, and must be considered in decision making, however it cannot mandate specific actions or outcomes.  Detailed policy to achieve a desired planning outcome needs to be included in a Local Planning Policy or relevant schedules to zones and or overlays.  Therefore, whilst the MSS encourages that only townhouse style development be considered on lots less than 1800m2, if a particular application complies with the objectives in a DDO8, it may be possible for an applicant to construct three storey dwellings within the 9m mandatory height limit.

There is not a definition for townhouses within the planning scheme, however we have included a general definition within the Residential Strategy. The term ‘townhouse style’ replaces use of the term ‘multi-unit development’ as VCAT has interpreted multi-unit as also including apartments.

I hope this adequately addresses your concerns,
Teresa Dominik – Director of Planning Manningham Council.

One Response to “C96 DD08 Precinct A ,small site – Not Safe.”

  1. Warren Welsh says:

    The DDO8 is now even more ambiguous than ever, thanks to Manningham Officer’s very weak submission to the panel member.
    The differences between the Manningham Matters document, sent to every residence in Manningham, the minutes of October 2012, and the new schedule, are of serious concern. The new schedule re precinct A, says; if a lot has an area of less than 1800m2, a townhouse style development proposal only will be considered, but development should be a maximum of two storeys, appears to have misled councillors and residents. While officers say there policy is for two storey apartment development, they will still be allowing at least three storeys. The officers have also removed the condition minimising excavation, which means deep earthworks, such as those proposed in Foote Street (3m), four storeys, will be a common occurrence..
    Sub-precinct B is an area where single storey and two storey dwellings only will be considered but the worry is, B has the same height limit as A, up to 10m.
    Since the officers have stated that storeys, as a measure of development, was problematic and that heights are the only reliable guide, will the officers revert back to heights to avoid the contradiction?
    As far as the newly defined Main Road precinct is concerned, it will be entirely discretionary….so much for providing clearer guidelines and removing ambiguity!
    Our best hope now rests with the man where the buck stops.
    Warren Welsh

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