MSS and DDO8 – Small sites, restricted developments.

Some large developments are getting knocked back by council lately, it seems due to the DD08 zone, C96 Tightening of requirements. Thankyou to Amelia for sharing this.

19 August 2013 3:29:22 PM
Teresa, Joe and Councillors,
Can it be assumed that the grounds for refusal in items 1 and 2 of the attached page, 2 storeys only on lots less than 1800sqm in sub-precinct A, in accordance with clause 21.05 of the MSS, will be consistently applied in similar circumstances henceforth?  Will table 1. to schedule 8 and the objectives of the Design and Development Overlay document need to be altered?
Contrary to press statements, maximum building heights and minimum land areas in sub-precinct A were never an issue with residents. Despite the previous panel C50 recommendation that building heights be made discretionary and likewise for minimum land areas, determined later by the  DPCD, Manningham council have strictly applied the minimum land areas and according to a summary of council approvals, courtesy of coherence. com, have diligently followed rescode in regard to building heights.
If the change in interpretation is to be sustained, the new administration and councillors should take credit. It is a victory for commonsense which will effectively rule out overdevelopment on smaller sites, the grounds of prctically all resident Vcat appeals.
Wednesday, 28 August 2013 4:17 PM
Dear Ms Tang
Thank you for your email dated 19 August 2013, in which you commend Council on the changes being proposed to tighten the planning controls guiding development in areas around shopping centres and along main roads, particularly in Sub-precinct A.  You are correct in noting that as part of the proposed Amendment C96 to the Manningham Planning Scheme changes, Council’s policy direction is for two storey development in Sub-precinct A, on lots that are less than 1,800m2.
I have attached for your perusal and information the Council adopted Schedule 8 to the Design and Development Overlay and Clause 21.05 of the Municipal Strategic Statement which include the proposed changes to tighten the existing controls.
Council officers have progressed this Amendment as a matter of high priority, responding to community concerns in the drafting and refinement of the controls.  
 As a  Council adopted Amendment, applications can be considered in the context of how they respond to the tightened planning provisions, and these controls will be consistently applied in considering development applications.  Council is currently awaiting the outcome of its request for the Minister for Planning to approve Amendment C96.
Should you have any further queries, please feel free to contact me on 9840 9279.

Teresa Domink

Dear Teresa,
Thank you for your replying to my message below.
Had council honoured its written commitment, the storeys/height/minimum land area criteria, and applied it to developments such as Queens Avenue, Talford Street, Whittens Lane and Curlew Court etc it is unlikely they would have been appealed. The huge drain on municipal funds with the employment of solicitors consultants etc., not to mention the time and stress imposed on the community in mounting an appeal, could have been avoided.
If clause 21.05, the Municipal Strategic Statement (version 28th May 2013) stipulates two and three storeys applicable to heights of 9m and 11m and land areas under and over 1800m2 respectively, why can’t it be included in the provisions prescribed in table 2 of schedule 8 of the Design and Development Overlay (version 28th May 2013)?
If other councils can specify a limit on the number of storeys in conjunction with height in their planning scheme schedules, (attached) to provide certainty, then why can’t Manningham Council?  By not specifying a limit on the number storeys applicable to height in the new schedule 8, the opportunity for overdevelopment of a small site still exists.
In 4.1, item 2.20 of the Manningham Council 2012 October minutes, the responsible officer, the then Director of Planning and Environment, made the following comment; “A three storey building could also be designed within 9 or 10 metres, particularly if the building has a flat roof. It is also noted that under the building code of Australia an owner could build a three storey house on a block of land without requiring a building permit. Therefore it is difficult to legislate against a three storey development, when a property owner could still build such a form of development without a building permit”
If the above be the case, why bother with the DDO8 or for that matter the Manningham Planning Scheme?.
Knox for example, in their DDO7 specify a building height of 4.5m for a one storey, 7.5m for two storeys, 9m for 2/3 storeys and 14m for a four storeys.


  1. Sandman Oz says:

    The Department of Planning and Community Environment (DPCD) now the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure (DTPLI), Phone 90988937, made the following comments in regard to building heights specified in planning schemes; “Depending on the circumstances, we prefer that building heights be expressed in metres but it is up to the local authority and the outcome it wishes to achieve, there is no provision that precludes either or both in a planning scheme, if you have issues you should write to your council”

    Comments from a consultant who had prepared a draft residential strategy; “The logical explanation as to why most councils identify building height limits in storeys, rather than in metres, is that it provides more certainty and a greater control of densification”. “You can generally rely on storeys being a standard height given the costs of raising a ceiling heights”. “For example, an increase of just 300mm (1 foot) would cost an additional $20 per metre, per storey”.

    While we am encouraged by Council refusing the apartment development at 189-191 Foote Street, I am concerned its decision could be challenged given the statement below and the fact the proposal complies with the current DDO8 schedule of the Manningham Planning Scheme.

    “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”

    Sandman Oz

  2. Jordan says:

    I hope council’s latest undertaking, in regard to the limiting of two storey developments on allotments under 1800sqm in sub precinct A, will be sustained.
    It would appear that previous proposals had been allowed excessive excavation on sloped land to enable a third storey, by the full or partial lowering of living areas below the natural ground level, with the claim they had conformed to guidelines by “eliminating unsightly basement wall protrusions”. (Basement completely underground)
    The schedule does NOT preclude basement walls above ground but only stipulates they be screened, complement the design of the building and be made to look less obtrusive.
    With an average slope of at least two metres preponderate in the precinct it may not have been possible to achieve three storeys without substantial excavation, even allowing for a building height limit increase from 9 to 10 metres.
    Last weekend we drove around Doncaster and found very few established dwellings that had employed the excavation method.

    1. Peter says:

      Hi Jordan
      May I seek your advice on an issue, please?
      There is a proposal to construct 3xtwo-storey and 1×3-storey units on 73 – 75 St Clems Road, Doncaster East carving into the sloping site creating an outcome in complete disharmony with the surrounding area. My query is how can a permit be granted when DD08 requires a minimum lot size of 1800 m2 for a 3-storey building while this site is only 1372 m2 or am I out of touch?

      1. Barbara Carlisle says:

        I assume this is in sub-Precinct A. From March this Year the mew garden area amendment will apply which includes a new maximum height schedule which is to be expressed in metres and in the number the of storeys..whichever is the more restrictive. However it may be still be accepted because the old criteria may still apply if a certain amount of preparatory work had been done before that date?? You need to ring strategic planning to clarify. The new garden are requirements will reduce site coverage because common driveways, generally 15% or more, are not included in the mandatory requirement of 35% for garden area….which means site coverage could be reduced to about 50%.

  3. Thomas says:

    I agree the best practice is to raise floor levels in the management of land fall, however council did submit on page 1 item 1.1 of the panel report that unsightly basement walls should be minimised, which indicated excavation was Manningham’s preferred solution.
    In their submission to the panel hearing, council had asserted that building heights should be expressed solely in metres because stipulating storeys was “problematic”, citing the possible inclusion of attics etc, now they say specifying storeys in conjunction with metres should be the preferred measure.
    Neither the panel nor council had taken into account that defining building heights in metres from above the natural ground level, while allowing developers to excavate and sink floor levels below NGL, the true height of a building was being concealed. (The panel had advocated a limit on the depth of sunken living areas but referred only to where it affected occupant amenity, solar access etc.).
    As a result only three storey apartment proposals, previously approved on sites as small as 1000sqm in sub precinct A, will be acceptable on building sites with a minimum land area of 1800sqm with only two storey town house style developments permitted on smaller blocks.

  4. Daniel Ex-KMQ says:

    The Residential Strategy (DDO8) has now gone the full circle. After eight years of uncertainty due to government intervention and the huge drain on municipal resources promoting and defending the scheme, Council have requested amendment 96 to reinstate virtually the same schedule as first proposed and endorsed in the Council minutes of 27th September, 2005, basically as follows: In Sub- Precinct A, non variable maximum heights and minimum land areas: 9m (10m on sloped sites) for two storey unit (townhouse style) developments on land areas under 1800sqm and 11m for three storey apartment developments on a minimum land area of at least 1800sqm. In addition a modified version of the Main Road precinct has also been recalled with discretionary guidelines encouraging three storey development within a height of 11m on land above 1800sqm. Sub Precinct B was restricted to one and two storey unit developments as specified in the previous policy document.
    AFTER all the procedural and consultation requirements, including the statutory exhibition period, had been completed and the strategy approved by councillors, the State Planning Authority stepped in and made a mockery of the consultation process by declaring heights and minimum land areas discretionary and allowing open slather on the number of storeys. The uncertainty that ensued provided a gravy train for consultants and solicitors and a headache for administration, not to mention the anger and frustration of disaffected residents. Why it has taken so long for council to call for an amendment to remove these ill-conceived conditions, is a mystery.
    A positive aspect of the reinstated guidelines is that two storey developments, employing the recommended contemporary architecture (flat roof), the “preferred neighbourhood character “, could be significantly lower in height than their established pitched roof counterparts of the same area.
    Daniel Ex-KMQ.

  5. A person essentially assist to make critically posts I’d state.
    This is the first time I frequented your website page and to
    this point? I amazed with the analysis you made to make this
    particular publish extraordinary. Magnificent activity!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *