A recent Vcat decision has prompted calls for council’s height to storey policy in the Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS), be clearly prescribed in the DDO8 Schedule like other councils.

Heights-in-Kingston-43_02s19_king      Heights-in-Boroondara-Activity-Centre-Schedule      Bayside

The MSS policy in regard to storeys in sub- precincts A & B, is as follows;

Only two storey developments will be considered on land under 1800 m2 in precinct A.

Only two storey developments will be considered on land throughout precinct B.

John of Queens Avenue, writes; Why can’t the DDO8 be updated to at least specify a number of storeys? It seems that either document is being used separately

depending on the desired outcome of the application e.g. The logic used by Vcat to overturn council’s refusal to issue a permit for of a three storey townhouse proposal at 88 Whittens lane, Doncaster, was not dissimilar to the rationale council itself had used to quash our objections to the Queens Avenue apartments. Council had stated; “although the MSS encourages that only two storey townhouse style development be considered on lots in sub-precinct B or on land with an area of less than 1800m2 in sub-precinct A, 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, 10m on sloping sites, mandatory height limit”.  

But in refusing the three storey Whittens lane proposal council had gone the other way, by referring to the MSS document, which is subordinate to the DDO8 schedule, to support its rejection.

a three storey development of any type is not supported in the Municipal Strategic Statement where only two storey development is encouraged”

“The proposed three storey townhouse building is in excess of the two storey desired building form sought by council policies”  


John of Queens Avenue.




  1. Kimberley says:

    Manningham council planners had dug a hole for themselves in the early planning of the residential strategy by not prescribing a realistic storey to height formula to control multi level development, especially for two storey buildings. Either by their own pigheadedness or an intention to allow developers a free hand, they have stubbornly refused to amend the DDO8 schedule. e.g. Two Storeys and Eight Metres is a formula commonly used by most councils.
    After the C50 amendment in 2006, in the period leading up to amendment C96, the number of Vcat appeals had risen dramatically, the majority of them against three storey developments being approved where two storeys were “encouraged”, because of the loop hole brought about by council’s refusal to introduce an enforceable formula.
    The problem was recently exampled when Vcat upheld a developer appeal, against a council refusal to issue a building permit, because the developer was able to demonstrate that a three storey could easily be built within the ten metre maximum height limit and because storeys were not specified in the DDO8 schedule.
    Vcat said; “Perhaps more telling is the absence of a prohibition of development higher than two storeys within DDO8. I would have thought that if the situation is cut and dried in terms of limiting the height of buildings to no more than two-storeys, then the DDO8 provisions should be drafted to reflect this. Indeed, there are examples of such controls in other planning schemes”.

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