“I would have thought that if the situation is to be cut and dried in terms of limiting the height of buildings to no more than two-storeys, then the DDO provisions should be drafted to reflect this. Indeed, there are examples of such controls in other planning schemes”. Comment from VCAT rejection of a council decision.
Manningham council’s DDO8 and Municipal Strategic Statement prescribes a maximum height of up to 10 metres where developments are limited to two storeys a height that can also accommodate a three storey of contemporary design. The minimum height needed for a two storey contemporary building is 6.5 metres and the minimum requirement for a three storey of similar design could be contained in less than 9.5 metres.
In requesting the C96 amendment in 2012 council had admitted ….”The current controls do not provide sufficient guidance
for development and have inadvertently led to ambiguity and at times, a greater scale of development than was intended within particular sub-precincts”.
So in 2012, following the above statement Manningham announced it would request an amendment to its residential strategy (DDO8) and had called for public comment. The changes council recommended were supposed to be in response to the 669 community submissions it had received, and many of them had been considered, but it seemed more to do with council wanting to introduce its high density Main Road precinct, with its higher buildings and no minimum land areas, than addressing the ambiguity in the “particular precincts” it had referred to.
Though it was prepared to remove the discretionary options for maximum heights and minimum land areas, Manningham refused to address community requests for a more appropriate maximum height limit in the schedule that would stop three storey contemporary buildings from occurring where only two storey developments were prescribed in the DDO8 schedule…….the common objection in many of the resident appeals against the over developments that council were previously approving.
Council must now be at sixes and sevens on how to deal with future development proposed in its residential strategy since Vcat have overturned a council rejection of the three storey proposal in Whittens Lane, in precinct B where lesser density is envisaged, even though Manningham asserted that it should have been two storeys according to its policy. The dilemma for council will now be whether to continue with its poorly conceived open ended schedule or have it amended to bring about a more realistic heights to storey ratio as VCAT have suggested.