Unit developments have to be well designed, site responsive and must not adversely impact on neighbours, the surrounding environment, streetscape or existing neighbourhood character as per clause 21.05 in the Manningham Strategic Statement  (MSS) of the Manningham Planning Scheme.

Winbrook Crescent High Quality Neighbourhood Character

It seems that the Council have not taken into account a recent VCAT decision where the member Taranto ruled against a development that proposed three storey buildings on a site area of less than the mandatory minimum land size which only permitted two storeys.

“The height prescribed,

ten metres, (this development wants 10.400m) recognises the desirability of providing some flexibility for design outcomes that might include, for example, the need to accommodate varied topographical conditions that are a characteristic feature in Manningham, pitched roof forms and architectural features. Thus, I consider that the approach advocated for the applicant said to derive from a strategic imperative to fill the the building envelope by reference to its maximum height is a flawed yardstick with which to measure the acceptability of this proposal”.

Items 51 to 54 of decision in link below. VCAT member Mary-Anne Taranto

P627 2016 Wang v Manningham CC & Anor (mat120916)

Cr Anna Chen

This development proposed on a land area of only 1629 Sqm fails to meet the Objectives and Standards of Precinct 2 Sub-Precinct A of Clause 21.05 (Residential) of the Manningham Planning Scheme, as the proposed three storey buildings are in excess of the two storey built form which is the desired building form sought by Sub-Precinct A where the mandatory minimum lot size of 1,800 Sqm cannot be met.

Anna Chen Koonung Ward Councillor after visiting the site area on two occasions,  also raised the issue of neighbourhood character, the lack of on street parking availability and the area of subject site was less than the mandatory minimum land size requirement for three storey buildings.



Manningham Leader, lundi 11 juin 2018, pages from 3 to 3

2 Storey Minimum Hgt
Click to enlarge

The council allowed the proponent to exploit the height allowance of up to 10 metres for two storeys, which includes the one metre leeway for slope on all blocks, (plus the .400 m they had so generously approved), to achieve three storeys buildings, leaving no room for the employment of any neighbourhood character features, yet when the surplus in height became available, where only two storeys were proposed, where a pitched roof or other interesting features could have been introduced to match the local neighbourhood character, the council did nothing. The height chart above left demonstrates that the 10 metre maximum height prescribed for a two storey building provides a margin of more than four metres for a developer to incorporate an additional storey.    DDO8 C 96     mss C 96

Highlight, right click, then click on videos on left for video of May Council meeting below:



  1. Florida Mansions says:

    What is lacking in the planning department is the incentive to get the best deal for the community.
    It is different in private enterprise where you can be sacked for incompetence or when your own funds are at stake if you don’t negotiate the right deal. People who work in the public service have our funds at stake and so there is never a problem.
    There might not have been all these objections had the planner negotiating with the developer said “we will allow you to circumvent the height and land area formula for your three storey buildings if you use the surplus height you have on the two storey buildings to incorporate dutch gables and a high pitched roofs in keeping with the neigbourhood character of the court”.

  2. April says:

    I don’t know why three storey townhouses are allowed where they are not legal. If we have a set of rules that preclude three storey buildings on smaller blocks, like where on street parking is prohibited in certain streets, why are they being accepted? Aren’t the bylaws and the Manningham Planning Scheme legal documents, applicable to everyone?

    1. Colin Chalmers says:

      For your information.
      A planning scheme is a statutory document which sets out objectives, policies and provisions for the use, development and protection of land in the area to which it applies. A planning scheme regulates the use and development of land through planning provisions to achieve those objectives and policies.
      Planning schemes are legal documents prepared by the local council or the Minister for Planning, and approved by the Minister.
      Councillors should take note.
      C. C.

  3. Rohan says:

    According to the Manningham Planning Scheme the mandatory minimum land area required for three storey units is 1,800 Sqm but the land where this development is proposed is only 1,629 Sqm so why has this particular developer been allowed to construct three storey buildings?

  4. Talford says:

    The Five Storey Aged Care development in Doncaster Road appears not to conform to the MSS conditions relating to the Main Road sub-precinct as below, however the height of developments in this area have been changed to a discretionary 13.5 metres with no restrictions on the number of storeys.
    The Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS) is supposed to indicate the council policy on the scale of development in each of the three Sub-precincts, Main Road sub-Precinct, sub-Precinct A and sub-Precinct B. If you believe that then you are wasting your time…it has been changed without notifying the public and there is no mention of the changes in the MSS.
    Here is what it says: Sub-precinct – Main Road (shown on Manningham Planning Scheme maps as DDO8-1) is an area where three storey (11 metres) ‘apartment style’ developments are encouraged on land with a minimum area of 1,800m². Where the land comprises more than one lot, the lotsmust be consecutive lots which are side by side and have a shared frontage. The area of 1,800m² must all be in the same sub-precinct. All development in the Main Road sub-Precinct should have a maximum site coverage of 60 percent.
    Higher developments on the perimeter of the Main Road sub-precinct should be designed
    so that the height and form are sufficiently stepped down, so that the scale and form
    complement the interface of sub-precinct A or B, or other adjoining zone.

  5. Helen says:

    What is allowed and what is not permitted? It is hard to say because the two planning documents are so contradictory. If neighbourhood character is a requirement why is it not being enforced? If the photos are genuine then the decision is clearly in favor of the developer. It is an insult to the community and it casts a shadow over the integrity of the Manningham Council.

    1. Thomas says:

      I am not a draftsman but it appears to me there is room for negotiation. The two storey contemporary units could include a pitched tile roof and still be under the mandatory height of 10 metres and the developer could do likewise by reducing the 3 three storey units to two storeys. This should satisfy most of the owners who are justified in being concerned about their neighbourhood character.This would also make the development compliant with the Council policy, the Design Objectives and table 2 of the schedule.

      1. Winbrook says:

        Where land has an area of less than 1800sqm, both clause 21.05 and the design objectives under Schedule 8 to the DDO explicitly encourage two storey townhouse style developments in preference to what is termed ‘apartment style developments’.
        To implement the State Planning Policy Framework and the Local Planning Policy Framework, including the Municipal Strategic Statement and local planning policies?
        To encourage development that respects the neighbourhood character of the area ??
        To implement neighbourhood character policy and adopted neighbourhood character guidelines??

  6. Rex Dixon says:

    All the recently approved town house developments in Saxon Street are all two storeys with a pitched tiled roof, which is of course the local neighbourhood character, while this development at 1-2 Winbrook Crescent with its flat tin roof plus several three storey buildings has been given “special consideration”.

  7. J D. says:

    Item 7.13 of the report says in part; “The buildings would be less than the maximum height in the General Residential Zone Schedule 2, which is 11 metres, (up to 12 metres with slope), and complies with the three-storey building limit in this zone”.
    This statement was made to enhance the prospects of this proposal being approved with the threat that something even worse could be built on the land, in terms of size and height, if it were not endorsed.
    But there is no indication that Manningham council will alter its strategy to any great extent since so many developments have already been built under the existing conditions. In fact I am advised they are more likely to simplify the conditions so to prevent developments of this nature occurring again.
    This development does not conform to the neighbourhood character of the local area nor the newly built or approved developments which are two storeys and have a pitched tile roof. J D.

  8. Spencer says:

    Yes the Windbrook Crescent development WOULD be more intensive if the GRZ schedule had been adopted but it hasn’t otherwise the developer would have waited if it was likely. Council will have the last say of course but my guess is there will be a clearer policy statement that will reflect the current MSS/DDO8 conditions. Tne video shows one Councillor, speaking for the Windbrook Crescent proposal, referring to the C 96 amendment as part of his spiel but it is clear he had either misunderstood or had never read the document.

  9. Alvin O. says:

    It would appear the developer was made to adhere to the two story built form requirement in 6 of the 9 units but was given special consideration enabling three of the units to go to three storeys.
    According to the councils policy and design objectives they had to be two storeys unless the land was 1,800 sqm or more. In addition the height prescribed for a two storey building (10 metres) enables a development to match the neighbourhood character by adding a pitched tiled roof and not an additional storey. The neighbourhood character has been followed by the other new developments close by particularly in Saxon Street which is just around the corner.

  10. No Name says:

    The new Reformed Residential Zones, yet to be applied to Manningham’s residential strategy, will make it compulsory for Council to include the maximum number of storeys in their height controls. There were significant concerns in the community that the 10m height limit, including a one metre margin for slope, where two storeys were prescribed, was being used to justify three storeys as a result of pressure from developers. The new height controls will also require council to include the definition of a storey in the overlay, which is where a foundation or basement wall of a building is over 1.2 metres above the natural ground level.

  11. no name says:

    Nos. 19-31 Winbrook Court contain single detached dwellings, one to two storeys in scale, constructed of brick with hipped or gable roof forms.
    No. 29 Winbrook Court is north west of the land, and is currently vacant but has permission (PL15/025474) to construct two, semi-detached two-storey dwellings constructed of brick with a hipped roof form of tiles.
    No. 30 and 30A Winbrook Court contains two detached two storey hipped roof units.
    No. 22 Winbrook Court is north east of the site, opposite J.W. Thomson Reserve. The site contains a two storey dwelling constructed of brick with a hipped roof form oriented to Saxon Street.
    Planning Permit PL13/023830 approved construction of six, two-storey hipped roof, brick dwellings at No. 10-12 Saxon Street, oriented around a shared driveway.
    Nos 4-6 Saxon Street, at frame stage is also a multi unit, two storey brick development and will have a tiled hip roof.

  12. Anonyme says:

    The ten metre height limit, currently prescribed for two storeys, does not restrict basement wall build up above the natural ground level, (the Manningham Planning Scheme and the DDO8 design objectives only say they should be avoided) whereas with most councils across Melbourne anything over 1.2 metres is regarded as a storey. The Maroondah Council, for example, regard a 1 metre build up above natural ground level as an additional storey.
    Under the new Reformed Residential Zones Manningham Council will now be required to include a 1.2 metre basement wall build up as an additional storey.

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