According to Manningham policy three storey apartment buildings with a maximum height of ELEVEN metres are “encouraged” on allotments 1800 Sqm or more and two storey town house style developments are prescribed a maximum height of TEN metres, which includes a one metre leeway for fall allowed but only on smaller sites. However, the DDO8 schedule below, which is the statutory tool to implement the residential strategy, refers to heights only and does not define a building typology.

The design objectives in the Manningham DDO8 fall short of saying that three-storey development cannot be contemplated,

on smaller sites. Rather, the provisions which apply to the land set a maximum height limit of 10 metres, a height which can easily accommodate three storey buildings.

3 Story, 10 m height, on 1000 m2 land at 91 Whittens Lane

e.g. (left) This development was approved by council even though the dwellings were three storeys and the land less than 1800 Sqm and they did not exceed the maximum height at any point above natural ground level. This complies with mandatory maximum height requirement of TEN metres as outlined in the design an development overlay (DDO8).


3 Storeys/8.84m 97 Whittens Lane

This begs the question, why bother going to the expense of consolidating three building blocks to provide an area of 1800 Sqm when council are already allowing three storey developments, even partial four storeys, on smaller building sites? To add to the confusion, one panel member thought he had nailed it when he made the following statement: “Given the form of development generally occurring in the area and costs associated with site consolidation, it is likely that most redevelopment in this area will continue to be two storey development, which should be supported in an area surrounding activity centres”. How was he to know how the interpretation would be changed?

Koonung have about 80 percent of development in its area but have only 33% representation. They are thwarted by the bias of outer ward Councillors who seem more intent on their own future standing with planning officers and developers even to the point where one or two individuals speak for each development like cheer leaders. And of course there is the prospect of photo opportunities, a mention in the local paper and the greater likelihood of an outer ward Councillor becoming Mayor. According to records there have been only two Mayors elected from the Koonung ward over the last twenty years.


  1. Suzan says:

    Why allow an metre extra for two storey developments but not for three storey buildings on larger lots where the height limit is only 11 metres. A two storey unit/town house could be designed to fit within a height limit of 8 metres if necessary. Being able to get three sites adjoining is not going to be easy if you want to construct an apartment building and just for the sake of one metre extra.

  2. Talford says:

    It was a disgraceful decision by the Council in regard to approving the development in Bayley Grove, Doncaster. It looked likely to be rejected at one stage because it proposed stacker parking, made worse by the proponent proposing what looked like a place of assembly within the building and required a good deal of extra parking which was conveniently overlooked.
    Koonung Cuncillors voted against it. The deal fell through and the land was put up for auction resulting in the removal of the three block parcel…Which was good news.

  3. Florida Mansions says:

    A recent amendment was supposed to provide more certainty but if any thing the residential strategy is even more confusing. e.g. The so called town house developments are pretty much apartments except that they have larger living areas which given the high cost of building sites, especially for a three lot consolidation, they will get smaller as costs increase. These anomalies I believe are deliberately put in place to allow wriggle room for changing as they go along.

  4. Talford says:

    My advice to any one who wants planning reform in Koonung is to stand for council election in Mullum Mullum or Heidi Ward. You could be a “plant” that could alter the current bias towards over development by voting for each application on its merits and not be party to approving developments that do not comply with the Manningham planning scheme.

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