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22nd September 2016

Submission to the draft APARTMENT STANDARDS

Over recent weeks ratio: has teamed up with CBG Architects to provide a detailed submission to the ‘Better Apartments Draft Design Standards’ recently released by State Government.  

Our submission acknowledges the need for appropriate standards to be introduced and commends the performance based approach applied in the Draft Standards. 

The submission however highlights key areas of concern including the onerous nature or lack of rigorous justification (i.e. scientific basis) for some standards, that the documented information is incomplete (objectives and decision guidelines not published), and the likely adverse impacts to the supply, diversity and affordability of housing especially in well-serviced urban areas such as activity centres and strategic redevelopment sites.

To understand the implications of the proposed regime versus the current controls, CBG Architects has ‘road tested’ the proposed standards against a number of approved multi-level developments in various strategic locations across Melbourne.  This assessment has revealed significant impacts on development outcomes (e.g. number of apartments reduced in the order of 25% to 38%) and resultant housing mix should these approved development be subject to the proposed standards. (Images courtesy of CBG Architects)

The ratio: submission has sought to take a ‘solution’ based approach by first identifying the concerns and unintended consequences, then offering potential solutions that would lead to more practical / acceptable amenity outcomes.  

We strongly urge the Government to seek an independent review of the Draft Standards and to also invite further submissions when the complete document is drafted (including Objectives and Decision Guidelines).  A policy with potential implications as significant as this deserves a full and rigorous review.

Should you require any assistance please get in touch with your existing contact at ratio: or Robbie McKenzie - Senior Associate or Brian Minogue – Senior Planner on 03 9429 3111.

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