No more shoebox apartments? 37 square metre minimum size under Victorian government consideration

No more shoebox apartments? 37 square metre minimum size under Victorian government consideration
No more shoebox apartments? 37 square metre minimum size under Victorian government consideration

The Victorian government is considering introducing minimum apartment sizes.

It may ban any new studio flats being smaller than 37 square metres.

The proposal under consideration by the Planning Minister Matthew Guy also mandates that 50 square metres would be the minimum for any new one bedroom unit.

A recent Melbourne City Council report shows some of Melbourne's newest developments are 10 times as dense as permitted by law in many other urbanised centres.

It suggested 40% of the city’s newest apartments are smaller than 50 square metres, satisfying only the needs of overseas investors at the expense of residents, according to the Melbourne City Council’s draft housing strategy.

Melbourne City Council's director of city design, Rob Adams even suggested the volume of apartment approvals and their density on city blocks meant Melbourne risked becoming like "Hong Kong without the spectacular setting".

Describing the developer trend to micro apartments of even as small as 18.5 square metres as ''rampant exploitation of renters,'' Michael Buxton, professor of environment and planning at RMIT University, recently noted apartments were shrinking in size with profit the primary motive.

“Five year ago the average size of an apartment was 60 square metres.

“Now its between 42 and 45 square metres and falling. ” he advised.

Tom Alves, a senior adviser at the Office of the Victorian Government Architect and chairman of the working group drafting the standards, told the Australian Financial Review the agency desire to improve the quality of apartments came after consultation with the City of ­Melbourne, local councils and lobby groups.

A reference group was chaired by Victorian government architect Geoffrey London.

Mr Guy said his department was considering the proposals for micro apartments.

“This review will include industry consultation and assessment of impacts on construction cost and ­housing supply,” he told the AFR.

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Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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New Developments Victoria

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