UDIA responds to Andrews Government's proposed reforms to the Apartment Design Guidelines for Victoria

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The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) has provided a response to Planning Minister Richard Wynne’s announcement late last week that a re-elected Andrews Labor Government would introduce new reforms to the Apartment Design Guidelines for Victoria.

The UDIA Victoria welcomes Minister Wynne’s announcement this morning that the Apartment Design Guidelines for Victoria will be reviewed if an Andrews Government is re-elected.

Victoria continues to experience unprecedented population growth, and apartments are a preferred form of housing for a broadening range of households. We simply must be able to increase the housing stock across our city. Prescriptive design requirements minimise product diversity and stifle innovation.

It is essential that any review has a clearer focus on good design outcomes, allowing space for innovative product, rather than prescriptive structural outcomes that create an unnecessary burden on permit applicants in what is an already tight market.

UDIA will consult with our members, and put forward a detailed submission to the Victorian Government on behalf of the industry.

-  Danni Addison, UDIA CEO for Victoria

According to the UDIA's residential index report:

  • The residential development sector is a significant driver of the Victorian economy. In FY16/17 the construction of new dwellings made a contribution to the Victorian economy of more than $20 billion. This contribution is expected to increase to over $22.9 billion in FY17/18.
  • The residential development sector sustained over 162,000 jobs in Victoria in FY16/17. This figure includes jobs sustained directly in the sector as well as in support industries such as property and business services, financial services, transport and distribution, manufacturing and other sectors. This is expected to increase to almost 185,000 full time, part time and casual jobs across the Victorian economy in FY17/18.

The Andrews Government has outlined the following reforms, should it be re-elected next month:

  • Increased apartment setbacks from neighbouring properties to improve privacy, natural light, airflow and to stop streets being turned into cold, dark wind tunnels
  • Introduce minimum green space standards
  • Ensure apartment exteriors are made from natural, durable and safe materials, such as brick, timber, concrete, metal, stone or non-combustible cladding
  • Put in place mandatory construction management plans to put an end to residents being disturbed by noise from construction workers or rubbish removalists outside reasonable hours

The Andrews Government had previously introduced blanket bans on certain materials in Victoria, in addition to forming a taskforce to oversee the removal of dangerous cladding from buildings. $4 million will also be invested towards enabling Victoria’s architects to collaborate with the Office of the Victorian Government Architect (OVGA) to produce better apartment layouts and developments which demonstrate global leadership in design, sustainability and liveability. 

The Victorian State Election will be held on Saturday 24th November. The electoral roll closes on November 6th at 8pm.  If you are in Victoria and need to update your enrolment, see vec.vic.gov.au

    Lead image: Escala Apartments NewQuay Docklands

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