Collie recently submitted comments to Moreland City Council in relation its new ‘Higher Density Design Code’.  The Code is the subject of a proposed amendment to the Moreland Planning Scheme (C142) and relates to developments of four or more storeys.

While the Collie submission commends Council for its forward thinking, our overarching comment is that a new policy for higher density development should come from the State Government, in consultation with Councils and the development industry, and not from Moreland City Council (or any other individual local authority).  We believe that a state-wide approach is necessary in order to ensure that a common approach to the development of higher density occurs across Victoria.

Our specific comments and observations about the Code included the following.

  • Prescribed building separation distances are onerous and little information is provided about how the distances have been developed or why they are considered appropriate.
  • For developments of twenty or more dwellings, the Code requires 20 per cent of all dwellings to be ‘adaptable’.  This requirement is inconsistent with other parts of the Moreland Planning Scheme.
  • Bicycle parking requirements are higher than required by Clause 52.34 with little justification or explanation as to why.
  • Many sections of the Code are overly prescriptive and will restrict the opportunity for innovative and diverse architectural design.
  • In combination, the various requirements of the Code will limit the development potential of many sites and will compromise the opportunity to deliver affordable apartments to the market.  In turn, this may lead to a lack of development in Moreland.

A full copy of the Collie submission, which also includes comments on C123 (Coburg Principal Activity Centre) and C134 (Brunswick Major Activity Centre), is available here.

The Code itself can be downloaded from the Moreland City Council website.