The new residential zones were recently introduced (through Planning Scheme Amendment C153) into the Moreland Planning Scheme with the following providing a breakdown of the application of the new zones.

  • Neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ) – 66 per cent of residentially zoned land has been located in the NRZ.  The NRZ is the most restrictive zone as it seeks to limit opportunities for increased residential development through controls on building heights and the number of dwellings to a maximum of four per lot.
  • General Residential Zone (GRZ) – the majority of residentially zoned land outside the NRZ has been located in the GRZ.  The GRZ is the zone most similar to the former Residential 1 Zone and provides reasonable opportunities for residential development as it seeks to encourage development that respects neighbourhood character and applies a discretionary 9 metres building height limit.
  • Residential Growth Zone (RGZ) – a small remaining proportion of residentially zoned land has been located in the RGZ.  The RGZ allows for more intensive development (such as apartments) and applies a discretionary building height limit of 13.5 metres.  The land that has been zoned RGZ generally has either a frontage to a main road or is located adjacent to an activity centre.

The State Planning Policy Framework (SPPF) encourages higher density housing to be located in areas within proximity to activity centres, employment corridors and public transport.  We are disappointed that the application of the NRZ across more than half (66 per cent) of this inner Municipality that is generally well serviced, does not provide reasonable opportunity to increase housing density in these areas in accordance with the SPPF.

Large areas across Moreland are now zoned Neighbourhood Residential.

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An example of this is evident in Brunswick where a majority (refer light pink in graphic above) of this suburb is now located in the NRZ where new development will be limited to four dwellings per lot.  As Brunswick is extremely well serviced by neighbourhood activity centres and has excellent access to public transport we would have expected that this area would have been zoned appropriately to allow more reasonable opportunities for growth.  We consider that in most cases, zoning in Brunswick should allow for two to three-storey townhouse / unit style development.  While we do not consider that two or three-storey development will be appropriate in all locations, the extent and height of any development would continue to be constrained by neighbourhood character and the amenity impacts on adjoining properties.

It is expected that the population in Moreland will increase from 168,000 in 2015 to 214,000 by 2036 (an increase of 27 per cent).  This rise in population will put increased pressure on the small percentage of the Municipality zoned as residential growth to accommodate the required residential development needed to house this population growth.  We believe that Moreland City Council together with the State Government should have implemented the residential zones to allow a more balanced spread of development to occur across the Municipality.

In summary, we see the application of the NRZ across such a high percentage of the Municipality as a lost opportunity to accommodate an incremental level of population growth.