_Is this Guy Serious?

With the State election in November fast approaching, we at Collie were interested to hear the latest comments from State opposition leader and former Minister for Planning Matthew Guy in relation to proposed changes to Victoria’s residential zones.

The proposed changes announced by the opposition leader, which are subject to the Coalition winning government in November, include restricting the number of dwellings on a lot in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ) to just two dwellings and reducing the maximum height limit in the General Residential Zone (GRZ) from 11 metres to 9 metres.

The opposition leader justified these proposed changes by claiming that “development is fine in defined areas…outside of defined areas residents should have the right to live in a quiet street“.

Readers of the Collie newsfeed will note that we believe there has been an overprovision of the application of the NRZ across Melbourne, particularly in areas that lack distinctive or genuine heritage or neighbourhood character.  As the Minister for Planning, Matthew Guy was responsible for much of this rezoning, particularly in the middle ring eastern suburbs, his recent comments are perhaps not surprising.

Whilst we agree that areas with high levels of heritage and neighbourhood character should be protected from inappropriate development, we are concerned that these proposed changes will again lockdown too much of Melbourne’s residential growth balance.  This includes land already zoned either NRZ or GRZ that is located in proximity to public transport, commercial, education and recreational facilities, which as a result of the proposed changes, would be prohibited form reasonable residential development