The Plan Melbourne Refresh blueprint has been revised to better manage development in Australia’s second largest city. The announcement came after a review of suburban Residential Zones. With the revised urban development blueprint, the changes will protect suburban character.
The new blueprint noted that Melbourne would need 1.6 million more homes to accommodate its growing population. Melburnians are expected to almost double over the next 35 years from the current 4.5 million to 8 million by the year 2050.
Majority or 70 percent of these residential properties will be constructed in existing suburbs. The goal is to create a so-called “20-minute neighborhoods” with easy access to public transport and services.
Conditions in Revised Blueprint
In line with this revised blueprint, the government has agreed to raise height limits and remove caps including the two-dwelling-per-lot limit. The cap on the number of dwellings that can be built on a block has been scrapped but new requirements mandate that developments must have a percentage of garden space. This will give Victorians access to outdoor space and providing kids more opportunities to create childhood memories in their backyards every day of their lives.
Specifically, blocks spanning 400-500 square meters are required to have a 25 percent minimum garden area while blocks measuring between 501-600 need to have 30 percent. Bigger blocks spanning more than 650 square meters must have a 35 percent garden space.
Planning limits will also be reduced to allow for the building of more aged care facilities particularly in established suburbs.
Planning Minister Richard Wynne said there is a need to increase density “because a lot of the services and much of the amenity is located in our well-established suburbs.” He cited that the middle ring suburbs in Melbourne have not experienced growth in density over the past three decades because of the actions of anti-development lobby groups. These suburbs, he added, have a lot of potential as they have existing transportation, education and social infrastructure including parks.
Wynne also approved in February a new suburb some 30 kilometers north of Melbourne. The area will accommodate 15,000 new homes.
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