Moreland is undergoing a rapid period of change as a growing number of people choose to make Merri-bek their home. This growth requires us to consider the ways we can improve the quality and liveability of medium and high-density development.
In response, Council has adopted the Design Excellence Scorecard; an action arising out of the Medium Density Housing Review, which council endorsed in October 2018.
What is the Merri-bek Design Excellence Scorecard?
The Scorecard is a voluntary tool for applicants to use. It establishes a benchmark for design excellence of medium and high-density development in Merri-bek.
The standards of this benchmark are in addition to the requirements of the Merri-bek Planning Scheme.
There are two different Scorecards:
- The Scorecard for high density (apartment) developments (PDF 293Kb); and
- The Scorecard for medium density (townhouse) developments (PDF 277Kb).
Each Scorecard focuses on four key areas:
- Building design and materials
- Environmentally sustainable design and building performance
- Building accessibility, and
- Community benefit.
All four components must be met to be compliant with the Scorecard.
Developments meeting this Scorecard provide significantly improved design outcomes and community benefit.
History of the Scorecard process
A trial of the Scorecard process began in March 2019. The trial was extended twice and adopted on a permanent basis on February 2022 subject to further enhancements to the Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) criteria, and changes to officer delegation guidelines that allowed scorecard applications to be decided by Council officers.
Participation in the Scorecard is voluntary. Participants may nominate themselves or may be encouraged to participate by a planning officer.
Refer to ‘The Scorecard for high density (apartment) developments (PDF 293Kb)’ or ‘The Scorecard for medium density (townhouse) developments (PDF 277Kb)which details how to qualify for a Scorecard process.
If you would like to participate in the Scorecard process, we strongly encourage you to apply for a pre-application meeting.
We let planning permit applicants know if they are eligible for the Scorecard process during a pre-application meeting or when a permit application is received.
Permit applicants will receive written advice from us prior to public notice confirming whether their application complies with the Scorecard. The Design Excellence Scorecard must be met (with any conditions agreed to in writing) prior to public notice of an application.
Benefits of participating
There are a number of incentives for participants to meet the requirements of the Scorecard:
- An opportunity for a second additional pre-application meetings with planning officers, free of charge.
- The planning officer you meet at the pre-application meeting will manage the permit application, where possible.
- Support through the application process from a Senior Planner and a Planning Coordinator.
- An additional meeting with planning officers after a decision is made to facilitate endorsement of plans and reports.
- Receive a Scorecard logo that can be used as part of development marketing and promotional material.
Applicants taking part in the Scorecard process follow the standard permit application process, including public notice, and must meet the objectives of the planning scheme.
Public notification and consultation meetings with affected people continue to take place. In the circumstances of 5 or more objections to a proposal meeting the Design Excellence Scorecard, a Planning Information and Discussion Meeting must be held with invitations sent to all objectors, the applicant, and councillors.
In the circumstance of 10 or more objections to the proposal meeting the Design Excellence Scorecard and/or where the building height exceeds the Planning Scheme requirements, the application is required to be reported to a Planning and Related Matters Council meeting where a decision will be made by the Council, rather than by Council officers.
Permit applicants and objectors continue to have the right to seek a review of planning decisions by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
How proposals are assessed
Planning officers will determine whether a proposal meets all the requirements of the Scorecard. Assessment of whether an application meets Scorecard requirements will be based on the details outlined in the Guidelines for Applicants (PDF 5Mb).
If you would like more information or have a question about the Merri-bek Design Excellence Scorecard, please contact us on 9240 1111.
Approved Scorecard Developments
A list of developments that have been approved under the Scorecard process can be found in the Scorecard Compliant Developments.