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Amendment C190 – Better Outcomes for Two Dwellings on a Lot

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  1. AuthorisationAuthorisation
  2. ExhibitionExhibition
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  4. Panel HearingPanel Hearing
  5. Panel ReportPanel Report
  6. Council decisionCouncil decision
  7. Submit to MinisterSubmit to Minister

 About Amendment C190

As a Council, we want to improve the quality of two dwelling on a lot developments, by establishing a more straight forward planning assessment process for proposals which deliver good quality outcomes.

What does Amendment C190 do?

In the Neighbourhood Residential Zone and General Residential Zone, planning scheme compliant, enhanced quality, two dwelling on a lot applications would be processed within the VicSmart application stream if the following requirements are met:

  • Site layout and building massing: All numerical standards relating to street setback, site coverage, permeability and width of access-ways and car spaces must be met.
  • Amenity impacts: All numerical standards relating to side and rear setbacks, walls on boundaries, daylight to existing windows, solar access to existing north-facing habitable room windows, overshadowing of open space and overlooking must be met.
  • On-site amenity and facilities: All numerical standards relating internal views, daylight to new windows, private open space, solar access to open space, storage and front fences must be met.
  • Car parking: Numerical standards relating to the number of car parking spaces must be met. In addition, requirements have been included to reduce the dominance of crossovers and car parking from the street. These requirements ensure the retention of street trees, tree planting within the front setback and on street car parking between driveways.
  • Standards for accessibility and ESD.

The key features of the VicSmart stream include a 10-day permit process and applications are exempt from notice and objector appeals of Council’s decision at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

How will the Moreland Planning Scheme change?

Amendment C190 proposes to introduce an additional class of application into the VicSmart provisions to construct a dwelling if there is one dwelling existing on the lot or to construct two new dwellings on a lot. The planning scheme is proposed to change by amending the Schedules to Clause 59.15 Local Vicsmart Applications and Clause 59.16 Information Requirements and Decision Guidelines for Local Vicsmart Applications.

Why is Council proposing this?

Moreland receives more than twice the metropolitan average number of medium density planning permit applications and 40% of these applications are for two dwellings on a lot. It is a development type where compliance with Rescode standards is very high.

We have undertaken an extensive analysis of objections to applications for two dwellings on a lot to ensure a VicSmart process would not result in any inappropriate loss of neighbour’s input into planning permit decisions.

One in 2, two dwelling on a lot applications attract objections, but only 1 in 10 two dwelling on a lot applications is changed as a result of giving notice. Any changes made are almost always very minor in nature and typically involve a ruler length in difference in some aspect of the building envelope. This is a very low return on the investment of time and energy put into objections and VCAT appeals by neighbours.

VCAT is concluding that Council’s assessment of two dwelling on a lot applications against the requirements of the planning scheme is robust and reasonable. Third party rights of review are adding to the time taken to obtain a decision but not altering the outcome in any meaningful way.

To qualify to be processed within the streamlined process, all requirements must be complied with.

By requiring development to adhere to all standards, it will be of high quality. If any of the requirements are sought to be varied, the application will be processed within the standard planning application process with public notice and VCAT review rights applicable.

This action guarantees better outcomes, for both those who live in this housing, and the broader Merri-bek community, whilst at the same time making more effective use of resources.

Two dwelling on a lot development in Merri-bek

Medium density housing (units and townhouses) contributes to the range of housing options to suit different budgets and lifestyle needs. At present, 35% of Merri-bek’s households live in medium density units and townhouses. This is forecast to grow to 51% by 2036.

Half of all recently approved two dwelling on a lot development in Merri-bek is the side-by-side type. With this typology both dwellings front the street and have their own sense of address, reminiscent of older terrace and semi-detached housing common in parts of Merri-bek. Eighty percent of two dwelling on a lot development in Merri-bek occurs in the northern suburbs, where lot sizes are generally larger, and they are less constrained.

Subject to meeting detailed design requirements, two dwelling on a lot housing is permitted in all residential zones across Victoria.

Benefits of the more straightforward assessment process

Two dwelling on a lot development that complies with all numerical standards of the planning scheme achieves high quality outcomes for both those who live in this housing, and the broader Merri-bek community. The benefits of the straightforward assessment process are:

  • Better quality housing for the Merri-bek community
  • Improved customer service and certainty for landowners, developers and the community
  • ResCode standards become mandatory rather than discretionary for those opting for this application pathway
  • Better ESD outcomes due to the inclusion of ESD as a requirement in criteria
  • Better housing accessibility due to a requirement for certification from Livable Housing Australia.

By requiring full compliance with requirements to qualify for this application stream, Council can secure these outcomes for the community without the time and expense for all parties associated with seeking improved compliance via objections or expensive VCAT reviews.

Where to inspect Amendment C190 documents

All documents that support this amendment can be found electronically in the key documents section on the right hand side of this web page. If required, we will post you a hard copy.

The amendment can also be inspected on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website.

Have your say

Submissions closed on Friday 17 July 2020. Thank you to those who made a submission. Copies of the submissions received by Council can be viewed under 'Key Documents' on the right hand side of this page.

Council considered all submissions at the 12 August 2020 Council meeting, where Council resolved to request that the Minister for Planning appoints an independent Panel to consider all submissions.

The 12 August Council Report and attachments may be viewed below:

Panel Hearing

The Panel conducted the Hearing by video conference on Tuesday 27 October 2020 and Wednesday 28 October 2020.  

The following documents were made available as part of the panel hearing process.

Council Submissions

The Council submissions included:

Expert Witness Statements

Expert witness statements included:

Panel Report

We received the Panel Report on 1 December 2020.

The Panel report may be viewed below:

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) will consider the recommendations of the 'Better Regulation Review' 2019 throughout 2021. You can find out more about these recommendations on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website. The Better Regulations Review includes a potential new assessment model for development that would make the process simpler and quicker and include notification to adjoining property owners and occupiers.

Consideration of the recommendations of the Planning Panel Report for Amendment C190 will be considered by Council once the state government has introduced the proposed VicSmart Plus planning permit application pathway.


Please be aware that Merri-bek City Council collects information from organisations and individuals during the planning scheme amendment process through submissions made to an Amendment. Submissions may be hand written, electronic (both written and audio-visual) and often contain images, maps and plans. Submissions frequently contain personal information which at times may be sensitive for commercial, health or other reasons.

Natural justice and transparency are important parts of the Planning Scheme Amendment process. Under section 21(2) of the 'Planning and Environment Act 1987' (Vic), Council must make all submissions to an Amendment available to view by any person at its offices for a period of two months after the Amendment is gazetted or lapses. This includes all personal names, telephone and address details, unless specifically requested to be deleted prior to the submission being made publicly available.

Submissions are used by Council when assessing the Amendment and summaries of your submission are included in any Council report that considers the Amendment following the close of exhibition. Your submission will also be used and disclosed in the public process of a Panel Hearing if one is required. Any submission forwarded to Planning Panels Victoria will be managed with in accordance with their privacy policy.

Publication of Submissions on Council’s Website

Council will make all submissions available to view online on its website during the Planning Scheme Amendment process. All submissions made available online will be redacted to remove personal names, telephone and address details. Submissions will be removed from the website once the Amendment is finalised.

Use of your personal information

In accordance with the 'Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014' (Vic) and 'Health Records Act 2001' (Vic) the personal information submitted by you is being collected by Merri-bek City Council for the submission process and it will not be disclosed to any other external party without your consent, except as a requirement of the 'Planning and Environment Act 1987' (Vic). This includes disclosing your personal information upon request (name and phone number only) to any person during the Planning Scheme Amendment process.

If you do not provide your name and address Council will not be able to consider your submission.

You can gain access to the personal information you have provided to Merri-bek City Council and if you wish to alter it, please contact Council’s Privacy Officer by emailing or calling 9384 9111.

More information about our privacy policy is available on our Privacy page.

Further Information

For further information or to discuss how the changes might affect you please email or call our Strategic Planning Team on 9240 1111.

We appreciate these documents are not always easy to understand, so please contact us if you need any assistance. All meetings will be undertaken via teleconference.

If you have trouble opening or viewing a PDF document, you can contact us using the details on our Contact us page. We will arrange to provide the information in a format that suits your needs.

You can find out more about accessibility on our Accessibility statement page.