On 28 February 2021, Minister for Planning Richard Wynne announced new planning rules to ensure that new apartment designs are attractive, liveable, durable and do not exacerbate windy conditions to surrounding streets and public spaces.
The improved Better Apartment Design Guidelines (BADs) propose key changes, summarised as follows:
- Provision of communal open space required for developments of 10 or more apartments, reduced from developments of 40 or more apartments;
- Building facades to be of a high quality and durable;
- Requirements for wind impact assessment of surrounding streets and public outdoor spaces, requiring engineering solutions to deflect and avoid funnelling wind;
- Street frontages to avoid blank walls or high fences, and car parking and waste collection should not be visible from the street; and
- Reduced balcony area requirements on tall apartment buildings to limit shadowing of windows below and in recognition of poor amenity due to wind conditions. This can be offset with additional internal living area.
Town Planning & Co welcomes the changes which provide greater liveability, internal and external amenity for apartment buildings, whilst also noting the greater land area required to accommodate communal open space for smaller apartment developments and potential delays associated with preparation and assessment of wind impact assessments.
A copy of the Premiers Announcement can be found via: https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/better-apartment-designs-our-neighbourhoods