Changes to the Residential Zone

An overhaul of land use zoning in Victoria’s planning system is set to reform development controls across the State. The changes to the residential zone, announced by Planning Minister Matthew Guy this week, include the displacement of a number of existing residential, business and rural zoned land use zones to provide Councils greater control and certainty on development.

The changes to the residential zone, touted as the biggest reform to planning in over thirty years, include three newly formed residential zones. The zones will result in stricter restrictions in residential areas that require urban preservation. Fewer restrictions, including higher building heights and more housing diversity, are proposed in appropriate locations near activity centres.

Given its impact on how land may be developed, concerns have already been raised on how these changes may impact current and proposed building projects. However, considering the early stage of these planning scheme changes, it remains unclear what effects the amendments will have at specific properties, or even the timeframes in which they may be implemented.

Minister Guy has stated that zoning boundaries will be at the discretion of local councils, ultimately determined by the community who will ‘inform which zone best fits where’. The reforms are currently open for feedback, with implementation expected after the consultation period ends in September.

Pillar and Post intends to actively engage with local councils during the changes to the residential zone amendment process. Building upon already established relationships with strategic and statutory planning teams across a number of councils, our team believes that early participation and consultation will minimises disruption to projects and clients.