If your block is less than 300 square metres (which is the case in most council areas), it could be subject to the Small Lot Housing Code. It’s important to understand the potential impact on your building project.
Why was the Small Lot Housing Code introduced (SLHC)?
While most new houses built in Melbourne’s growth areas are large, detached family homes, the government wants to provide greater housing choices – and more affordability – to smaller families, single person households, and aged housing needs.
Previously, a planning permit was needed for houses on lots less than 300 square metres, but not required for lots greater than 300 square metres. This discouraged small lot housing.
The Small Lot Housing Code was introduced in 2011 to help address this imbalance. The code removes the need for planning permits on lots under 300 square metres where a clear set of house design and siting standards are met, thus reducing a big disincentive for developing smaller lots.
The house design and siting standards include requirements for setbacks, building height, provision of car spaces and private open space, overlooking, direct sunlight to private and open space, overshadowing, building articulation and fences.
The code is especially suited to the Urban Growth Zone in Melbourne’s greenfield growth areas.
How might the code affect me?
With more block sizes falling under the Small Lot Housing Code, building surveyors and councils are being more stringent. A building application that was approved 4 months ago may not be approved today.
Here are some of the requirements your project will need to meet to be approved when you are looking to purchase a 10.5 x 21m, 12.5 x 21m or a 14m x 21m. If the blocks are smaller additional requirements may need to be applied.
Private and open space requirements
Most blocks of land must achieve a minimum of 24sqm of private open space with a depth of 3m. (All Fairhaven Homes designs for block depths of 21m comply with this requirement.)
This area must also achieve a minimum of 6sqm of direct daylight at midday with a minimum depth of 2m when the sun is at true North. (Note: Fairhaven Homes designs for block depths of 21m are dependent on block orientation.)
Type A, B or combination blocks
Block types subject to the Small Lot Housing Code have been split into Type A, Type B and Type A and B depending on each council
Both Type A and B
Please note these are some of the common requirements for blocks under 300sqm, but there are many more requirements can or that may apply.
For more information
Visit the Victorian Planning Authority website
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