Industry body welcomes residential zone changes

The Victorian government’s plan to change some requirements of residential zones will improve suburbs’ housing outcomes, according to the Housing Industry Association (HIA).

The government announced over the weekend that elements of residential zones will be amended, which the HIA sees as a logical starting point to improving residential planning outcomes.

The HIA argued that the zone provisions introduced in 2014 had the effect of limiting the design of new homes, as well as restricting the location of small-medium-density developments.

HIA acting executive director Keith Banks said that the changes announced on the weekend to the neighbourhood residential zone and general residential zone were a good starting point to improve the current situation.

“The changes will hopefully provide greater opportunity for the design of dwellings to more appropriately respond to their situation and increase potential for innovative designs,” he said.

“With a growing population in Melbourne, we need to be able to house some of the growth in our existing suburbs.

“The government’s ‘recalibration’ of the residential zones will go some way to address the situation and provide further and improved design opportunities.”

He noted that while the HIA is positive about the government’s decision to recalibrate the residential zones, it is important that the industry is given a genuine opportunity to test the amendments and provide feedback with regard to design pros and cons.

“Complex residential zones and associated planning requirements have the potential to stifle innovative design, but this is definitely a step in the right direction,” he concluded.

[Related: NSW must trump Victoria on housing reform: Cunningham]

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Francesca Krakue

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