Urbis Think Tank

New Neighbourhood Residential Zoning – impacts on residential development in metropolitan Melbourne

The City of Glen Eira is the first Melbourne Council to implement the new Neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ) with the new controls due to come into effect on 23 August 2013. The new zoning approved by the Minister for Planning will see approximately 90% of residential land within Glen Eira covered by the NRZ, restricting development to a mandatory maximum 8 metre building height and a maximum of two dwellings per lot, regardless of the site size.

The Glen Eira outcome has significant implications for the remainder of metropolitan Melbourne, and the roll-out of the new zones in the coming months. The potential exists that much of middle Melbourne where housing demand is strongest and increasing will be quarantined from significant increases in the supply of much needed housing. Urbis estimates, in the case of Glen Eira, that the change in zoning could result in a forecasted future loss of potential residential yield of approximately 7000 dwellings – when compared to the base case of the current zoning regime.

The Minister for Planning has confirmed that Councils will have discretion to apply the new suite of zones as they see fit, with input from the community. The Minister has indicated that Councils will have 12 months to determine how to apply the new zones from July 2013. The implementation of the NRZ across large areas of Bayside, Boroondara, Monash and Stonnington will have a long term impact on the extent and type of future residential development in Melbourne.

Urbis is monitoring all metropolitan Councils to understand their timetable and likely roll-out of new residential zones. We would encourage all land owners, developers and schools in metropolitan Melbourne to engage with Councils on the roll-out and implementation of the new zones to ensure land is not unduly limited in reaching its development potential, and that sites are placed in the correct residential zone.

In regards to transitional provisions for applications lodged prior to the new zones being introduced, the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure has today released details of Amendment VC104 which introduces various transitional arrangements that will apply from tomorrow (23rd August 2013) including:-

  • ResCode will now apply to buildings of up to and including four storeys (previously 3 storeys);
  • For applications that are lodged prior to the introduction of the Neighbourhood Residential Zone in any given municipal planning scheme, the new maximum building height and maximum dwelling limitations will not apply to applications already in the system. However, applications will still be assessed against the zone purpose, which seeks to limit the intensity of development;
  • There are no transitional arrangements proposed in the General Residential Zone (GRZ) or Residential Growth Zone (RGZ) other than ResCode.

On the basis of these transitional arrangements, applicants should seek to lodge applications prior to the new zones being implemented.

Urbis would be pleased to assist you in understanding the impacts of the new residential zones and how to engage with Councils across Melbourne on this issue.




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