Higher density residential development guidelines

Cover of the Higher Density Residential Development GuidelinesThese guidelines ensure higher standards for higher density housing developments as more Victorians choose to live in apartments and units across Melbourne.

The guidelines provide advice to developers, councils and communities about what constitutes best-practice in higher density housing.

The guidelines apply to buildings of four storeys and above and cover aspects including height, neighbourhood character, street setback, open space, overlooking and overshadowing.

Where planning controls allow higher density housing, the guidelines assist designers prepare development applications that respond to the local urban context and which meet the design objectives, and also help council planners in assessing development applications.

Images of higher density residential buildings

The guidelines are structured around under six elements of design consideration:

  • urban context
  • building envelope
  • street pattern & street edge quality
  • circulation & services
  • building layout and design
  • open space & landscape design

Under each element is a series of design objectives.

Planning and responsible authorities must have regard to the guidelines in assessing the design and built form of residential development of four or more storeys (Clause 11.01-2 and 15.01-2) of the State Planning Policy Framework).

To view the Guidelines for Higher Density Residential Development select the links below – due to file size the Guidelines have been provided in three separate files.

  1. Guidelines for Higher Density Residential Development, Introduction, Element 1 (PDF, 1.1 MB, 18 pp.) 
  2. Guidelines for Higher Density Residential Development, Elements 2, 3 & 4 (PDF, 2.0 MB, 34 pp.) 
  3. Guidelines for Higher Density Residential Development, Elements 5, 6 & Appendix (PDF, 1.3 MB, 16 pp.)

Page last reviewed on 23 June 2015

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