The Andrews Labor Government is taking action to protect the much-loved backyard and keep more garden space in our suburbs.

Minister for Planning Richard Wynne announced the changes today, which follow a review of suburban Residential Zones. The review found the zones had been implemented in an inconsistent manner across Melbourne, but our changes will protect suburban character, no matter your postcode.

The changes are linked to the Government’s refreshed Plan Melbourne, a blueprint for ensuring our suburbs develop and grow, but never at the expense of neighbourhood character.

There will no longer be a cap on how many dwellings can be built on a block, but new requirements mean developments must have a mandatory percentage of garden space.

It’s all about giving more Victorians access to the outdoor space that is the cornerstone of great homes, and giving kids more opportunities to form their childhood memories in backyards every day all over the state.

Under new rules, blocks between 400-500 square metres require a 25 per cent minimum garden area, blocks between 501-650 metres need 30 per cent, and blocks larger than 650 square metres must have a 35 per cent garden area.

The former Liberal government’s version of Plan Melbourne failed to address housing affordability, and ignored the need for a long-term plan that allows for growth but prevents over-development.

We’ve listened to councils, industry and members of the public to right those wrongs – and to maintain our renowned liveability.

Plan Melbourne aims to deliver:

  • Jobs and services closer to where people live
  • A fixed urban boundary
  • Sustained investment in infrastructure, such as Melbourne Metro Rail and level crossing removals
  • Clarity about where growth can occur in the suburbs
  • Responses to climate change by reducing Melbourne’s carbon footprint and growing a green economy
  • A greater focus on social infrastructure such as parks
  • Well-connected, 20-minute neighbourhoods

Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne

“These are once-in-a-generation changes to suburban residential zones and are all about protecting the much-loved Aussie backyard.”

“The Liberals’ attempt at Plan Melbourne missed the mark. It virtually ignored housing affordability and didn’t address the need to plan to manage population growth without allowing over-development.”

“We’ve refreshed the vision and plugged the gaps, ensuring Victoria has plans to cater for population growth, deal with climate change and deliver a record pipeline of infrastructure.”