More people are choosing to live in apartments. The Higher density residential development guidelines ensure better standards for higher density apartment developments across Victoria.

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

The guidelines apply to residential buildings of four or more storeys, and relate to issues such as height, neighbourhood character, street setback, open space, overlooking and overshadowing.

Cover of the Higher Density Residential Development Guidelines

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

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

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

Each element has a series of design objectives.

Planning and responsible authorities must have regard to the guidelines when assessing the design and built form of residential development of four or more storeys. This is required by Clauses 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.)