The process

The Future Homes adaptation review process has 5 phases:

Phase 1 – Select an exemplar design (Applicant led)

Provides exemplar designs that can be easily adapted to suit a range of different site – a full set of design detail plans will save time and money. There is certainty that these plans will be acceptable to council if adapted correctly.

Timing: At the applicant’s discretion

  • The applicant reviews the free-to-view design intent plans (a high-level selection of the exemplar designs) provided on DELWP’s Future Homes website.
  • The applicant undertakes all necessary due diligence prior to the selection and purchase of a Future Homes exemplar design.
  • Once payment is made DELWP will releases a copy of the exemplar design package to the applicant.

Phase 2 – Site adaptation and external referrals (Applicant led)

The applicant engages an architect, designer or drafts person to assist with the plan adaption to suit the development site. Once adapted, we’ve created a streamlined referral process with Melbourne Water and Head, Transport for Victoria (where required) – these authorities have partnered with Future Homes to ensure referral comments and conditions (where required) are provided within a confined timeframe.

Timing: At the applicant’s discretion

  • The applicant adapts the exemplar design to their development site in accordance with the relevant planning provision and guidance provided in the P&A document. An architect, designer or draftsperson will be required to adapt the plans.
  • The applicant refers the adapted exemplar designs to the external referral authorities required under section 55 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (the Act).
  • The applicant receives approval from the Referral Authorities and undertakes any required changes to the adapted exemplar design.

Phase 3 – Submit adaptation (DELWP led)

Starts the streamlined planning process, with DELWP notifying Council and the Office of the Victorian Government Architect that an application for a Future Homes has been received. DELWP will quickly review the plans to ensure the plans are in accordance with the Adaption Guide and that no additional information is required.

Timing: 30 business days

  • The applicant submits adapted exemplar designs to DELWP.
  • DELWP will within 24 hours provide written notice to the OVGA and council advising of receipt of an application.
  • Within five business days, DELWP will undertake an assessment of the application against the mandatory planning provisions and a high-level assessment against the P&A document. DELWP will then advise the applicant whether:
  • the application requires further information;
  • changes are required to comply with mandatory planning provisions and/or the P&A document; or
  • the application is complete and ready to progress through the Design Adaptation Panel.

DELWP will have five business days to reassess the application if further changes are required by the applicant.

  • DELWP will forward a full copy of the application to council, the OVGA and DELWP’s sustainability consultant (where required) where each will have up to 15 business days to:
  • Office of the Victorian Government Architect: notify DELWP of which Future Homes Panel Members should form part of the Design Adaptation Panel.
  • Council: undertake and notify DELWP of internal referrals, seek feedback from adjoining owners and occupiers, assess the application under the P&A document, undertake a site inspection, determine possible conditions of permit and determine which council Senior Planner (or above) will form part of the Design Adaptation Panel.
  • Sustainability consultant: if required, assess the submitted Sustainability Management Plan against the Future Homes environmental sustainability design requirements and provide a recommendation to DELWP.

Phase 4 – Adaptation Review (DELWP Led)

Features a streamlined independent design adaption panel (DAP) to review and ensure the intent of the exemplar designs are still achieved through the adaption – this process ensures there are no surprises once an application is lodged at Council

Timing: 4 business days

  • The DAP is appointed to review and ensure the exemplar designs are suitably adapted to a development site.
  • The DAP will seek to understand why certain shifts and moves have been made from the original Future Homes exemplar design and if these adaptations are appropriate.

At least 6 business days prior to the DAP Session the applicant must confirm with DELWP if they or any of their representative will attend the Session.

At least 5 business days prior to the DAP Session, DELWP will circulate to the DAP a full version of the adaptation package

Within 3 business day following the DAP Session, the Chair must advise DELWP of its recommendation including its reasons. The DAP may make one of the following four recommendations:

  • Recommendation A: Certification – notify DELWP that the adaptation is suitable and directed DELWP certify the adaptation package presented to the DAP within 5 business days.
  • Recommendation B: Minor changes prior to certification – notify DELWP that minor changes have been identified and the applicant must submit amended plans within 15 business days to DELWP. DELWP will certify the amended adaptation package within 5 business days of submission.
  • Recommendation C: Complex changes prior to certification – notify DELWP that more significant changes are required to the plans before certification. The applicant must submit amended plans within 15 business days to the Chair via DELWP. Once sign-off has occurred, the process reverts to Recommendation A. Should matters not be signed-off, a resolution meeting will be convened by DELWP’s Future Homes Project Team after which the application will proceed as per Recommendation B or Recommendation D.
  • Recommendation D: No certification – notify DELWP that the adaptation is not suitable for certification. The process then reverts back to Phase 3 (submit adaptation). These is an administrative costs if this process occurs.

Phase 5 – Certification and Approval (DELWP and Council led)

DELWP will issue a Future Homes Certification which will be included with the application to Council. Once the application is lodged with Council, a simple administrative check is undertaken before issuing a permit.

Timing: 15 business days

  • DELWP will inform all parties of the Design Adaptation Panel’s (DAP) recommendation within five business days of receipt of notice from the DAP. DELWP will also provide a written response to any adjoining owners and occupiers advising of the decision including the reasons.

Where the adaptation is suitable for certification, DELWP will also issue a Statement of Certification to the applicant. The Statement of Certification will include certified plans, reports and agreed permit conditions.

  • The applicant can then submit the certified planning application package to council as the responsible authority under the relevant planning provision.

Within 10 business days Council will undertake an administrative check of the plans in accordance with the planning provision under its respective planning scheme. A planning permit can then be issued. The planning permit will have minimal additional conditions beyond the agreed conditions forming part of the Statement of Certification.

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For further information about the approval process, see the Adaptation Review Process Guidelines here <LINK>

Who is involved in Future Homes

DELWP - is the lead agency who oversees and coordinate the Victorian Government’s initiative for Future Homes. All administrative tasks and the adaptation review process will be managed by DELWP. DELWP is the main point of contact between the Office of the Victorian Government Architect, Design Adaptation Panel, applicant, and councils.

Office of the Victorian Government Architect (OVGA) - is a supporting agency where additional advice and inputs can be provided. The Office of the Victorian Government Architect is responsive for the convening of the Design Adaptation Panel.

Design Adaptation Panel (DAP) - is the independent panel that considers the proposed adapted exemplar designs. The DAP comprises Future Homes Panel Members and at least one representative from Council. The DAP will make a recommendation to DELWP on how an application for a Future Home should proceed.

Local government/Council – the pilot councils, namely Darebin, Maribyrnong, and Monash. Council remains the responsible authority who will undertake the final assessment and issue a planning permit for the Future Home.

Referral authorities – are Melbourne Water and Transport for Victoria. These Referral Authorities have agreed to participate in the Future Homes streamlined planning process and will expedite all referral responses to Future Homes applications.

Page last updated: 28/10/22