Improvements to the operation of the reformed residential zones - May 2018

Following introduction of the reformed residential zones by Amendment VC110 on 27 March 2017, the department sought feedback from local government and industry on the operation of the provisions late last year as part of the Government's residential monitoring program. This feedback identified a number of improvements to the operation of the reformed residential zones.

Improvements were introduced by Amendment VC143 on 15 May 2018.

The improvements change the definition and operation of the minimum garden area requirement, including clarifying exemptions in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone and the General Residential Zone and introducing permit requirements for certain commercial land uses in the Residential Growth Zone.

Planning Advisory Note 69: Amendment VC143 (PDF, 146.5 KB) or (DOCX, 20.7 KB) explains the changes introduced by Amendment VC143.

Planning Practice Note 84: Applying the minimum garden area requirement, May 2018 (PDF, 4.5 MB) or  (DOCX, 930.7 KB) gives guidance about the operation of the minimum garden area requirement in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone and the General Residential Zone.

Image of Practice note 84

Review of residential zones completed - Amendment VC110 - 27 March 2017

The government completed a review of the residential zones that were introduced into Victorian planning schemes in 2014 - the Neighbourhood Residential Zone, the General Residential Zone, and the Residential Growth Zone.

Reformed residential zones were introduced to the Victoria Planning Provisions and all planning schemes by Amendment VC110 on 27 March 2017.

Cover of Reformed Residential Zones booklet

The reformed residential zones

The changes will provide a fairer approach to managing residential development, and will deliver consistent outcomes across Victoria's suburbs, towns and cities. They will deliver certainty in residential areas, regardless of where you live.

The key reforms:

  • Allow councils to define neighbourhood character and design objectives to be achieved.
  • Strengthen building height controls in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone and the General Residential Zone.
  • Introduce a new mandatory requirement for a minimum garden area to be provided in residential developments in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone and General Residential Zone.
  • Remove the limit on the number of dwellings that can be built on land in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone.

More information

View the Reformed Residential Zones booklet for more detailed information on the reforms:

View the following fact sheets for a simple explanation of the reformed residential zones.

The fact sheet below explains transitional arrangements.