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Radical changes to Victoria’s planning framework are needed to deliver better apartments

Property & Development
Apartments Melbourne
Arnold Bloch Leibler’s Property and Development practice has made a submission in response to the Victorian Government's Better Apartments in Neighbourhoods Discussion Paper, which proposes changes to the Better Apartments Design Standards and the Apartment Design Guidelines for Victoria.

The Discussion Paper follows the government’s announced changes to the planning rules for apartment developments, with a focus on making new apartments more liveable and sustainable by improving the relationship between new apartment developments and the amenity of existing neighbourhoods.

It is our opinion that the updated design standards will not result in better apartments in neighbourhoods. The standards need to be accompanied by radical reform of the legal and planning framework which:
  • specifically rewards developers for the early adoption of, and voluntary compliance with, the updated design standards
  • fast-tracks the planning permit approval process for better apartments, and
  • depoliticises the planning permit process at a local government level, through the establishment of an independent, multi-disciplinary design review panel.

BL’s submission outlines the supporting legal framework required to enable the development sector to deliver better apartments in a certain, timely and cost-effective manner, for the ultimate benefit of the end consumer and their neighbourhood.


Arnold Bloch Leibler's Property & Development practice acts on behalf of many of Victoria’s most prolific residential apartment developers, in many cases for the entire life cycle of a project, from site due diligence, obtaining a planning permit, through to project finance and construction. The firm has first-hand experience of how planning regulations impact the entire life cycle of a residential apartment project and is therefore uniquely positioned to make submissions on the proposed changes to the Better Apartments Design Standards.

Click here to read our submission.

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