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Could Changes To The Planning Zones Cause Developers To Have Another Look At The NRZ?

The proposed changes to the residential zone controls put forward by the Victorian State Government via Amendment VC110 were gazetted on Tuesday.

While the amendments effect the General Residential Zone (GRZ), Residential Growth Zone (RGZ), and Mixed Use Zone (MUZ) it’s the removal of the two-lot subdivision restriction in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ) that is perhaps most notable, effectively increasing development potential in the NRZ.

Data provided by shows that in select suburbs across inner and middle Melbourne where the NRZ has been implemented by councils, quite a substantial amount of these properties have large block sizes.

                      Suburbs in the inner east and south-east of Melbourne that are covered by NRZ


Until now, the two-lot subdivision restriction has forced developers who are looking for sites to accommodate multiple dwellings to focus outside the NRZ and more towards the GRZ, RGZ and MUZ. 

Ed Farquharson from Moda Corp believes the changes will ensure developers will take another look at NRZ properties.  "These changes will result in developers targeting areas that were previously restrictive."

"It's now possible for developers to consider design responses which incorporate multiple dwellings in quieter neighbourhoods with larger blocks of land" says Farquharson.

Ratio consultants have provided a summary of changes on their website.

The key changes to the Neighbourhood Residential Zone are as follows:

  • Removal of the previous restriction on the maximum number of dwellings per lot.
  • Amendment to the purpose of the zone to remove the previous references to limiting opportunities for increased residential development and the implementation of character policy/adopted guidelines. 
  • Requiring that the schedule to the zone must contain the neighbourhood, heritage, environment or landscape character objective for the area to be achieved.
  • The introduction of a mandatory minimum garden area requirement for lots greater than 400 square metres and above ranging from between 25 and 35 per cent of lot area (irrespective of whether a planning permit is required).
  • A mandatory maximum height of 9 metres and 2 storeys with potential to exceed this height only in particular circumstances including on sloping sites, land subject to flooding and existing/adjoining building heights.
  • Revised transitional provisions which amongst other things seeks to exempt planning permit applications for the construction or extension of a dwelling lodged before the VC110 approval date.

          - They're here! The residential zone amendments have been gazetted - Ratio Consultants

In analysing the plethora of NRZ properties in Melbourne, have chosen to highlight how many 1000+ m2 NRZ properties there are in select suburbs.

SuburbTotal PropertiesNo. of Properties in NRZ% of Properties in NRZNo. of Properties in NRZ > 1000m2% of Properties in NRZ > 1000m2
Brighton 14539 10204 70.18 2985 20.53
Kooyong 566 399 70.49 160 28.27
Hawthorn 17531 7886 44.98 2922 16.67
Caulfield 3332 2672 80.19 614 18.43
Balwyn 7746 5068 65.43 1066 13.76
Elsternwick 6790 5022 73.96 1719 25.32
Beaumaris 6517 6231 95.61 672 10.31
Fitzroy North 7820 6253 79.96 1327 16.97
Brunswick East 7735 5205 67.29 1763 22.79
Princes Hill 1189 1183 99.50 351 29.52




Data supplied by

Lead image credit: Colliers

Source: Alastair Taylor -

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