Bigger, brighter and more flexible apartments should be the rule.

30 July 2015

Bayside City Council has added its voice to the call for bigger, brighter and more flexible apartment designs in response to the Victorian Government’s Better Apartments Discussion Paper.

Bayside City Council Mayor Cr Felcity Frederico said that setting a minimum size for apartments in buildings over five stories is essential if they are to remain a viable and attractive choice over time.

“Although Bayside is a comparatively low-rise municipality, it is essential that any larger scale developments reflect the high-quality housing that our residents expect,” Cr Frederico said.

“To achieve this, minimum apartment sizes should be established and considerations for direct natural light, flexible layouts as well as views and ventilation should be mandated to ensure that apartments in these developments remain liveable over the long term.”

While only around one per cent of Bayside’s residential areas are zoned for buildings of up to six stories, Bayside’s Planning Scheme also allows for these apartment buildings to be built in some commercial and mixed-use zones.

“Apartment living is part of the housing mix for Bayside and, in particular, enables downsizers and younger people the opportunity to remain living in Bayside through the provision of more affordable housing,” Cr Frederico said.

“Ensuring that all rooms in apartments have access to natural light, that reasonable opportunities are provided for quality outlooks from apartments and that all apartments have access to open space such as a balcony is imperative if developments are to be attractive long-term homes.”

“While we acknowledge that it is important that building codes are not so restrictive that they stifle development, it is vital that new developments are liveable and make a positive contribution to our built environment.”

Bayside City Council is also calling on the Victorian Government to include further stages of consultation to inform the completion and implementation of the Better Apartment guidelines.

“The outcomes of the Better Apartments Discussion Paper are important for the whole Victorian community and the Victorian Government needs to ensure it continues to consult with us through the process if they are to get it right,” Cr Frderico said.

Key recommendations in Bayside’s response to the Victorian Government’s Better Apartments Discussion Paper include:
Services, circulation and structural supports should be located to ensure dwellings are able to accommodate internal rearrangements.

  • All habitable rooms should include natural ventilation
  • A balcony with a minimum depth of two metres should be provided for all dwellings and should be extended to the living area and be easily accessible.
  • All habitable rooms should have access to natural light through the provision of an external window that is open to the sky or a balcony.
  • Ceiling height dimensions should be taken into consideration to maximise the penetration of daylight into dwellings.
  • Mature trees and vegetation should be incorporated in the landscape layout and design

Page last updated: 30 Jul 2015