Unit Developments are the construction of multiple houses on one property, this includes semi-detached unit developments, apartment buildings and mixed use developments that include residential components.
Darebin Planning Scheme
In general the Darebin Planning Scheme encourages the construction of additional houses within existing residential areas, usually resulting in more than one house on a property. However, careful consideration needs to be made in terms of neighbourhood character, impacts to the surrounding properties and the amenity for the future occupants of the new houses.
How many units can I put on my land?
There is no fixed answer to this question as it depends on a number of factors including but not limited to:
- Scale of the development
- How close the land is to local services
- Size of the land
- Context of neighbouring properties (i.e. the location of significant trees, open space; and compliance or otherwise with relevant planning controls)
All these factors combined would determine whether a site is suitable for multiple units.
It is recommended that any plans for more than one unit on a property be discussed with a private planning consultant or building designer/architect, neighbours and our Planning Department prior to lodging an application. In all cases, a planning permit is required to build multiple units on land.
Single dwelling covenants
Your property may be affected by a restriction that is commonly referred to as a ‘single dwelling covenant’. A single dwelling covenant usually does not allow more than one house to be constructed on a property.
We cannot issue a Planning Permit for more than one house on a property if it is affected by a single dwelling covenant. There are additional types of covenants that may also affect your proposal.
You will need to obtain a recent copy of the Certificate of Title from the Land Titles Office to determine if your property is affected by a covenant.
A Planning Permit is required to change or delete a covenant.
The Restrictive Covenants information sheet provides information about restrictive covenants and how to vary or remove covenants from a Certificate of Title. This checklist details the information that is required for applications for a planning permit to vary or remove a restrictive covenant.
Your property may be affected by a Heritage Overlay, which can affect your ability to demolish buildings and the design and scale of any new construction. Prior to lodging your application you should discuss your proposal with Council’s Heritage Advisor to ensure your proposal respects the heritage significance of the area or building.
Pre Application Meeting
Pre-application meetings are for people who intend to lodge a planning permit application. You can meet with our planning staff prior to lodgement for advice and assistance in the preliminary stages of the planning and design process.
Benefits of pre-application meetings
Pre-application meetings are helpful in identifying key issues that may be important to the future use of the property. The intention of the meeting is to conduct an open and productive forum whereby all parties work towards a high quality outcome. Pre-application meetings should also give some level of certainty about the outcome of the application to ensure a smoother and more efficient process of the application.
Advice given in a pre-application meeting
Pre-application meetings are not able to investigate every detail covered through the formal assessment process once the application is lodged. Given the time available and the level of detail it is impossible to give a thorough assessment at this stage. We give advice in good faith and we are not bound in any future decisions.
Types of applications appropriate for a pre-application meeting
Any type of unit development is appropriate for pre-application meetings. However, we strongly encourage pre-application meetings for:
- 5 or more houses
- Apartments buildings
- Mixed use buildings
Topics discussed in a pre-application meeting
At the meeting you can discuss:
- Initial concepts
- Detailed design aspects
- Any other requirements
Our planning officers will give their professional opinion on the proposal and provide guidance where possible. However, it must be remembered that the meeting is not intended to pre-empt the outcome of the application. Once the planning application is lodged it will need to undergo a thorough assessment against the provisions of the Darebin Planning Scheme.
Preparing for a pre-application meeting
Preparation is essential. The quality of advice given depends on the level of detail and accuracy of the information presented to the planner. It is essential the you research the proposal and identify relevant issues to raise at the meeting.
You should provide as much detail as possible about the proposal. The following checklist may be of assistance.
- A full copy of title that is no more than three months old.
- Photographs of the site and the surrounding area in particular the neighbouring adjacent properties and the streetscape and any significantly sized vegetation.
A neighbourhood and site description plan showing:
- Existing buildings on site
- Location of buildings on at least four adjoining properties (including habitable room windows and private open space areas).
- A concept plan at 1:100 showing detail such as the proposed building footprint at all storeys, window placement and the internal layout of all buildings.
Concept plan including the following:
- Earthworks – any cut and fill and possible locations for retaining walls.
- Location of existing vegetation.
- Location of car parking facilities and vehicle access arrangements.
- Location of crossovers existing and proposed crossovers.
- Concept design of elevations at 1:100.
It is highly recommended that you attend a pre-application meeting with all of the above information required to give a reasonable understanding of the proposal by the planner. This will assist the planner to give more accurate and useful advice for your project. The above documentation may require the services of a consultant to assist in their preparation and to facilitate the application process.
It is intended that the planner that you have the pre-application meeting with will manage the application once it is lodged; however, this is not always guaranteed due to staff movement or workloads.
Location of pre-application meetings
Pre-application meetings are held at the Darebin City Council at 274 Gower Street, Preston. A meeting will need to be booked ahead of time to ensure the availability of a planner and meeting room. This can be made by contacting the Planning Department on 8470 8850 between the hours of 8:45am – 4:45pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).
If you are constructing or extending a commercial or industrial building you may be required to pay a development contribution to the City of Darebin before a Building Permit is issued. The Development Contribution will be invoiced after a Planning Permit has been issued for the development.