Small Lot Housing Code – Technical update approved
June 24, 2020
The Victorian Government has recently announced that the technical review of the Small Lot Housing Code (the SLHC) has been approved through Amendment GC150. The approval is the result of the review of the SLHC undertaken by the Victorian Planning Authority throughout the course 2019. The intent of the review was to update the SLHC to address existing interpretation issues, reduced delays and avoid unnecessary referrals. To achieve this, the technical components of the SLHC were reviewed and sought to refine and clarify definitions, reduce the complexity of the standards, streamline elements the code where possible, updated the Practice Note and address unintended design issues.
The approval of Amendment GC150 provides measures to replace the existing SLHC incorporated document in the respective Casey, Hume, Melton, Mitchell, Whittlesea and Wyndham Planning Schemes. The new version of the code within these Planning Scheme is titled ‘Small Lot Housing Code (Victorian Planning Authority, November 2019)’.
HIA participated extensively within the technical review process and it is positive to see that a number of recommendations made by HIA were adopted. Recommendations made by HIA which were incorporated in approved Amendment GC150 include:
Providing clarity around the interpretation of provisions
Restructuring of the code to include all relevant definitions to be located in a central glossary at the front of the Practice Note
Providing clarity in that chimneys, flues and service pipes are not to be included when measuring building heights
Clarification of allowable wall heights on boundaries
HIA considers that the SLHC has served the development of small lots in growth areas very well. Throughout this review process, HIA submitted to the VPA that a priority objective of the review process of the SLHC must be to speed up the approvals process for particular applications and consideration be given to matters that only require technical assessment be moved out of the planning approvals system and into the building approvals system.
The Victorian Government had indicated that there may be a possible second phase of review of the SLHC, which may explore a range of opportunities to expand the SLHC. HIA has shown strong support for the second stage of the review and has raised with the Victorian Government that HIA strongly supports the broader application of the SLHC into other development settings, such as infill development sites. HIA will continue to advocate that further consideration be given to expanding the SLHC where possible and to introduce measures which would be of greatest benefit to the residential construction industry.
Read further information on the approval of Amendment GC150.
If you wish to discuss this matter further in any capacity, please do not hesitate to contact Teresa Davis via email or 03 9280 8230.