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Designing Buildings and Spaces in Merri-bek

Amendment C142 Approved

On 15 November 2017, The Minister for Planning wrote to the Mayor advising that he had decided to approve Amendment C142, generally in accordance with the revised version of the Amendment that was adopted by Council in February 2017.

Notification of approval of Amendment C142 appeared in the Government Gazette on 14 December 2017, with the Moreland Planning Scheme updated accordingly. 

About Amendment C142

Amendment C142 is an amendment to the Merri-bek Planning Scheme which introduced the Merri-bek Apartment Design Code (previously known as the Merri-bek Higher Density Design Code) into the Merri-bek Planning Scheme. 

The Merri-bek Apartment Design Code aims to improve the quality of development of five or more storeys in Merri-bek, particularly for apartment-style developments. It provides a comprehensive set of objectives, standards and decision guidelines for assessing these types of development applications.


Status update (February 2017)

The Minister for Planning launched the Better Apartments: A Discussion Paper in May 2015. Submissions closed on 31 July 2015. Council noted the Officer Submission to the Better Apartments Discussion Paper (PDF 142Kb) at its meeting on 12 August 2015. It is anticipated that the Merri-bek Apartment Design Code would be superseded if any state-wide guidelines were introduced.

Council resolved on 8 February 2017 to seek a variation to Amendment C142 to insert the Merri-bek Apartment Design Code requirements on lightwells and building separation standards into Clause 22.07 of the Merri-bek Planning Scheme. The purpose of seeking these variations is to supplement standards that were deleted from the final version of the Better Apartments Design Standards announced by the Minister for Planning in December 2016.  


Status update (June 2016)

On 13 June 2016 the Minister advised Council that he has decided to "Make no decision on Amendment C142" further noting that he would "reassess this decision once the outcomes of the (State-led) Better Apartments project are known". 

Download C142 Minister's Decision (PDF 515Kb).

Panel Report (August 2015)

Council received the Amendment C142 Panel Report (PDF 853Kb) in June 2015. Council considered the recommendations of the Panel at its meeting on 12 August 2015. View the Council Report on the Council meeting page.

Council resolved to Adopt Amendment C142 subject to changes as documented in the Response to Panel Recommendations (PDF 241Kb) and to submit Amendment C142 to the Minister for Planning for Approval. 

The Amendment was submitted to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning on 24 September 2015.

Panel Hearing (March and April 2015)

The Panel Hearing to consider the Amendment was held on 23, 24 and 25 March and 9 April 2015.

Download the Amendment C142 Council Submission to the Panel (PDF 2Mb).

The following information and expert evidence reports are provided in accordance with Directions 5, 6 and 9 of the Panel:

Information supplied by Council:

Testing by Design Reports :

Post exhibition refinements to the exhibited documents (Track changes):

Experts appearing on behalf of UDIA (Vic):

Experts appearing on behalf of Sedmap Investments Pty Ltd:

Renotification of Amendment C142 (September to October 2014)

Council considered the submissions to the original draft of Amendment C142 at its meeting on 9 July 2014. At the meeting it resolved to undertake further consultation prior to requesting an independent panel. Reference is made to the amendment and the submissions in the Council Meeting minutes 9 July 2014.

In response to submissions, and from its own internal review, Council has revised the Amendment C142 document to provide a more logical structure and to ensure the objectives, standards and decision guidelines are reasonable, clear and understandable.

Council also resolved to re-exhibit the revised Amendment C142 and seek submissions. This decision was made because Council made substantial changes to the Merri-bek Apartment Design Code (previously known as the Merri-bek Higher Density Design Code).

The closing date for submissions was 3 October 2014. Thirteen (13) submissions were received. View submissions received by Council during the exhibition period and a summary:

Notification of Amendment C142 (December 2012 to March 2013)

Amendment C142 was originally exhibited between December 2012 and March 2013. Fifty submissions were received from developers, planning consultants, architects, local resident groups and individuals. In summary, the main issues raised were:

  • A state wide guideline should be prepared, not a local one
  • Some of the standards affect the viability of development
  • The Code should seek to achieve a higher level of environmental performance, particularly landscaping
  • The Code should not be supporting higher density development, and
  • The Code has a number of inconsistencies, unnecessary duplication and vague standards.

You can read the submissions received by council during the original exhibition period:

Further information about designing buildings and spaces in Merri-bek

For further information relating to the amendment process and exhibition, contact Council's Strategic Planning Unit on 9240 1111 or email email Strategic Planning.

Key dates

December 2017
Amendment C142 gazetted and incorporated into the Merri-bek Planning Scheme.

November 2017
Minister for Planning approves Amendment C142.

February 2017
Variation adopted by Council post release of the State's Better Apartment Design Guidelines.

August 2015
Amendment with changes adopted by Council.

Key documents

Moreland Apartment Design Code Reference Document (PDF 8Mb)

Moreland Apartment Design Code Checklist (DOC 176Kb)

There are some documents that are only available as PDFs on this page. If you have trouble opening or viewing a PDF document, you can contact us through our Contact page and we will arrange to provide the information in a format that suits your needs. You can also go to our Accessibility page to find out further details.