With the city's population set to expand to 8 million people by 2051, Planning Minister Richard Wynne has confirmed that Melbourne's established "middle ring" – which includes highly protected suburbs such as Glen Waverly, Hampton and Doncaster – will be asked to squeeze in more dwellings to help manage future growth.
Planning Minister Richard Wynne (middle) with the McMahon family - Claire, Steve and son Joseph - in Mentone. Photo: Jesse Marlow
Under the refreshed Plan Melbourne blueprint, the limit of two dwellings per block will be scrapped, giving developers the ability to build more townhouses, villas and other properties across the city.
Mandatory maximum height limits will also be set for new dwellings – including an increase from nine to 11 metres in general residential zones.
Planning Minister Richard Wynne announces the new Plan Melbourne blueprint. Photo: Jesse Marlow
And housing blocks of 400 square metres or more will be required to provide minimum garden space, a move partly designed to stem the tide of "McMansions" and other buildings built from "boundary to boundary".
"This is all about protecting the much-loved Aussie backyard," Mr Wynne said.
Announcing the strategy on Saturday, Mr Wynne said the changes would provide greater certainty and protection, while at the same time ensuring that the state had a long-term plan to manage its rapidly expanding population.
However, the push to get the middle suburbs to take on more of Victoria's growth will be fiercely resisted by some residents keen to protect their patch.
"We're already under stress as a nation from the pace of change – so one of the things that needs to be done to help alleviate that is to preserve our neighbourhoods," said Save Our Suburbs president Ian Wood.