Raising the Bar for Townhouse Development in Maribyrnong

Published on 04 December 2022

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Council has released proposed new guidelines designed to encourage better townhouse developments to better meet the needs and expectations of our community.

The draft Medium Density Design Guide contains 45 guidelines for two or more dwellings on a lot including dual occupancy, attached, terraces, courtyard and village configurations.

They emphasise:

  • Better site design maximising green open space
  • Improved layout, natural light and ventilation
  • Safe and attractive access arrangements for people
  • Safe and attractive streetscapes
  • Quality building appearance and landscaping

Townhouse style developments contribute significantly to intensification in the residential areas of our City with nearly 70% of all development applications received by Council in that category.

The draft Medium Density Design Guide aims to improve quality and consistency to be more in keeping with their site the streetscape and neighbourhood around them.

Over recent years, as land values have soared, Mayor, Cr Sarah Carter, said one housing type has tended to dominate the medium density landscape in Maribyrnong.

“Villa style infill housing, with three or more units squeezed onto a single suburban block has proliferated – often with little concern for neighbours, and so tightly packed it has changed entire streets and suburbs.

“Given this, and the volume of townhouse applications we are seeing, it is imperative we address design quality and raise the bar to achieve better homes, streets and neighbourhoods for our community.

 “We’re not just talking aesthetics, but how things work and how future developments interact with the environment. Ensuring high quality design will be the key to creating more resilient and liveable neighbourhoods to accommodate our growing population,” Mayor Carter added.

Around 1,000 new homes on average will need to be built each year to accommodate the forecast population growth from 87,500 in 2016 to 134,000 by 2051.

Mayor Carter said the future of medium density development is an important conversation for everyone living in Maribyrnong.

“It will set up a shared vision for how we are going to address our need for more homes and embrace our growing population. It will define the kind of homes we want to live in and the neighbourhoods we want to be part of,” she said.

The draft Guide outlines and clarifies Council’s desire to lift the standard of design proposed for developers working in Maribyrnong in the future and sets expectations around the importance of thoughtful, considered and sustainable design in meeting our future needs around medium density dwellings, which are expected to increase along with the population.

Please join the conversation and share your thoughts on the draft guidelines by 5pm, Sunday 18 December 2022 at yourcityyourvoice.com.au/medium-density-guidelines

Medium density refers to the range of housing configurations of two or more dwellings on a lot including dual occupancy, attached, terrace, block, courtyard and village arrangements.

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