Apartment Oasis: Housing standards include greenspaces

New design standards outlined by the Victorian government at the end of February, are seeking to improve access to public space.

A move such as this could push up prices of new buildings but the Property Council predicts the pay-offs in liveability and quality of life will be so “enormous” that any increase or changes will be supported by industry and buyers.


The new standards mandate outlined that new apartment blocks with more than 10 dwellings must have access to communal greenspace.

Planning Minister Richard Wynne said the changes reflected the fact people increasingly wanted more from their homes. Something highlighted in a post-COVID society, “It’s essentially an understanding that for many people, their home is not just a sanctuary, it has also been a place where they work for the last 12 months,” he said. “So amenity becomes a really important element in this conversation.”

Property Council boss Danni Hunter acknowledged the possible increase in property prices but also made mention about the livability of these new builds, which isn’t always easy to put a cumulative price on increasing quality of life.

“The biggest change in these apartment design guidelines is around the open space and landscaping requirements, but they really do offer such enormous livability benefits that the industry is supportive,” she said. “What we’re choosing here is high levels of amenity and choosing liveability. And yes, that may have an impact on house prices and apartment prices, but it will be an important impact where purchasers will actually be able to recognise that these apartments are more livable and have a higher standard.”

Images by Chris Hopkins

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