Density Beyond Diversity: Planning for Who?

Home to an increasing and significant proportion of the population, Melbourne’s Growth Areas already provide diverse and affordable housing.

However, the proposed mandating for a minimum of 25 dwellings per hectare in the Growth Areas will not only reduce the variety of housing currently being provided, but will adversely impact the communities that live there.


In its 2015 report advising the Victorian Planning Minister on how to improve the metropolitan strategy Plan Melbourne, the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) has included a recommendation to mandate a minimum of 25 dwellings per hectare (net) across Melbourne’s Growth Areas.

Recommended on the basis that it would deliver greater housing choice and assist affordability, the report fails to provide any evidence to support how the introduction of this minimum dwelling density would deliver the policy objectives intended.

Additionally, the introduction of a minimum dwelling density that is likely to result in the already under-serviced Growth Areas becoming denser than the vast majority of Melbourne’s existing suburbs, is little more than a crude mechanism that risks creating more issues than it solves.

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