The updated BADS that were announced earlier in the year have now been implemented into the Victoria Planning Provisions. The changes were gazetted on the 20th December 2021 by the Victorian Minister for Planning.

What does this mean?

The updated BADS are in action! Your planning applications for apartments will be assessed against these new standards, ensuring that design considerations for apartment buildings reflect the new goals for high density developments.

What has been updated?

The updates focus on:

Greenery: the importance of landscaping from the beginning of the design process.

Communal open space: providing accessible and functional open space (particularly relating to apartment buildings with 10+ dwellings).

Private open space: improving privacy (particularly relating to north-facing, south-facing, or high balconies).

Wind conditions: limiting ‘wind tunnel’ effects to keep the streets pleasant by minimising wind impacts (particularly relating to apartment buildings of 5+ storeys).

Improved streetscape: designing street frontages to be both attractive and functional (particularly relating to high fences, blank walls and utility areas such as parking & waste collection etc.).

External materials: ensuring building facades are high quality, durable and in line with the surrounding streetscape.

Why have the BADS been changed?

The Better Apartment Design Standards were first implemented in 2017. The new standards resulted from stakeholder consultation. In an era where high density living is popular – and our home amenities are particularly important – the updates aim to improve living conditions for apartment-dwellers. The purpose of BADS is to put “liveability and wellbeing at the heart of [its] design” (Richard Wynne, Minister for Planning).

What about an existing application?

Though the updated BADS are already in effect, only the former ones still apply to applications lodged before the 20th December 2021 – so don’t worry if you’ve already got a planning application in the works! There are transitional provisions in place to smooth out the crossover, but we’ll let you know if anything needs to change for you. All UPco Planners are across these changes, so we’ll be able to guide you through. As always, we’re here to help – so let us know if you have any questions at all about the BADS, the assessment process, or what it all means for your current and prospective developments.

For more information, call us UP on 8648 3500 or visit the Planning Victoria website.