News update: A Current Affairs story on apartment development in Brunswick East

On Monday 18 March Channel 9's A Current Affair aired a story focusing on an apartment complex within the Merri-bek municipality.

It highlighted residents frustrations over a development being built on the neighbouring property. 

The apartment building with a concrete side wall facing the concerned residents apartments is currently under construction. The Development Plan showing the location of the building under construction was approved before the concerned residents purchased their apartments. A condition of the planning approval requires that the side wall be cleaned and finished before the apartment building is completed.

The concerned residents’ apartment building has setbacks which vary between zero and five metres and in some locations the new neighbouring wall can be easily touched by hand.   The setbacks exceed the planning scheme requirements that existed throughout Victoria at the time of approval.

Understandably residents are concerned at the loss of natural light.

Where we live and what surrounds us impacts our amenity so it’s vital to make an informed decision when purchasing property and land. Merri-bek City Council can assist prospective purchasers in providing that information.

At the time this planning decision was made the same building setback controls for light and air applied statewide. Increases to the setback standards for light and air were achieved through the consideration of the planning permit application. In the years since approval of the residents apartments, highlighted in the A Current Affair story and in the Merri-bek Leader, Council has been successful in gaining support from the Minister for Planning to introduce new planning controls for improved building separation and apartment outlooks. These new planning controls formed part of the award-winning Moreland Apartment Design Code Standards, which vastly improve building separation requirements.  

We encourage all prospective home purchasers and tenants to contact Merri-bek Council to determine what, if any, approvals have been given on neighbouring sites.

If you’re not sure about the future or history of a site, Merri-bek Council Officers are available to help you make informed decisions.