The need to combat urban sprawl has made closer density development of land a high-priority planning goal. The government encourages increased density throughout urban areas in order to gain the greatest community advantage from our roads, drains and utilities.
Suburban land in all metropolitan areas may be redeveloped. Some developers are careful about the local amenity. Others are not. Developments can involve boundary-to-boundary building, high boundary walls, multi-storey buildings that encroach on sunlight and visual privacy, and the destruction of suburban vegetation and trees. In many situations, all the parties concerned can negotiate a development that preserves the value and amenity of the area.
The legal and administrative systems involved are complicated. Councils have limited powers to refuse permits. The Planning Division of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal deals with disputes between councils, neighbours and developers (for more information, see Appealing government and administrative decisions). In many suburbs, local residents’ groups have been organised to provide information about the processes involved.
Your council will provide information about high density development in your area.