This took many by surprise but no more then developers that only just purchased sites that were always big enough for 3 units. Unfortunately, with the new requirement this reduced the yield to 2.
Understanding the garden area is actually quite easy, but knowing its impact prior to its release was nothing sort of catastrophic to those who overpaid on a site and having numbers done on more then what can now work.
The minimum garden area requirement specifies the percentage of a lot that must be set aside to ensure the open garden character of suburbs is protected. A dwelling or residential building, including any associated driveway and car parking cannot be included in the area set aside as garden area. Where does it apply? The minimum garden area requirement applies to land in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone and General Residential Zone and must be met when: • constructing or extending a dwelling or a residential building; or • subdividing land to create a vacant residential lot less than 400 square metres in area.
How much garden area must be provided? When subdividing land that creates a vacant lot that is capable of being developed for a dwelling or a residential building in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone or General Residential Zone, 25 percent must be set aside as garden area on each vacant lot created that is less than 400 square metres in area. When constructing or extending a dwelling or a residential building in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone or General Residential Zone the size of the existing lot determines the minimum percentage of the lot that must be set aside as garden area.
Lot size Minimum percentage of a lot set aside as garden area
400 – 500 sqm 25%
Above 500 – 650 sqm 30%
Above 650 sqm 35%
How is garden area defined? Garden area is defined in Clause 72 of all planning schemes as: Garden area Any area on a lot with a minimum dimension of 1 metre that does not include: a) a dwelling or residential building, except for:
• an eave, fascia or gutter that does not exceed a total width of 600mm;
• a pergola;
• unroofed terraces, patios, decks, steps or landings less than 800mm in height;
• a basement that does not project above ground level;
• any outbuilding that does not exceed a gross floor area of 10 square metres; and • domestic services normal to a dwelling or residential building; b) a driveway; or c) an area set aside for car parking.
Why are some buildings, works and hard surface areas allowed to be included in the garden area? The minimum garden area requirement allows the construction of buildings and works that are typically associated with the use and enjoyment of the outdoor areas of a dwelling or residential building. Consequently, outbuildings and structures such as garden sheds, covered barbeque areas, swimming pools, tennis courts and paved areas including pathways and outdoor entertaining areas can be included in the garden area.