Creating consistent standards for apartments - Medium Density Residential Development Standards Project

The Tasmanian Government has announced a project to amend the planning rules in the State Planning Provisions (SPPs) to deliver consistent requirements for apartments built across Tasmania. The new requirements will provide a clear pathway for the approval of apartments (through an Apartment Code) and encourage good quality design and liveable spaces.

The project is being managed by the Department of Premier and Cabinet's State Planning Office in partnership with Hobart City Council as part of the Hobart City Deal (external link).

The Apartment Code will be prepared as part of the SPPs Review and implemented through a future amendment to the SPPs in the Tasmanian Planning Scheme.

The Terms of Reference that define the scope of the Apartment Code have been prepared by the former Minister for Planning.

Where will the Apartment Code apply?

It is proposed to apply the Apartment Code in areas where apartments are already allowable under the Tasmanian Planning Scheme.

This could include land within the Inner Residential Zone, Urban Mixed Use Zone, Local Business Zone, General Business Zone, Central Business Zone or any other areas identified through Local Provisions Schedule.

How will the Apartment Code operate in conjunction with the other requirements in the State Planning Provisions?

The Apartment Code is intended to operate in conjunction with the normal planning rules in the zones and codes in the SPPs, as well as any locally unique requirements in a council’s Local Provisions Schedule.

For example, the use status (Use Table), density, and building height and setbacks would still be managed in accordance with the rules in the relevant zone. Any relevant codes in the SPPs would still apply, such as the Local Historic Heritage Code and the Parking and Sustainable Transport Code.

Any relevant requirements in the Local Provisions Schedules would also still apply, such as specific area plans and site-specific qualifications.

What issues is the Apartment Code likely to cover?

The Apartment Code will include a set of planning rules that encourage well-designed apartment developments that deliver residential amenity and promote the health and well-being of occupants. Issues likely to be covered include:

  • access to daylight and natural ventilation
  • visual and acoustic privacy
  • apartment size, layout and storage
  • private open space and common open space
  • common circulation spaces (access within and between floors)
  • waste storage and collection

Matters relating to energy efficiency and universal design (design requirements for people of different ages and abilities) will be considered under the building regulations and National Construction Code (external link).

What has been done on the Apartment Code so far?

A range of best practice design and planning requirements have been considered from other Australian states in preparing the Apartment Code, such as the:

Early work commenced on the Apartment Code in late 2019 with the assistance of technical reference groups consisting of local council planners and architects. A draft of the Code was made available for targeted consultation in early 2020.

Revisions were made to the draft Apartment Code and further testing is currently being undertaken as part of the Hobart Central Precincts Plan project (external link).

When will the draft Apartment Code be available for public input?

The draft Apartment Code will be considered as part of the SPPs Review through a broader review of the residential development standards.

Reference groups and consultative groups will be established to assist with considering the broader residential development standards review and the preparation of amendments to the SPPs.

Amendments to the SPPs are made available for public input through independent review process by the Tasmanian Planning Commission, including public hearings.