The emergence of McMansion scale dwelling construction in Warrandyte

by | Aug 22, 2017 | General

A number of max-sized houses are popping up within our generally low density bushland character residential areas. These “McMansions” can be built because our subdivision are older and therefore feature larger lot sizes than the modern Melbourne estate and also because the more generous site coverage limits introduced to facilitate multi unit development apply in Warrandyte despite prohibition of dual occupancy in Warrandyte.

A sub-committee of Doug Seymour and Peter Hanson have been asked to research the planning controls applying within the Neighbourhood Residential Zone on the Manningham side of Warrandyte to determine what additional planning controls should be advocated to encourage building design which harmonises with the neighbourhood character of our community.


The current controls are set out in the following clauses of the Planning Scheme:

  1. Clause 54 – State section provisions for “One Dwelling on a Lot” ( part of the “Residential Development Provisions” which apply)
  2. Planning overlay DD03 which limits the subdividable area to 1000 sq.m minimum and prohibits dual occupancy
  3. Clause 32.09 – provisions of the Neighbourhood Residential Zone
  4. Schedule 1 to Clause 32.09 which specifies the permit requirements to achieve acceptable Neighbourhood Character Response ~ refers to Clause 54 and is prepared by Manningham Council. See Attachment 3.

The Department of Environment Lands Water and Planning has issued guidelines for all Neighbourhood Residential Zoned areas across the State, the stated purpose being to allow increased density of development on the basis that “it is the impact of the development of land on the identified values, not the number of dwellings , that should determine whether a development is acceptable ……….”

Click HERE to see the Fact Sheet issued for the Zone.

It is our contention that the new minimum garden area and other minimum requirements set out in Schedule 1 of the provisions this Fact Sheet are directed towards achieving acceptable outcomes in dual occupancy situations and that their application to single dwelling development on our larger allotments permits the construction of vary large houses in our district, especially as dual occupancy is prohibited in the Warrandyte NRZ area by Design & Development overlay DD03.


The WCA prepared a draft paper describing the issue and offering a starting point solution which was that the relevant schedule to the Zone be amended to add a column requirements (“ limits”) compatible with a harmonious single dwelling development. +Early discussions with Manningham Councillors have helped us understand a better starting point would be a simple “description of the problem”. Solutions then emerge through a steady and possibly lengthy consultation process.

The scope of the revised paper will also be expanded to bring similar issues now emerging on our green wedge rural zones into the submission.