Amendment overview

Amendment C278 proposes to protect sunlight in parks across the municipality excluding the central city, Southbank and Docklands.

The revised approach is to:

  • Introduce winter sun access protection to all parks to support healthy living.
  • Increase sunlight protection hours to 10am to 3pm in winter from the current 11am to 2pm in spring and autumn, for people to be able to enjoy our parks for longer periods throughout the day.
  • Introduce a mandatory 'no additional overshadowing' control.
  • Allow limited additional overshadowing of parks in growth areas to balance sunlight access to parks with the need to support development intensification.
  • Modify the hours of protection for Fawkner Park, the Botanic Gardens and smaller parks on the edge of the central city to 10am to 2pm recognising that after 2pm, winter shadow from tall city buildings will cast a shadow across these parks.

This new approach is informed by the findings of the Sunlight to Access to Public Parks Modelling Analysis Report, February 2018 undertaken by Hodyl + Co on behalf of Council. The report recommends a revised policy approach to provide winter sunlight protection across a broader range of hours. Read the report in the document library below.

Amendment C278 is being proposed for several reasons.

From a well-being perspective we know that many Melburnians do not get enough sun exposure in winter. This is especially challenging for people living or working in high-density environments with limited access to private green space. Many City of Melbourne residents rely on parks for all their outdoor needs such as exercise, walking their dog or socialising.

It’s not often possible to create new parks, particularly in areas where land values are high, so it’s important that our existing parks continue to support our growing population and remain sunny and pleasant places to be. Protecting access to sunlight in parks provides our community the opportunity to enjoy the winter sun in a park close to where they live or work.

This change is long overdue. The current overshadowing planning controls were introduced into the Melbourne Planning Scheme in 1999. Significant population growth since then continues to increase the use of our parks. The scale and heights of buildings has also increased in the last 20 years. As buildings get taller, the potential for overshadowing of parks increases.

Amendment C278 proposes to change the Melbourne Planning Scheme by:

  • Amending Clause 21.17 Reference Documents to include the Sunlight Access to Public Spaces Modelling Analysis Report, February 2018 by Hodyl + Co.
  • Amending Clause 22.02 (Sunlight to Public Spaces Policy) to distinguish between parks within and outside the central city and Southbank, and to reflect a shift to protecting winter sunlight access across a broader range of times during the day to all public parks outside the central city and Southbank. This policy does not apply to Docklands.
  • Introducing a new Schedule to the Design and Development Overlay (DDO8). The proposed DDO8 introduces new planning scheme requirements for the protection of sunlight access for all public parks in the municipality (excluding parks the Hoddle Grid, Spring Street South, Southbank and Docklands).
  • Inserting DDO8 to Planning Scheme Maps 1 to 11.
  • Replacing the schedule to Clause 72.03 with a new schedule to Clause 72.03 to include new maps in the Planning Scheme.

See the document library for further information.

The revised approach is proposed to be implemented through an updated Sunlight to Public Spaces Policy and a new Schedule 8 to the Design and Development Overlay (DDO8).

The proposed new Schedule 8 (DDO8) identifies three park categories that specify a different mandatory level of protection from overshadowing by surrounding new development for each park type.

See the document library below for further information.

While the focus of this amendment is to protect winter sunlight in parks from being overshadowed, we also need to balance this with Council’s approved growth strategy as outlined in current Melbourne Planning Scheme.

Document Library

Exhibition documents

Gazette Notice

Explanatory Report

Park types and the protection areas

Understand how the amendment applies to buildings and green spaces.

Amendment process

Public consultation on Amendment C278 is open from 1 August to 5 September. Once this is closed, we will consider all submissions. Under the Planning and Environment Act 1987, Council can decide whether to make the changes requested by submissions to the Amendment or request that the Minister for Planning appoint an independent panel to hear and review submissions.

Before making a final decision on the amendment, Council will consider the independent panel’s advice. If the amendment is adopted by Council then it will be submitted to the Minister for Planning for final approval.

For more information, see the planning scheme amendment process.

The new planning controls will only apply if you are planning to build. If you’re a resident or park user who is not planning to build or develop a property, these controls do not affect you – they are there to protect your access to winter sunlight and the benefits that come with this.

If you’re planning to build or develop a property – whether you’re a resident or not – the controls will affect you, but only if the proposed building is over nine metres high. The planning controls will only trigger a planning permit for building and works where the overall building height is over nine metres.

The majority of sites included in the Amendment area are in low scale areas where the impact on future development will be minimal. Depending on the height of your proposed development, you may need to re-configure external features such as balconies or eaves on the upper level of a building in order to comply with the new controls.

For sites where development of over four storeys is permitted, access to winter sunlight in our parks is at the greatest risk and yet this is where sunlight is most needed to support growing numbers of apartment residents. There may be some reduction to development capacity for land parcels at the park interface and for land parcels behind, due to the need to set back or reconfigure parts of a proposed development in order to comply with the overshadowing test.

The proposed planning controls will only apply if:

  • your property is within the area affected by DDO8
  • you are planning to build
  • the new building or the alterations or additions to the existing building are over nine metres in height.

If the new building or alterations to the building is nine metres or under in height, or if you’re altering an existing building without changing the height or setback of any part of that building, then you don’t need a planning permit.

Follow these steps to apply the new park protection controls:

  1. Identify the nearest park in the area you’re proposing to build.
  2. Identify the protection category that applies to the park. To find this, go to the interactive map and select a park to see the its type and protection control.
  3. Measure the existing shadow on the park based on the date and times specified in the relevant park type. If you are in the vicinity of a Type 2 park, you must also calculate the allowable shadow that would be created if a street wall was built to the current planning height controls.
  4. Test the overshadowing impact of your development on the park at the date and time range specified for the relevant park type.
  5. Submit your planning permit application together with a 3D model to show that your development does not overshadow the park during the times and date specified for the relevant park type.

It is important to note that the Melbourne Planning Scheme is a detailed document and various planning scheme policies and provisions can apply to your property. Find out more about the Melbourne Planning Scheme.

Lodge your submission for Amendment C278 by completing the form on the submission page.

If you prefer, you can also send your submission by email to planningpolicy@melbourne.vic.gov.au or you can post it to Robyn Hellman, Planning Policy Coordinator, City of Melbourne, GPO Box 1603, Melbourne, Victoria 3001.

Anyone who may be affected by the Amendment can make a submission. You must make submissions in writing with your name and contact address, clearly stating the grounds on which you support or oppose the amendment and indicating what changes (if any) you wish to make.

Your name and contact details of submitters are needed for Council to consider submissions and to notify you of the opportunity to attend Council meetings and any public meetings held to consider submissions.

Council must make a copy of every submission available at its office for any person to inspect free of charge for two months after the amendment comes into operation or lapses.

Steps to apply the new park protection controls.

Interactive map

See the planning controls for each park and find out if Amendment C278 affects you.

Amendment C278