When is a two-bedroom unit not a two-bedroom unit?

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Planning departments in the New South Wales and Victorian State Governments are hoping to clarify design requirements for apartments in the two states.

In NSW, a review of policies surrounding apartment design soon to be released by Planning Minister Rob Stokes will specify apartment sizes, while the Victorian Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure has called for input on Better Apartments, a discussion paper looking at the design of apartments in Victoria.

The minimum sizes to be set down in NSW will be 35 square metres for studios, 50 square metres for one bedroom apartments, 70 square metres for two bedroom apartments and 90 square metres for three bedroom apartments.

These requirements are based on apartments with one bathroom with another five square metres required for any additional bathrooms.

Any additional bedrooms would require an increase of the apartment size by 12 square metres.

Minister Stokes said the requirements would bring NSW into line with global locations like New York and London, while also ensuring high quality apartments are delivered.

“This decision will provide much needed clarity for homebuyers, the property industry and councils. It will help deliver high quality apartments and help increase housing supply,” he said.

“If there is market demand, clearly apartments can be bigger than the minimum size.”

In Victoria, it is hoped the Better Apartments discussion paper will address concerns held by the government, industry and broader community about the internal amenity of apartments being built in the state.

The Victorian branch of the Property Council of Australia welcomed the release of the discussion paper; with executive director Jennifer Curnich believing it will highlight the need for good design of apartments.

“With clever, innovative architects working with builders, 50 square metres can be a good quality, liveable space for people who don’t require a larger apartment – singles, couples without children, students” she said.
 

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