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Sustainable Subdivisions Framework

The creation of a subdivision is the creation of a community. Subdivision design commences with a relatively blank canvas, setting up the life of the community that will extend over hundreds of years. The initial subdivision design presents an enormous opportunity to create the fundamental conditions for a sustainable and resilient community.

The long-term nature of subdivision planning is now set against the backdrop of our climate fundamentally changing. Many councils are currently planning for population growth for the next 20-30 years, in some cases via Precinct Structure Plans, without considering how these communities might contribute to the 2050 net zero emissions target identified in the Victorian Climate Change Act.

Despite clear objectives in existing planning policy, which seek to influence sustainable design outcomes in the built environment, there are limited information requirements and standards to support a robust evaluation of a subdivision from a sustainability perspective.

What is the Sustainable Subdivisions Framework?

The Framework seeks to mitigate the impacts of future climate projection scenarios, creating sustainable and liveable subdivisions that can adapt to the changing climate. The Framework identifies seven (7) categories that can assist in creating environmentally sustainable subdivisions:

  • Site Layout and Liveability
  • Streets and Public Realm
  • Energy
  • Ecology
  • Integrated Water Management (IWM)
  • Urban Heat
  • Circular Economy (Materials and Waste)

The seven Framework categories each include objectives and measurable standards to facilitate stronger sustainability outcomes and apply innovation and implementation considerations to all categories.

Sustainable Subdivisions Framework Trial

The Warrnambool City Council along with partnering local governments are testing the Sustainable Subdivisions Framework through existing planning processes for an 18-month trial from October 2020 to March 2022.

Warrnambool City Council will be providing a free assessment of subdivision applications greater than 3 lots against the Sustainable Subdivisions Framework for the duration of the trial.  There is no application fee for developers and while the take-up of sustainability recommendations is highly encouraged, it is voluntary, enabling capacity building and shared consideration of innovative approaches. Through this process we aim to understand the willingness of the development community to adopt voluntary recommendations, while simultaneously gaining detailed feedback on the Framework.

We invite you to talk to us about opportunities to apply the Framework to your project/subdivision applications.

For any further queries, please contact Julie Glass, Coordinator City Strategy, email jglass [at] warrnambool [dot] vic [dot] gov [dot] au

There are a range of materials and resources available to support the Framework.

For detailed information about the Framework, please visit the Council Alliance for a Sustainable Built Environment (CASBE) website

There is an extensive array of resources available to support the Framework, including a copy of the Framework and sample submission requirements.


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