Victoria government says granny flat planning reforms could create 700,00 new homes

More than 700,000 new homes could be built across Victoria after the state government unveiled wide-reaching reforms to laws governing granny flats and second homes.

The reforms, announced on Saturday, will see planning permits scrapped for those seeking to build a second home up to 60 square metres on properties 300 square metres or larger.

Planning Minister Sonya Kilkenny said the reforms would remove the “burden of planning approvals that for too long has put … a small second home in the too hard basket.”

“More than 700,000 homes across Victoria are eligible for a small second home – we’re making it easier to live where they want to live and close to family,” Ms Kilkenny said.

Under the reforms, would-be home builders would still be required to obtain a standard building permit and meet siting, design, and amenity requirements.

While there would not be any restrictions on how the second small home is to be used, homeowners in flood or bushfire affected areas will still require a planning permit.

Of eligible properties, the majority – about 700,000 – were in residential zones, according to the Department of Transport and Planning. About 2450 were based in rural areas.

The changes were touted by the state government as a way to alleviate housing strain by keeping families together or by providing a rental income.

Earlier this year, the ACT government announced similar measures that would also make it easier for homeowners to divide their blocks for dual-occupancy, including granny flats.

Unlike in Victoria, the reform was relatively limited with only 45,000 homes – mostly in the Territory’s south – affected.

South Australia also this year relaxed laws around granny flats to allow them to be rented out to non-family measures, in line with existing policies in NSW and WA.

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