Small Lot Housing Code

Small Lot Housing Code 2 Project

Updates to the Small Lot Housing Code 2 Project are currently underway. For further information, refer to:

Small Lot Housing Code, November 2019

Amendment GC150 updated the Small Lot Housing Code in the growth area council’s planning schemes. Following the review of the 2014 version of the Code and as part of the 2017/18 Streamlining for Growth program, the Code was updated to simply standards and address recurring misinterpretations.

To view a copy of the Code, refer to:

Previous versions of the Small Lot Housing Code

The Code has been refined since its introduction in 2011. The Small Lot Housing Code, November 2019 is the current version. It is supported by the Small Lot Housing Code Practice Note, November 2019. Some schemes, subdivision permits and restrictions on title may refer to older versions of the Code. Links to older versions of the Code are available below.

Other Council Areas

The Small Lot Housing Code is also in use by Precinct Structure Plans (PSP) and Comprehensive Development Plans in the City of Greater Geelong, City of Ballarat, Shire of Baw Baw, Shire of Cardinia and Knox. In these areas enquiries should be directed to the relevant Council.

Background Information

The majority of new houses built in Melbourne’s growth areas are large, detached family homes. While this housing suits many households, we need to support housing choices for increasing numbers of smaller families, single person households, aged housing needs, and affordability.

A planning permit is usually required for a house on a lot less than 300 square metres, but not for a lot more than 300 square metres, which can discourage small lot housing. While government wishes to accelerate development of smaller houses, the current situation is counterproductive because it discourages housing on smaller lots.

The Small Lot Housing Code was introduced in 2011 to assist in addressing this situation. The Code eliminates the need for a planning permit on lots less than 300 square metres where a clear set of house design and siting standards are met. This better aligns the time and cost of small lot housing approvals with houses on lots greater than 300 square metres.

The house design and siting standards include requirements for setbacks, building height, provision of car spaces and private open space, overlooking, overshadowing, building articulation and fences.

The Code is available for use in most residential and mixed use PSPs in the Urban Growth Zone in Melbourne’s greenfield growth areas where the certificate of title identifies the allotment as one where the construction of a dwelling can be assessed against the Code.

For more information about the Small Lot Housing Code, email your enquiry to or alternatively call Reception on (03) 9651 9600, and you will be forwarded to a member of the Planning Services team.