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What is Victoria’s Minimum Garden Requirement?


What is Victoria’s Minimum Garden Requirement?

In Victoria, Australia, having a garden is not only aesthetically pleasing but also plays a significant role in promoting a healthy and sustainable environment. The state government has established guidelines and regulations to ensure that every residential property maintains a minimum garden requirement. This article aims to provide an overview of the minimum garden requirement for Victoria, Australia, including the benefits of having a garden, the specific guidelines set by the government, and tips for creating an inviting and functional garden space.

The Importance of Gardens

The Importance of gardens


Gardens are more than just beautiful outdoor spaces; they offer a range of benefits to individuals, communities, and the environment. They provide a place for relaxation, social interaction, and physical activity. Gardens also contribute to biodiversity by attracting birds, insects, and other wildlife. Moreover, they improve air quality, reduce urban heat island effects, and help manage stormwater runoff. With these numerous advantages, it is crucial to ensure that every property meets the minimum garden requirement set by the government.

What is the Meaning of “Garden Area”?

Garden Area


A garden area refers to a designated space within a property that is specifically used for gardening and cultivating plants. It can include various elements such as lawns, flower beds, shrubs, trees, and vegetable gardens.

When Was “Garden area” Introduced in Victoria?

On May 15th 2018, Amendment VC143 was officially gazetted, bringing significant revisions to the garden area requirement in the General Residential Zone and Neighbourhood Residential Zone.

This amendment builds upon the original garden area requirement introduced in March 2017 through Amendment VC110.

One of the notable improvements in Amendment VC143 is the addition of a brand new definition of “garden area” on Clause 72 of the planning scheme. This fresh definition aims to address the issues associated with the old one, promising a more accurate and comprehensive approach.

Victoria’s Population

Victoria’s Population


Melbourne, the capital of Victoria and home to over eight million people, is projected to see its population soar to eight million in approximately 35 years. Currently, the city is inhabited by around 4.6 million individuals.

This anticipated growth has led the Victorian Government to re-evaluate its residential zones to cater to the needs of future residents. As a result of this review, one notable recommendation is to increase the size of garden areas in new developments within general and neighbourhood residential zones.

By implementing this change, the State Government aims to preserve the unique characteristics of Melbourne’s neighborhoods, including its heritage, trees, garden areas, and streetscapes.

To ensure the green and open character of these neighborhoods remains intact, new land developments will be required to allocate a minimum garden area as part of their plans. The specific requirements for this garden area will vary depending on the size of the land.

The Minimum Garden Requirement Depending On Lot Size and Type of Property

Minimum Garde Requirement


Residential Properties

For residential properties in Victoria, there is a minimum requirement for garden space to be maintained. According to the guidelines, at least 25% of the total property area should be allocated as garden space. This ensures that there is sufficient greenery and room for plantings, allowing for a healthier and more pleasant living environment. The garden space can include lawns, flower beds, shrubs, trees, and vegetable gardens.

Apartment Complexes

In the case of apartment complexes, the minimum garden requirement is slightly different. The guidelines state that for every dwelling unit within the complex, there should be a designated outdoor garden space. This space can be in the form of communal gardens, rooftop gardens, or individual balconies with suitable provisions for plantings. The aim is to provide residents with access to nature and create a sense of community within the complex.

Commercial Properties

Commercial properties, such as offices, retail establishments, and industrial buildings, are also subject to the minimum garden requirement. The guidelines mandate that a certain percentage of the total site area should be allocated as green space. This encourages businesses to incorporate landscaping and gardens into their property design, promoting a greener and more sustainable urban environment.

Below is a table detailing the lot size of a property and the minimum percentage of the lot that can be reserved to build a garden.

Lot Size

Min. % Of Lot As Garden Area

400 to 500 square metres                     


501 to 650 square metres                         


Above 650 square metres                          


When it comes to garden requirements, keep in mind that driveways, parking areas, and buildings are not considered garden space. Instead, the minimum garden area includes features like entertainment areas, lawns, garden beds, swimming pools, and tennis courts.

This garden requirement also applies to subdivided vacant lots. If your lot is less than 400 square meters, it must have a garden area that constitutes at least 25% of the total lot size.

Ensure you meet the necessary provisions and enjoy a thriving garden in your future development.

Why Should Property Developers Care About Victoria’s Minimum Garden Area Requirement?

property developers


Property developers should care about Victoria’s minimum garden area requirement for several reasons. Firstly, adhering to these requirements ensures compliance with the government’s regulations and avoids potential legal issues. Secondly, incorporating gardens and green spaces into property developments enhances the marketability and value of the properties. Gardens contribute to a better quality of life for residents, attract potential buyers or tenants, and create a more desirable living or working environment. Moreover, gardens support sustainability efforts, improve the overall aesthetics of the property, and align with the increasing demand for eco-friendly and nature-oriented spaces.

Guidelines for Garden Design

To ensure that gardens meet the minimum requirement and contribute positively to the environment, there are specific guidelines for garden design that should be followed.

Size and Proportions

Garden spaces should be designed in proportion to the overall property area. The guidelines recommend allocating a reasonable portion of the property as garden space while considering the property’s size and layout. It is essential to strike a balance between built structures and green areas to create an appealing visual aesthetic.

Plant Selection

When choosing plants for the garden, it is advisable to select a diverse range of species that are suited to the local climate and soil conditions. Native plants are encouraged as they are adapted to the local environment, require less water, and provide habitat for native wildlife. Additionally, incorporating trees and shrubs can offer shade, reduce energy consumption, and enhance the overall aesthetics of the garden.

Water Conservation

Efficient water management is crucial for sustainable garden design. The guidelines promote the use of water-saving irrigation systems, such as drip irrigation and rainwater harvesting. Mulching techniques should also be employed to reduce evaporation and retain soil moisture. These practices not only conserve water but also help maintain the health of plants and minimize water runoff.


Regular maintenance is necessary to keep the garden in good condition. Property owners are responsible for maintaining their gardens by regularly mowing lawns, pruning plants, and managing weeds. Adequate waste disposal systems should be in place to ensure the proper removal of garden waste, promoting cleanliness and preventing potential hazards.

Benefits of a Well-Maintained Garden

Well maintained Garden


A well-maintained garden offers numerous benefits to both individuals and the environment. It provides a space for relaxation and recreation, allowing residents to connect with nature and alleviate stress. Gardens also enhance the aesthetic appeal of a property and increase its value. From an environmental perspective, gardens contribute to carbon sequestration, improve air quality by absorbing pollutants, and support pollinators, leading to a healthier ecosystem.

Creating an Inviting Garden Space

Creating an Inviting Garden Space


To create an inviting and functional garden space, several factors should be considered, including design principles, landscaping elements, and suitable furniture and accessories.

Design Principles

Design principles such as balance, harmony, and unity should be applied when planning the garden layout. Consideration should be given to the placement of different elements, such as paths, seating areas, and focal points. A well-designed garden utilizes space efficiently and ensures a seamless flow between different areas.

Landscaping Elements

Landscaping elements, such as hardscapes, plants, and water features, add interest and variety to the garden. Paths and walkways can guide visitors through the space, while plants and flowers provide color and texture. Water features like fountains or ponds can create a soothing ambiance and attract wildlife.

Furniture and Accessories

Selecting suitable furniture and accessories can transform a garden into an outdoor living space. Comfortable seating, outdoor dining sets, and shade structures allow residents to enjoy the garden while providing functionality. Adding decorative elements like sculptures, pots, and lighting fixtures can further enhance the overall appeal of the garden.

The Takeaway

Maintaining a garden that meets the minimum requirements set by the government is essential for creating a greener and more sustainable Victoria, Australia, enhance the aesthetics of properties, property owners can create inviting outdoor spaces that contribute to the overall well-being of communities.

Maintaining a garden that meets the minimum requirements set by the government is essential for creating a greener and more sustainable Victoria, Australia. Gardens not only enhance the aesthetics of properties but also provide numerous benefits to individuals and the environment. By adhering to the guidelines for garden design and incorporating sustainable practices, property owners can create inviting outdoor spaces that contribute to the overall well-being of communities.

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