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Property developers looking to build multistorey accommodation in parts of Melbourne identified by the state government as areas for high-density housing may not be subject to the usual objection of neighbours according to initiatives announced by Planning Minister Matthew Guy.

A new 40-year metropolitan planning strategy will be launched next week which Mr Guy says will address the government’s desire to see more affordable housing in a city that is predicted to need an additional 1,000,000 dwellings by 2050.

Planning Minister Matthew Guy will next week unveil the details that will help reduce red tape associated with high-density residential development approvals. Under the rules to fast-track affordable housing, developers behind multistorey residential buildings that meet certain guidelines will not be required to notify residents or be subject to third-party appeals. The changes are hoped to cut costs for developers.

One initiative will include a system aimed at fast-track planning permit approvals in areas of inner Melbourne earmarked significant housing growth. Local councils would assist in earmarking those areas where the rules would apply.

Mr Guy said the Plan Melbourne strategy would set permanent urban growth boundaries to prevent further sprawl. ”We are not going to grow the next 30 years like we have the last 30 years … and our growth area suburbs are going to start looking different.”

The strategy is also expected to see inner Melbourne’s population double in size, according to the Planning Institute of Australia.

Mr Guy said reducing construction costs and house prices while increasing urban density was crucial to cater for the needs of a ballooning population. He said he understood some residents would be opposed to the plans.

The strategy also outlines a ”State of Cities”, with Bacchus Marsh, Ballan, Broadford, Kilmore, Warragul and Wonthaggi designated new major growth towns. The plan will likely be out for consultation until December 6.

Find out more about Plan Melbourne and read or download the plan in full at http://www.planmelbourne.vic.gov.au/

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