In Victoria, residential properties greater than 400 square metres, must set aside at least 25% of the lot for a garden area. Though the requirements vary according to the size and purpose of the land, this minimum garden area is mandatory and cannot be reduced.

Victoria is facing a significant increase in the demand for housing, so the government is implementing these measures to ensure the heritage and character of streetscapes, trees, gardens, and green spaces of Victoria’s residential areas are not jeopardised.

‘Garden Area Requirement’ explained

The Garden Area Requirement applies to any Victorian property more than 400 square metres and zoned Neighbourhood Residential Zone or General Residential Zone.

Lot size Percentage of lot that must be set aside as a garden area. (minimum.)
400 – 500 square metres 25%
500 – 650 square metres 30%
650 + square metres 35%

A garden area has a dimension of at least 1 metre and incorporates what you would expect to find in a garden area. Lawns, flower beds, swimming pools, tennis courts, open entertainment areas, gazebos, greenhouses can all be included in the garden area allocation.

But, a garden area CANNOT contain:

• Buildings. Basically if it’s attached to the main building or has a roof, it can’t be allocated to a garden area. For example porches and verandahs cannot be included.
• Driveways, carports, carparks, and garages. Even uncovered parking spaces must not be included in the garden area.
• A basement that extends above the ground level.

Mailboxes, air-conditioning units, small garden sheds, waste receptacles, unroofed terraces, fuel and water tanks, can all be placed in a garden area. We do however recommend checking the website of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning if balconies, roofed pergolas, basements, or parking spaces extend into your planned garden area.

Need help calculating your Garden Area?

For information about Garden Area exemptions, or to calculate a garden area for your permit application please contact the professional team here at Nobelius Land Surveyors. For more than 20 years we’ve been helping land owners and property developers maximise the potential of their land, and clarifying the legal constraints on land usage. We can certainly advise you on your proposed garden area.