Theme 4: Neighbourhood character and heritage

Major achievement

Strategic objective

Protect the heritage and respect the character of Boroondara, while facilitating appropriate, well-designed development.

Major initiative 4.1

Support the provision of appropriate housing in Boroondara through review of the Boroondara Housing Strategy 2015, community consultation and presenting a draft updated Boroondara Housing Strategy to our councillors.

Boroondara Housing Strategy

We have updated our Housing Strategy to plan for our community’s housing needs over the next 15 years. In doing so, we considered the latest evidence, Census data and projections to understand:

  • changes to population
  • how our community lives
  • changes to housing needs
  • current and upcoming housing challenges.

Our population continues its ageing trend, with an increase in people over 65 (15% in 2011 and 18% in 2021). Most households are couples with children (34%) and there has also been an increase in single-person and couple-only households. Most houses in Boroondara are stand-alone (53%), followed by medium density (such as townhouses, 29%) and high-density homes (such as apartments, 18%).

Looking over the intersection of Burke Road and Canterbury Road from the air

Our Housing Strategy is also underpinned by what our community values, including:

  • neighbourhood character
  • heritage
  • green spaces
  • responsible, sustainable, and high-quality development
  • liveability.

Our Housing Strategy aims to guide different types of housing to appropriate locations, providing diverse housing choices for current and future residents which is critical in supporting a healthy and vibrant Boroondara.

We shared the draft strategy with the community for feedback between May-June 2023.

This consultation confirmed 3 strategic directions to respond to our housing needs and challenges.

  1. Housing diversity in appropriate locations.
  2. Housing that is sustainable and achieves design excellence.
  3. Housing that meets the needs of all residents, now and in the future.

After community consultation, your feedback helped us identify where further consideration, refinement, or actions were needed. This has informed the final Boroondara Housing Strategy, adopted by Council on 18 September 2023. For more information, visit our Boroondara Housing Strategy page.

Theme 4 performance

This is a breakdown of the strategic indicators, progress of initiatives and other service performance indicators for this theme. You can find out more detail about these indicators and previous year’s results in the full report.

You can also read through our continuous improvement initiatives, community engagement, and benchmarking activities for this theme in the full report.

Strategic indicators

In almost all cases, our strategic indicators saw consistent or improved results in FY2022-23. The strategic indicators that met or exceeded the forecast include the following.

Percentage of ‘demolition consents’ under section 29A of the Building Act by Building Services checked within 15 business days

Forecast: 100%

2022-23 result: 100%


Percentage of Council planning decisions upheld and decisions successfully mediated at VCAT

Forecast: 45% to 55%

2022-23 result: 71%


Average number of days to process a planning application

Forecast: 35 to 45 days

2022-23 result: 37.5 days


Number of heritage planning scheme amendments considered by Council

Forecast: 5 to 6 amendments

2022-23 result: 5 amendments

An indicator that did not meet our forecast this year was the number of “out of time” planning reviews at VCAT where the appeal was lodged more than 2 weeks after the final consultation with the applicant or objector(s) (forecast: 5 to 15, 2022-23 result: 4). With only 4 “out of time” planning review appeals lodged for FY2022-23, the result is still positive.

Progress of initiatives in the Budget

Initiatives that were completed in FY2022-23:

  • Support the provision of appropriate housing in Boroondara through review of the Boroondara Housing Strategy 2015, community consultation and presenting a draft updated Boroondara Housing Strategy to our councillors and consideration of associated planning scheme changes including residential zones.
  • Enhance protection of Boroondara’s heritage assets by preparing and presenting to our councillors for endorsement an updated Heritage Action Plan to guide our future work program for heritage protection advocacy.
  • Facilitate sustainable development by investigating the introduction of an Environmentally Sustainable Design Policy to the Boroondara Planning Scheme.
  • Improve pool and spa safety and life safety for our community through investigating and implementing a new Building Infringement Notice for specified Pool and Spa safety breaches and non-compliance of Essential Safety Measures (ESM) in Class 2-9 public buildings.
  • Celebrate and protect Boroondara’s heritage by updating the Heritage Action Plan and establishing a process for assessing community heritage nominations.

Other service performance indicators

The following other service performance indicators and measures are based on the FY2022-23, unless stated otherwise.  For more detail, including supporting commentary and how these results were calculated, see the full annual report PDF.

Statutory Planning

Planning applications decided within required timeframes

FY2022-23: 59%

FY2021-22: 59%


Time taken to decide planning applications

FY2022-23: 102 days

FY2021-22: 81 days


Council planning decisions upheld at VCAT

FY2022-23: 44%

FY2021-22: 53%


Cost of statutory planning service

FY2022-23: $4,102 per planning application received

FY2021-22: $3,617 per planning application received