Developing the inner city – use of lane ways

Lane ways are traditional in Melbourne and the inner city, they are commonly used today to access car parking, however their use need not be restricted to vehicle access.

In Mrkonjic v Hobsons Bay CC [2012] VCAT 441, the Tribunal has considered an application for a development which relies on pedestrian access from a right of way (lane way). The Tribunal resolves the issue in the following way:

[21] In terms of the fundamental issue of dwellings facing onto a RoW, there is nothing in the planning scheme which prohibits such an outcome. Indeed, as I have set out earlier, planning policy and provision objectives look to consolidate development within existing residential areas when acceptable design outcomes can be achieved. While there may well be an absence of developments that use a RoW as the main frontage in this particular locality, such development is now becoming more common within a range of urban locations. Just because a RoW may have had other historical purposes does not prevent adaptation to address emerging urban needs.

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