Red Dot Decision Garden Area Interpretation by VCAT

On the 31 July 2019, VCAT issued a decision Clayton Gardens Pty Ltd v Monash CC (Red Dot) [2019] regarding the interpretation of the minimum garden area for the construction of 15 dwellings on three lots.

More specifically, the minimum garden area requirement states that:

“An application to construct or extend a dwelling or residential building on a lot must provide a minimum garden area as set out…”

A recent decision, Sargentson v Campaspe SC (Red Dot) [2018] for the construction of two dwellings on two lots saw the Tribunal conclude that the reference to ‘lot’

was to each individual lot and not the combined area of the two lots.

However, in Clayton Gardens Pty Ltd v Monash CC (Red Dot) [2019]it was decided that the word ‘lot’ can also be read as ‘lots’.

By applying Section 37 of the Interpretation of Legislation Act 1984, words in the singular include the plural.

Ultimately, the tribunal concluded that the “garden area requirement is to be applied to the planning unit, not on a per lot basis”.

Gavin Tan