Until the Baillieu Government came to power Councils used 'preferred maximum heights' or 'discretionary heights' in the planning scheme. What that meant was that while a preferred maximum height was in the planning scheme a developer could submit plans for higher development. And often these were approved by either Council or VCAT. There are examples of this in Heidelberg happening now.
One of the first changes the Baillieu Government made when it came to power was to permit the use of Mandatory Maximum Height Controls in the planning scheme. The introduction of mandatory height limits mean that the development cannot exceed the heights in the plan. They provide certainty to the nature of the built form factor.
More information on mandatory height controls can be found here:
One of the first Councils to implement mandatory height controls is Boroondara (West Hawthorn) as per the links below. Other Councils are starting to include mandatory height limits in their Structure Plans.
"This successful campaign for mandatory height controls, along with the recently-adopted Activity Centres Strategy, draft Our Neighbourhood Strategy and draft Open Spaces Strategy – both of which are at consultation stage – illustrate Council's commitment to maintaining our unique and much-loved urban character and to protect against inappropriate developments that threaten it," Cr Tragas said.
Glenferrie Ward Councillor Phil Meggs is pleased that the hard work has been rewarded by a fair and reasonable compromise that allows development in West Hawthorn while protecting the local amenity.