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Swarup is a Registered Planner and managed 250 planning permits across Melbourne and regional Victoria. He writes Town Planning reports for property developers, architects and building designers in Victoria.

Residential project specialist.Strategic advice and compelling town planning reports win planning permits.

PIA-Registered Planner
AuA Founder.PNG

Swarup is a property subdivision specialist with a focus on medium density housing - dual occupancy, town houses and other forms of unit developments.

He is a Registered Planner, teacher and author. He also belongs to the Australian Institute of Architects thereby giving him a competitive edge over most planners. His designs meet planning policy. He is a Member of the Victorian Planning and Environmental Law Association.


He writes the planning reports and personally oversees each application- from site analysis to design strategy and managing Planning Applications at Council including council negotiations. He has a high success rate at VCAT.

He has had dealings with all councils across Melbourne and  understood town planning in Melbourne certainly has its challenges and the planning process can be daunting without the assistance of professional guidance. 


While consulting to architects and developers he managed 250+ successful Planning Permits across Melbourne and some in regional  Victoria. The Council approvals were for traditional and contemporary designed  dual occupancy, townhouses, property subdivisions and commercial developments. 

To secure planning approval,  Victorian  Councils expect  architects  and designers should have a a strong understanding of the planning requirements as specified in each council's planning scheme. He is experienced in all areas of town planning which means your property development will meets the Victorian state and local government policies.

Swarup walks the talk and developed his own properties including  designing a very profitable dual occupancy subdivision, had  his prestige home rezoned to higher density to accommodate a four storey apartment and had land zoned from non residential to residential, then owner-built on the  absolute  water front clifftop. The applications faced stiff opposition from the local Council- however, persistence and knowledge prevailed.

He has a strong interest in affordable housing, biophilic design and lectures at University, sharing his knowledge and education in architecture and construction with eager students. AuArchitecture is supported by Registered Architects and Building Practitioners who use the latest Building Information Modelling technologies.

We will have three homes on our block all with spectacular views across   the bay. The service given by Swarup has been faultless with both process and the design of both homes "....   


"The Mount Waverley clinic is going very well and we could not have done it without you. "

learn more

If you are planning to subdivide or develop land for a dual occupancy, town house, apartment, multi-lot subdivision, commercial or industrial development  you will require council approval. Council's ever changing polices and regulations can be a minefield.


We will  deliver start to end design, town planning, management at council and construction solutions. 

AuArchitecture has a significant market advantage in providing all of the town planning, architecture, building and subdivision services required to deliver your project from one source.


This collective synergy delivers significant time efficiencies and enables seamless interaction between the four disciplines commencing with the concept design and development approval phases.


We  will work with you to successfully guide your project through the council planning maze and create a unique vision of your future development.

Town Planning Manager and Founder , Swarup and his team have a wealth of skills and experience to smoothly navigate the planning requirements of local government statutory frameworks.


Our specialist services:


Whether you are a first time developer (and we understand how complex the process can be)  or if you have developed before, you will benefit from our broad experience and the professional services we offer:


  • Design Brief to Concept design  

  • Town Planning Design and Documentation

  • Town Planning ( Planning Scheme- Rescode) & other Reports

  • Management of Application at your local Victorian Council

  • Building Permit documentation and Working drawings

  • Construction Cost Estimate

  • Feasibility Report

  • Marketing Collateral

  • Building Tender evaluation

  • Project Management

  • Subdivision- dual occupancy to 50 lot subdivision

  • New House, Medical Centre, Commercial or Industrial projects

  • Fixed Price Construction offer (new Homes).


First things first! 

We will assess your property against the current council planning policy taking into consideration the zoning, schedule to the zoning, planning overlays, neighbourhood character, streetscape to name a few planning criteria council considers. Underpinned by the research, we will advice you on  the best strategy to achieve your development goals or get as close as possible to reaching it.


We will design the development and write a compelling report arguing why Council should support the Town Planning Application.

Council may require some modifications to the design which we can address subject to it being reasonable.

Our fixed fee covers   the town planning report, initial design and  design changes Council requires.

Town Planning Report for Architects and

Town Planning reports for Architects, property developers and building designers in Victoria.

Contact us for your custom town planning report.

Planning report



Swarup did his own dual occupancy 2 lot subdivision long before others in the business. He faced stiff opposition from Council and neighbours but won his permit through knowledge and persistence.




Design integrated with  Town planning strategy equals planning approval.

Swarup has 250 planning permit management  experience. He understood Victorian  Councils expect a better understand of their planning policy. His designs marry planning policy with a spatial experience to maximise occupant comfort while achieving high development yield. 


Town Planning design and Planning Application documentation  for a high yield development.

Contact us for your design and town planning documentation.

Start your project

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Swarup on 0448 170132 for a confidential discussion. We respect your privacy.


The  Subdivision Process.

A certificate of title for individual allotments will not be issued until the plan of subdivision has been approved or registered by the Registrar of Titles. 

The normal steps involved for a subdivision is as follows:


  •  Apply to Council for Application for a Planning Permit to Subdivide

  • Application may need to be advertised in local paper and advice adjoining owners

  • Referred to nominated agencies (Referral Authorities)

  • Referred to Technical Services, Building, Environmental Health and Strategic Planning for comment.

  • Council to consider the application and Issue Planning Permit with Conditions or refuse the permit.


  • Owner appoints a Licensed Surveyor to prepare a plan of subdivision. (2 hard Copies – Formal Plans)

  • Apply for Application for Certification - Form 1 (This form advises Surveyor who this application will be referred to)

  • Referred to nominated agencies that have conditions on Planning Permit 

  •  Referred to Technical Services, Building Environmental Health and Strategic Planning for their approval. (Only if there is conditions from their department)

  • A plan will be Certified when the conditions on the planning permit have been met or arrangements have been made to meet those conditions, along with any other matter set out in Section 6(1) of the Subdivision Act.

  •  The Certified plan to be lodged at the Titles Office. Steps Statement of Compliance -


  • Completed the entire requirements on the planning permit – all referral authority and Council conditions have been met.

  • Before a Statement of Compliance can be issued, written advice from a Licensed Surveyor must be provided to the Council in a prescribed form. This should be to the effect that the subdivision including all lots, roads, common property and reserves) has been marked out or defined.

  • The Statement of Compliance to be lodge at the Titles Office for new titles to be issued.

subdiv process

Swarup has had dealings with Councils across Greater Melbourne and some in regional Victoria.

Councils across Greater Melbourne.JPG

The Founder/Principal of AuArchitecture  has  assessed properties right across Greater Melbourne and some surrounding areas for developing dual occupancy and multi unit subdivisions.

He has successfully managed  planning applications for developers and architects from Councils spread between Mornington and Dandenong right across to Geelong and surrounds, Macedon Ranges Shire Council suburbs, Frankston to Epping,  Malvern to  Eltham, Box Hill to Knox City council suburbs and the list goes on.

He has interacted with  most Councils including:

Banyule Council, Bayside City Council, Boroondara City Council, Brimbank City Council, Cardinya Shire Council, Casey City Council, Darebin City Council, Frankston City Council, Glen Eira City Council, Greater Dandenong City Council, Hobsons Bay City Council, Hume Council, Kingston City Council, Knox City Council, Manningham City Council, Maribyrnong City Council, Maroondah City Council, Melton Sire Council, Monash City Council, Moonee Valley City Council, Moreland City Council, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, Nillumbik Shire Council, Port Phillip City Council, Stonnington City Council, Whitehorse City Council, Whittlesea City Council, Macedon Ranges Shire Council, Geelong City Council, Surf Coast Council, Yarra Ranges Council, City Of Ballarat and others.

So which Councils are pro development and friendlier than others? That is the question most new developers ask! Feel free to ask us if you are thinking of developing.

If you are thinking of developing your land in areas governed by the councils  named above or wish to ascertain how your planning application will go in these areas contact us for a Complimentary property assessment or call him  on 0448 170 132 - 7 days before 7pm.



Planning requirements

A property is attractive to a developer when the zoning, its schedules and overlays are conducive for a fast planning approval.

Each property is governed by its particular zoning- most zoning allow dual occupancy and townhouse developments.


The number of units you will achieve depends on the zoning schedule,  location, aspect (site orientation), proximity to infrastructure, vegetation on and off site, neighbourhood character and site features to name a few.


An experienced planner will consider all these items when providing advice or when writing a planning report. ( see an example of a report we documented below).

The common residential Zoning are Residential Growth Zone, General Residential Zone and Neighbourhood Residential Zone.


Other zones include Township zone and others related to low density or farmland. There are zoning specific to commercial, mixed use and industrial.

The Schedule to each residential zoning specifies certain criteria which should be satisfied- like setbacks, site overage, landscaping, open space type and size and others.


In some instances the  number of units which can occupy the land is specified- these apply to the more restrictive Neighbourhood Residential Zone.

Residential developments must comply with the relevant clauses of the Planning Scheme and in particular the multiple  standards of Clause 55. Apartment projects must satisfy the new and very stringent Clause 58.

Garden Area requirements MUST be satisfied. In the typical development site above 650sqm, the Garden Area must be a minimum of 35%. Smaller lots require 25% or 30% of garden area.


Our experience shows this requirement  really cramps up on the amount of developable land. In many cases we found the 35%  meant losing one unit!

While the trade off for the Garden Area, in theory,  was an increase in height of the building. However, most councils would discourage going above two storeys in the mid to outer ring  outer suburbs as that would go against the Neighbourhood character of the area.

Garden Area requirements do not apply to the  Residential Growth zones.


Parking is a major challenge for developers; as the number of units and number of bedrooms per unit is governed by the number of parking spaces to be provided in the design.


In some instance Councils might vary the parking requirements; however that is not common in the typical townhouse/dual occ type development. Councils traffic engineer's are playing a key role in decision making nowadays.


Visitor parking, open spaces per dwelling and driveway design all chew up valuable developable land. In some zoning schedules, each dwelling must be provided with 80 sqm. of open space (as shown below)  which  is almost the size of the living areas of unit's footprint! Other Schedules might lower the site coverage- or put simply , the size of the building footprint.


An inexperienced designer will make mistakes if they do not understand the implications or the  mandatory requirements of the planning scheme- which is a thick document!


Planning overlays control design, building height, vegetation and  materials  to name a few. A Design Development Overlay (DDO)  example is shown below.  Many properties are not burdened by a DDO. Those affected by a Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO)  will require a BMO consultant's report. Designing in a BMO affected site will require consent from the CFA.


Planning also takes into account any restrictions on the property title, front and boundary setbacks, shadowing impacts on neighbouring lots to name just a few standards we consider when designing any project..

An experienced Town Planner will guide you through the maze of policies each council has adopted. Contact our Registered Planner  for your complimentary advice. What can you build on your land?

success cases

Case Studies

Typical Dual Occupancy


A tandem style dual occupancy - one behind other- is the most common form of backyard subdivision. 

Demolish the existing home to build two new homes or retain it and build one additional dual occupancy home in the backyard. 

Can you dual occupancy your property  & double your rental income? 

Learn more.

Duplex narrow block



Double your property's potential with a side by side duplex style dual occupancy subdivision which often generates more floor area. Each dual occupancy subdivision has its own street address and less common property to share. Some Councils prefer minimum frontage width.

Can you duplex your property and reduce mortgage? 

Live in one and sell the other!

6 townhouse development AuArchitecture




Subdivide and develop property with the appropriate zoning  into 3 or more dwellings to maximise subdivision yield.

Town house developments require additional design and town planning skills to maximise yield.

Can you build 3 or more townhouses on your land and benefit from multiple rentals?

Find out now.

Start the journey.

Existing site before duplex approval
Classic Duplex

$250,000 GAIN

Our client bought a difficult site at Murumbeena for $1.3 million which unknown to them had a storm water drain bisecting the property. We secured planning approval for two large duplex units. They sold the property with planning permits  for $1,550,000.00.The neighbour next door applied for a duplex through a different firm and got refused.

beach home site_
beach house.JPG


Swarup negotiated with the local council to allow a home to be built on a water front block which was ecologically sensitive, had serious geotechnical problems and zoned as never to be built on. After 2 years of negotiations with council including that with the General Manager and all engineers, he had the land rezoned and owner built on the 3000 sqm block.

The value of the land increased ten fold!

80 stephensons ex.JPG
Medical centre permit


" I just wanted to wish you and your family a merry Christmas. The Mount Waverley clinic is going very well and we could not have done it without you."

Surgeon client and Lawyer wife.


They contacted Swarup from the UK where they were then living. Their application for a medical centre (applied through a different firm) was refused by Monash Council. 

Swarup applied for a new planning application and.secured them a permit.

Clients and patients (including me)  are thrilled with the outcome.

peek 2.GIF


Swarup applied for the demolition of the rear of a heritage cottage and secured planning approval for a large 6 bedroom home with swimming pool.

The wonderful owners are overjoyed they could renovate and extend on a heritage property. The value of the  renovated house stands around $2.4 million.

macleod existing.JPG
Tandem Dual Occupancy


Banyule council approved the future construction of two very large dual occupancy houses on a street undergoing change. There were large trees which council required retention due to the planing overlay.

melinga exist house.JPG
melinga chadstone subdivided.JPG


The wonderful parents helped their daughter buy- or more like build- her first home.

We secured approval for a dual occupancy subdivision in a small backyard.

The daughter bought the  subdivided rear yard and is building her first home there. She can now live close to her  elderly parents and  in an area she is accustomed to and close to her work.

The parents cashed in the equity from their backyard-that's what a dual occupancy subdivision provides.

woonona ex.JPG
Dual Occupancy Development by AuArchitec


Swarup had the whole Council and a street full of objecting neighbours up in arms as they  did not want to see their prestige properties carved out for dual occupancy type developments. Persistence, good design and knowledge secured a permit which unlocked huge equity from this heavily vegetated site

Site under consideration at the VCAT
Swarup acted at VCAT


Swarup acted for the property owner and after 3 days of hearing at the VCAT, won a permit on a site burdened by difficult planning overlays and the whole community against subdivision

tooronga advert.JPG
tooronga dual occ.JPG


Swarup negotiated with Stonnington Council and secured a contemporary dual occupancy behind a heritage listed home in Malvern.

Victorian Planning permits
Doncaster Site approved for 2 large unit


While consulting to architects and developers, Swarup, our Founder,  managed and  negotiated hundreds of planning approvals across Victoria.

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