• Swarup Dutta

5 Powerful steps to dual occupancy


Strategy includes the financial viability of the property development. Search for the best strategy and shortest route to win a town planning permit from your local Melbourne or regional Victorial Councils who have their own individual preferences. Strategy means finding the best way to optimise site yield.

Strategy is more than text book town planning- its smart thinking on how one proposes the submission to the authorities who will be persuaded to grant a permit. Every sporting team goes on the field with a strategy- the good ones win!

A good strategy occurs when the property owners get most or all their wishes approved by Council who often have other ideas! Be prepared to change course if you hit strong head winds; but strategise an alternative route to complete your dual occupancy or townhouse development journey. Strategy incorporates good building practice, cost plan and measure deviation agaist budget.

I understand the council planners need not be your foe if you colaborate and understanding their behind the scene politics. A well thought out strategy and design means the chances of success are greater even if one ends up at VCAT.


Once the strategy is fairly rock solid but flexible enough to quickly change course if the unexpected occurs, its time to conceptualise the built forms and how it will fit into the individual Council's expectations for the site or neighbourhood. This is a key skill to deploy at the early stages of design and planning. Ascertain the yield- what can you build on the land or baxckyard with a reasonable good chance of success. What is the yield in terms of physical numbers which will determine some approximate building costs. That information is important to decipher early in the piece to se if you are finance ready. Contact us for a desktop site assessement on a complimentary basis.


The architectural plans are designed and refined to meet your expectations and Council planning policies. Once submitted, the period between submission and approval is a critical path- where one manages and manipulates positive outcomes through common sense. there are so many parties that come into play who can become obstacles. Think of the planning officer who has to weigh up all the feedback so that a fair decision can be reached.


Once the Planning Permit is issued you can go down the path of subdividing the new lot- often the backyard or go to building staed. If just subdividing to sell and liquidate your backyard asset there are Permit conditions to satisfy before you can register the two lots with the Titles Office. There are mandatory services to connect to the new block and some can be resolved through an Agreement with the Statutory Authorities. Usually the no negotiation service connections are sewer, water, power and drainage. Contact us on the Subdivision process and costs you are likely to incur for Design,Town Planning Application and Subdivision costs.

A purchaser - who has building experience- may decide to purchase the approved backyard and put in the services if your budget is stretched.


Or you may decide to build the new dual occupancy home in the backyard if its a detached one like a tandem dual occ or one on a corner site.Duplex ones need to be usually built at one go to save building costs- but I have seen only one part of a duplex being built and sold before the second one is started. That of course is rare.

Whichever way you go, after a Town Planning Permit is issued and drawings stamped by Council, the Building Permit follows which is certified by an external Building Surveyor- one you can choose or you may decide to use the builder's building surveyor. Examine the Building Contracts and ascertain there are no hidden surprises which may result in variations, One the build is fully complete, the Certificate of Occupancy is issued You are now ready to enjoy your new dual occupancy home.

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M:  0448 170 132 call me direct -7 days  from 9am to 7pm for the best advice on dual occupancy subdivision, custom home design, commercial projects  or town planning matters. 



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AuArchitecture will gladly donate  design and planning services  to charitable organisations worldwide. 

We would love to serve you through smart and beautiful  designs for your dream house, dual occupancy, townhouse or apartment projects or commercial and industrial buildings which makes  a difference.

I recall doing a

  • large multi unit  residential design with a sky-street on the fifth level for the kids to play in safety while  creating  a real sense of community living and  

  • a modular home design which grew with the family budget rather like a series of plug in components and 

  • the windmill house with views where each stair landing led to a different view and function and

  • right down to designing and obtaining planning permits for practical traditional designs to meet the family  or developer's budget and objectives.

Our Founder has  worked on hundreds of development sites for dual occupancy and townhouses. He worked on commercial, health, education, retail and leisure projects to name a few other disciplines.

Our professional designs are flexible to suit your vision and realistic to meet your budget.

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