THE CITY of Greater Bendigo could intensify environmental design standards under a plan that could soon be described as "ambitious".
Councillors will decide on Monday whether to press for planning scheme reforms tightening rules around energy efficiency and help wean the public off of gas.
The city would join 30 other "ambitious councils" that have been working on joint plans, according to an unsigned letter that would be sent to government ministers if the reforms happen.
Bendigo's mayor and her deputy would likely sign it if councillors vote support tighter environmental controls.
Failing to vote for the changes would compromise years of work and breach a series of strategic priorities including a push to drive down carbon waste, council staff said.
Reforms would tighten design rules to include developments of two or more new homes on a lot and non residential buildings with a gross floor area greater than 50 metres square, council staff said in a report to elected officials ahead of Monday's vote.
"Importantly, the requirements will not apply to single dwellings, and they will not apply retrospectively to existing buildings," they said.
There are a list of exemptions, the council officers said.
Changes to affected buildings would include achieving seven star NatHERS energy efficiency ratings.
The council would also want more controls around electric vehicle charging stations and other sustainable transport ideas, better water efficiency, air and temperature controls and rules to let daylight indoors.
The new rules would also include more encouragement for people to use recycled materials.
New guidelines are being developed to step people through requirements, council officers said.
Assuming councillors vote for changes, Bendigo's council would ask planning minister Richard Wynne's permission to exhibit an amendment to the city's planning scheme.
It would be the first in a series of community consultation steps.
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