Illawarra branch of the Property Council backs new housing codes

The Illawarra branch of the Property Council says new housing codes will allow high-quality homes to be built more quickly in the right places throughout NSW.

They also say it will reduce pressure on home prices.

The Property Council Illawarra Chapter has pledged support for the state government’s two new housing codes, the Greenfield Housing Code and Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code.

The new Medium Density Housing Code will allow one and two-storey dual occupancies, manor houses and terraces to be carried out under a fast-track complying development approval. 

Low rise medium density housing as complying development is only allowed where medium density development is already permitted under a council’s Local Environmental Plan.

According to the state government, the new Greenfield Housing Code will speed up the delivery of new homes in greenfield areas (new release areas) across NSW.

The code will allow one to two-storey homes, alterations and additions to be carried out under the fast-track complying development approval pathway,

The new code will be included in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008.

The changes are due to begin on July 6. 

“Codes are important to increase housing supply and bring down home prices,” Property Council Illawarra Committee chair Mark Jones said. 

“The Medium Density Housing Code will ensure there is a greater diversity of housing for the community to choose from and will provide housing closer to jobs, while the Greenfield Code will ensure high-quality, suburban design. 

Property Council Illawarra chair Mark Jones and deputy chair Jennifer Macquarie earlier this year. Picture: Brendan Crabb

Property Council Illawarra chair Mark Jones and deputy chair Jennifer Macquarie earlier this year. Picture: Brendan Crabb

“In essence, it is a simplifying of the development process and aligning the requirements for development across greenfield and infill areas.

“Complying development is faster than traditional development applications, taking about 20 days compared to 71 days as it meets already agreed stringent standards and local council zoning requirements, which means high-quality development in the right places.”

Mr Jones said homeowners can also save $15,000 on new homes built under the Greenfield Code, therefore reducing pressure on home prices.

These changes will make it easier to build more homes and bring down home prices.

Mark Jones

“These changes will make it easier to build more homes and bring down home prices,” he said. 

According to NSW Planning and Housing Minister Anthony Roberts, medium density housing “allows for seniors to downsize as well as being a more affordable option for young people”.

What qualifies a property for redevelopment into a dual occupancy?

The new code applies to R1, R2, R3 and RU5 zones across NSW, but most lots in Sydney fall into these zones. Designs must also meet the relevant design criteria in the Medium Density Design Guide.

*Dual occupancies can now be approved as a complying development providing they meet certain standards.

*Blocks must be at least 400 square metres, or the minimum lot size according to council, whichever is greater.

*Blocks must be at least 12 metres wide. For dual occupancies where one dwelling is located above another, the block must be at least 15 metres wide.

*Buildings must have a minimum side setback of 0.9 metres. Greater setbacks apply for blocks wider than 24 metres.

*Each dwelling must be at least five metres wide and can’t be more than 8.5 metres high.

*Each dwelling must face a public road, and can’t be located behind another dwelling except on a corner lot.

*Each dwelling must have at least one off-street parking spot.

*Dual occupancies must be a permitted land use under the council’s Local Environmental Plan.

What qualifies a property for redevelopment into terraces?

Under the new code, terraces are defined as three or more separate dwellings built side by side on one lot, with each dwelling facing the street.

*Blocks must be at least 600 square metres, or the minimum lot size according to council, whichever is greater.

*Blocks must be at least 18 metres wide.

*Buildings must have a minimum side setback of 1.5 metres.

*Each dwelling must face a public road, and can’t be located behind another dwelling.

*Each dwelling must be at least six metres wide and can’t be more than nine metres high.

*Each dwelling must have at least one off-street parking spot.

*Attached dwellings must be a permitted land use under the council’s Local Environmental Plan.

What qualifies a property for redevelopment into a manor house?

A manor house is a two-storey building that contains three or four dwellings under the one roof, designed to appear as an oversized double-storey house from the street. According to the medium-density design guide, manor houses are best suited to corner lots or those with rear lane access.

Each dwelling can be subdivided and strata titled to allow separate ownership, effectively creating a small apartment block.

*Blocks must be at least 600 square metres.

*Blocks must be at least 15 metres wide.

*Buildings must have a minimum side setback of 1.5 metres.

*Each dwelling must have at least one off-street parking spot and one secure bicycle storage space.

*Each dwelling must have a minimum internal floor area:

Studio – 35 square metres.

One bedroom – 50 square metres.

Two bedrooms – 70 square metres.

Three or more bedrooms – 90 square metres.

*Manor houses must be a permitted land use under the council’s Local Environmental Plan.