Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code deferred for Illawarra, Shoalhaven councils

The Illawarra-based representative of a property sector body says the region’s councils have “missed a real opportunity” to provide cheaper, more diverse housing. 

However, Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery has described the new housing code as “medium density by stealth”.

The new Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code was due to come into effect on July 6. 

The state government’s code would allow one and two-storey dual occupancies, manor houses and terraces to be carried out under a fast-track complying development approval. 

A manor house is a two-storey building that contains three or four dwellings under one roof, designed to appear as a double storey house from the street.

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

However, it was announced last week that following requests, the state government has deferred the code’s introduction for many councils until July 2019.

Non-Sydney councils with deferral include Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama and Shoalhaven.

Cr Bradbery said the code would allow “unfettered medium density development in low density residential areas... and without community engagement or consultation process”.

“We want to concentrate our medium density around our village centres, our town centres and things of that nature,” he said.

“But this is basically medium density by stealth, without the adequate controls.

“It seems to me that it’s too broad a brushstroke, we could end up with medium density everywhere.”

“It would mean dual occupancies, terraces and manor homes could be approved by a private certifier rather than having to go through a full DA process with councils,” Mr Thomas said. 

“It would save time and money and increase housing supply and housing choice.”

Mr Thomas said that, “there is nothing to be feared from these types of homes”. 

“They’re the type of home many young and older couples want to live in,” he said.

“The councils have missed a real opportunity to provide cheaper, more diverse housing that our community sorely needs.”