Manor homes in the Illawarra not to be feared: UDIA

An example of a manor house, which is a two-storey building that contains three or four dwellings under one roof. (Inset) Carol King.
An example of a manor house, which is a two-storey building that contains three or four dwellings under one roof. (Inset) Carol King.

The Illawarra-based representative of a property sector body has urged local councils to embrace manor homes. 

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.

However, following requests, the government has deferred the code’s introduction for many councils, including Shellharbour and Wollongong until July 2019. 

Shellharbour City Council’s group manager city planning Geoff Hoynes said they had requested a deferral in order to prepare a housing strategy for the whole LGA, and would liaise with the community about appropriate types of housing.

“Something like a manor house hasn’t been anticipated by this council as a type of use that would become complying development,” he said.

“Including a manor home in the housing code without the opportunity for community consultation was a concern for this council.”

Carol King, 65, and husband Ian have lived at Tullimbar Village since 2011. 

They live on a 390sqm lot that has two dwellings on it.

The Kings don’t live in a manor home – which aren’t yet prevalent in the Illawarra - but according to the Urban Development Institute of Australia their home is similar to the size of houses that could be approved under the code.  

“We think the Kings are a good example of the type of people looking for housing like this and who enjoy living in houses and lots of that size,” UDIA southern manager Keiran Thomas said. 

Mr Thomas urged Illawarra councils to warm up to manor homes.

“You can barely tell the difference between a manor home and a large house,” Mr Thomas said. 

Mr Thomas said that “we’d like to reassure councils that there’s nothing to fear” regarding manor homes. 

“Not only are the designs beautiful and practical, but they will increase the number of homes available for young families,” he said. 

“They’re smaller blocks, but there’s still plenty of space in the area,” Mrs King said of homes in their area. 

“It really brings back community, and the understanding of what community was and is, and could be again.

“The block isn’t that big, but I don’t feel like I live in a small house…We’ve got plenty of front yard and a courtyard.”