A Wollongong community group says a new housing code will create "community unrest and disdain" for the state's planning system.
After having previously being deferred for many councils throughout the state, the Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code is currently scheduled to come into effect for councils such as Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama on November 1.
The code allows one or two-storey dual occupancies, manor houses and terraces to be fast tracked and approved within 20 days under a private certifier if it meets council's planning controls.
The usual council development application process can take months to finalise for a medium density development.
The state government has claimed the code will increase supply, improve housing affordability, provide more housing options and will maintain the local character of neighbourhoods with a two-storey limit.
However, the Wollongong Neighbourhood Forum Alliance met recently to discuss their concerns regarding the development process in Wollongong City, and the housing code.
They have also lodged their concerns with the state government.
The group says the code will "entrench, and possibly worsen, a totally unsustainable planning regime and certainly exacerbate the already high degree of community unrest and disdain for the planning system in this state".
The group has raised concerns regarding width standards, which they say are such that there are few sites near shops, services or jobs capable of being developed for low rise medium density in the Wollongong LGA.
They say as a result, in some areas of the city up to two-thirds of this development is taking place in more remote places.
"Not only is this unsustainable, but it is destroying the amenity of many coherent streetscapes," the group said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Alliance says it's working with councillors and council officers to identify areas near business centres, and which already contain a number of medium density developments, where the planning provisions can be relaxed to encourage more development.
The group has requested that consideration be given to exempting Wollongong altogether from the code.
They say this would be subject to their extending significantly Exempt Development provisions to speed up housing approvals; or limiting the application of the code in Residential R2 zones to areas within 250m of business zones.
The Alliance also raised concerns that under the code, for instance, neighbours could find a row of terrace houses popping up on the block next door, a week before construction starts, if the project meets the certifier's standards.
Earlier this year, Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said the code took the planning powers out of council's hands.
"Council is not anti-development," he said. "Staff take the needs to the community into consideration and works hard to defend the amenity of neighbourhoods."
Cr Bradbery said issues such as flooding, slope, land constraints would not be considered under the code.