Low Rise Housing Diversity Code now operating in all NSW local government areas

The introduction of the (formerly) Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code in July 2018 aimed to provide more liveable and affordable housing arrangements for growing families and empty nesters within existing neighbourhoods and streetscapes.

1 July, 2020

The introduction of the (formerly) Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code in July 2018 aimed to provide more liveable and affordable housing arrangements for growing families and empty nesters within existing neighbourhoods and streetscapes.

Amendments to the Code

While most local government areas had already adopted the Code, as of 1st July 2020, councils that had a temporary deferral from the Code, now also have the ability to build dual occupancies, manor houses and terraces via a simplified Complying Development process. In response to stakeholder feedback, several amendments to the Code also came into effect on 1st July, including:

  •   Code has been renamed “Low Rise Housing Diversity Code” to better reflect the variety of housing types contained within the Code.
  •   Minimum lot sizes for manor houses and terraces have been reduced in alignment with the council’s Local Environmental Plan (LEP) to promote more efficient design.
  •   Minimum lot sizes for dual occupancies are no longer subject to 60% rule to ensure accordance with council’s LEP, or where unspecified – 200m2.
  •  Minimum frontage for dual occupancies reduced to 15m, or 12m where lot is only accessible via secondary road, parallel road, or lane, to promote more efficient design and uniformity in local character.
  • Minimum landscaped areas for dual occupancies and terraces have been clarified to promote vegetation and uniformity in local landscape settings.
  •   Exclusions to Complying Development under this Code have been highlighted:
    • Development that is in-fill affordable housing within the meaning of Division 1 of Part 2 of State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009
    • Development on unsewered land
    • Development on land susceptible to landslide

Benefits of the Code

The Low Rise Housing Diversity Code helps homeowners save time and money by promoting fast-tracked approvals and more efficient design without compromising on amenities or local character.  Beyond the ease of approval (including via an accredited certifier), the Code presents a number of other benefits to homeowners and their communities:

  • Encourages good quality and sustainable design that evolves with the area and your lifestyle.
  • Allows for greater choice given the diversity in housing types suitable for Complying Development.
  • Meets demand for housing for ever-growing population.
  • Promotes more desirable and healthy living conditions with open space, light, natural ventilation, and privacy.

Further Information

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has provided resources in response to some Frequently Asked Questions. They are available for download here:

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