The Code allows for a diverse range of one and two storey homes, providing all the amenities of a traditional freestanding home in a well-designed and compact form. It provides a great alternative to apartments and freestanding home fitting into existing streets and neighbourhoods. It helps housing affordability by providing smaller homes on smaller lots that still provide all the amenities of a single dwelling. It can accommodate a wide variety of lifestyles and needs, including growing families or empty nesters.
Two-storey building height limits are designed to ensure the size and scale of complying development is low rise and will easily fit into established streetscapes.
Complying Development is a fast-track approval pathway for straight forward residential, commercial and industrial development. If the application complies with all of the relevant requirements in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (the State Policy), it can be approved by a council or a registered certifier within 20 days.
Benefits of the Low Rise Housing Diversity Code
Housing types under the Code
Dual occupancy (attached) means 2 dwellings on one lot of land that are attached to each other but does not include a secondary dwelling.
Dual occupancy (detached) means 2 detached dwellings on one lot of land but does not include a secondary dwelling.
Means a residential flat building containing 3 or 4 dwellings, where:
- each dwelling is attached to another dwelling by a common wall or floor, and
- at least 1 dwelling is partially or wholly located above another dwelling, and
- the building contains no more than 2 storeys (excluding any basement).
Multi-dwelling housing (terraces)
Means 3 or more attached dwellings on one lot of land where:
- each dwelling has access at ground level
- no part of a dwelling is above any part of any other dwelling, and,
- dwellings face, and are generally aligned along, one or more public roads.
How the Code will work
The Code is included in the State Policy and permits a diverse range of housing types to be approved as complying development including dual occupancies, manor houses and terraces. Under complying development these housing types will only be permitted in R1, R2, R3 and RU5 zones where councils already allow them under their Local Environmental Plan (LEP).
Exclusions for where complying development cannot be carried out under the State Policy will continue to apply. For example, complying development cannot be carried out in:
- state or locally listed heritage items and heritage conservation areas
- land reserved for public purposes
- environmentally sensitive areas and areas excluded by Councils based on local circumstances.
For more information, check the State Policy.
The Code establishes the controls for each development type in the form of development standards that a proposal must meet to be assessed as complying development.
The development must meet the minimum lot size requirements under the relevant council LEP
for a dual occupancy, the size of the lot being developed must meet the minimum lot size requirement to build a dual occupancy under the relevant council LEP. If the LEP does not specify a minimum lot size, then the Code applies a minimum 400m2 lot size
for manor houses, the size of the lot being developed must meet the minimum lot size requirements to build a manor house under the relevant council LEP. If the LEP does not specify a minimum lot size, then the Code applies a minimum 600m2 lot size.
for terraces, the size of the lot being developed must meet the minimum lot size requirements to build multi-dwelling housing under the relevant council LEP. If the LEP does not specify a minimum lot size, then the Code applies a minimum 600m2 lot size.
Using the Low Rise Housing Diversity Code
Summary of new development standards
Easy-to-use summary tables of the new development standards have been created for industry professionals, including council planners, certifiers, building designers and architects.
Low Rise Housing Diversity Design Guide for Development Applications
The department prepared a Low Rise Housing Diversity Design Guide for Development Applications (Design Guide for DAs) to assist councils when assessing manor houses and terraces as a DA until they develop their Development Control Plans.
The Design Guide for DAs provides councils with best practice controls and design standards ensuring developments are well designed and will fit into the local character of the area.
It was developed with councils, industry and the community to ensure good design outcomes and a consistent approach to medium density housing as complying development is applied across NSW.
The Code includes a requirement to prepare a Design Verification Statement to ensure and promote good design outcomes. The Design Verification Statement must be prepared by a qualified designer (registered architect) or building designer accredited with the Building Designers Association of Australia.
Where to go for more information
An education program will be rolled out across NSW to assist the community and stakeholders to learn more about the Low Rise Housing Diversity Code and Low Rise Housing Diversity Design Guide.
This includes a series of online learning modules to assist people to learn more about each part of the Code and Guide.
For more information, you can contact us on [email protected] or call the Service NSW Codes Hotline on 13 77 88.