Sydney Housing Shakeup With New State Planning Policy


Due to the substantial planning changes that came into effect a couple of weeks ago under the State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP), NSW can expect to see significant changes to development in north west and south west Sydney growth centres.

The south west is set to become home to over 300,000 new residents in 110,000 new dwellings, while the north west is set to become home to over 200,000 new residents in 70,000 new dwellings.

Due to the demand of housing affordability, minimum lot sizes are shrinking. The new minimum lot size for houses has decreased from 360 square meters to 225 square meters. In the new growth areas of Sydney, developers are now able to offer lot sizes as small as 125 square meters.

Another new development in the SEPP is the emergence of what is now colloquially known as the 'Fonzie Flat'. It is a self-contained studio apartment located over the garage, named after the character in the long running comedy Happy Days.

These flats must be located over the garage and have the ability of strata subdivision when established in conjunction with the main home. A Fonzie Flat can be up to 75 square meters or 30 per cent of the size of the main dwelling.

Another new housing type is the ‘Manor Home’. This will allow for four separately titled units in what looks like a traditional two-storey home. Access to each dwelling is through either a common entry or a separate street access. They will only be permitted on corner lots with a minimum lot size of 600 square meters.

We will also see a greater mix of housing and lot types with townhouses and terraces permitted in low density, R2 zones.

Amended development control plans will include controls to ensure good design outcomes are maintained, resulting in attractive streetscapes.

A guide has been produced to provide best practice in good design; this will inform the development industry and local councils in areas that have higher minimum density controls.

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