Urban Taskforce Pushes For Faster Medium Density Housing Approvals In NSW


Urban Taskforce has welcomed news from NSW Minister for Planning, Rob Stokes, that the Government is considering extending faster approvals to medium density housing.

“The current Housing Code provides for 10 day approvals for two storey detached houses and this can easily be extended to town houses and terrace houses,” said  Urban Taskforce CEO Chris Johnson.“We believe that mid-rise apartments should also be considered for complying development.”

He said the terrace house, dual occupancies and townhouses had become standard building types across NSW and should therefore get faster approvals as complying development as proposed by the Government.

"This would encourage developers to fit within the proposed rules as a quick approval will reduce costs," he said.

“The Urban Taskforce has produced a publication calling for 30 day approvals for mid-rise apartments of 6 or 8 storeys and we believe the Government should also be considering this building type for complying development.

“As Sydney’s population inevitably increases there will need to be more urban consolidation in existing areas. To replace detached houses with terrace houses is unlikely to be economically feasible in many suburbs but to replace two storey with six storey is likely to be feasible and should be encouraged as the next step after the Government’s inclusion of low rise medium density housing as complying development.

“Mid-rise apartments are the most likely building type to replace 50 year old walk up flats now that the NSW Government has changed the rules to allow 75 per cent of owners to agree to demolition of an existing strata building. To realise the intent of the Strata Act changes the planning system needs to provide for increased floor space and planning rules (such as a complying code for 6 storey apartment buildings) that encourage change and produce good quality, well-designed buildings.”

He said Urban Taskforce was keen to work with the Minister for Planning in simplifying the planning system so that approvals for buildings that fit the rules could be fast tracked.

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