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NSW Takes Aim at the Missing-middle of Housing Supply

The NSW government is introducing a new policy which could fast track the development of medium density dwellings around transport hubs and town centres. The new policy will change the rules for dual occupancies, attached dwellings, apartment buildings up to 2 storeys, and apartment buildings up to 6 storeys.

The changes will come through a State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) and endeavours to provide 112,000 low-density homes to the Greater Sydney region, as well as the Hunter, Central Coast, and Illawarra regions, to contribute to the Housing Accord Target goal of 377,000 new homes in NSW by 2029.

In R2 zones, or land made up of low-density housing, the vast majority of terraces and one or two storey apartment buildings are banned by local council LEPs (Local Environmental Plans). The new policy would allow for these dwellings to be developed if they are within 800 metres of a transport hub or town centre.

Similarly, for R3 zones, residential flat buildings up to 6 storeys can be developed so long as they are also within 800 metres of a transport hub or town centre. R3 zones are where multi-dwelling houses, such as town houses, are encouraged. Currently 60% of R3 zones do not allow any residential flat buildings.

Additionally, the Government also announced a “pattern book” of low-rise and mid-rise building designs. Developers that use designs from the book can potentially have their developments fast-tracked.

With this, an international competition will be launched sometime in 2024, encouraging architects to participate in the design process. The winners will have their designs included in the pattern book.

It is understood that the draft SEPP will go on public exhibition from next week. Is your upcoming project affected by these new changes? Click here to discuss with one of our planning team, or call us on 02 9659 0005.

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