NSW Government low to mid rise housing policy update

In December 2023, the NSW Government exhibited proposed changes to make it easier to build new low to mid rise housing, ranging from dual occupancies through to six -storey unit blocks. Ku-ring-gai Council lodged a submission raising significant concerns about the reforms.

In July 2024, the NSW Government commenced the first part of these reforms, which permits dual occupancy development on most R2 low density residential zoned  land, subject to development consent.

In introducing the dual occupancy reform, the government did not specify any development controls for dual occupancies, such as minimum lot size. At its meeting on 16 July, the Council voted to prepare controls for dual occupancies before 30 June 2025.

In the meantime, applications for dual occupancy development will be assessed on their merits, with applicants urged to discuss their application before lodgement with council’s assessment team. The council is also continuing to liaise with the NSW Government on the issue.

Separately, the NSW Government has deferred other provisions of the planned low and mid-rise reforms, including more flexible provisions for terraces, townhouses, multi-unit dwellings and apartment buildings near stations and town centres. These reforms are separate to the government’s Transport Oriented Development provisions, which came into effect on 13 May 2024.

Latest update

July 2024

On 1 July, the NSW Government announced it had made dual occupancy development permissible with development consent in most R2 low density residential zones. Dual occupancy development means two dwellings on one lot of land, whether the dwellings are attached or detached.

On 16 July, the Council considered a Mayoral Minute which analysed recent planning reforms, including changed planning provisions for dual occupancies. Council resolved to ask staff to “review Ku-ring-gai’s planning controls for dual occupancy development (especially in regard to minimum lot sizes) and report back to Council with a view of updating the Local Environmental Plan and Development Control Plan prior to 30 June 2025”. 

May 2024

At the Council meeting on 21 May 2024, Council considered a paper prepared by the NSW Department of Planning Housing & Infrastructure. This paper outlines the key issues identified in the public submissions to the Department regarding the policy, along with proposed refinements to address them. Each issue is addressed through one or more policy refinements, some of which the Department have stated they wish to collaborate one-on-one with councils to develop an appropriate policy position.

For details see Late Agenda of Ordinary Meeting of Council - Tuesday 21 May 2024

Key NSW Government links

Key Council links

Examples of low-rise housing

diverse-and-well-located-homes-low-rise-900x600_edited (002).jpg

Examples of mid-rise housing