Proposed changes to NSW housing policy and its impacts on Ku-ring-gai

Page last updated: Monday 26 February

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Introduction 
Council launches campaign to demand better planning -  NEW
What the changes mean for Ku-ring-gai
Changes to create low and mid-rise housing
Ku-ring-gai Council submission - Low and mid-rise housing - NEW
Transport Oriented Development
Ku-ring-gai Council submission - Transport Oriented Development Program - NEW  
Affordable Housing
Existing Heritage, Environmental and other Planning Controls
Map of proposed new housing controls in Ku-ring-gai 
Public information session 
Council resolution on housing
Council meeting 20 February
Have your say

Introduction

The NSW Government is preparing to implement one of the most far-reaching policies on new housing in decades. 

The proposed policy will mean significant changes to development in Ku-ring-gai. Under the proposed changes, dual occupancies will be allowed in most residential zones in Ku-ring-gai on minimum block sizes of 450sqm.

Terraces, townhouses, manor houses (two storey apartment blocks) and 6 to 7 storey mid-rise apartment blocks will be permitted within walking distance of Ku-ring-gai’s railway stations and possibly other local centres.

The proposed new development controls will apply in Heritage Conservation Areas. The requirements for landscaping and tree retention will also be significantly reduced.

Another part of the state government’s plan for new housing is ‘Transport Oriented Development’ (TOD). This would introduce a blanket 6 to 7 storey height rule for unit developments near Roseville, Lindfield, Killara, and Gordon railway stations. The public is not being consulted about the TOD policy, but Ku-ring-gai Council will prepare a submission to the government on our community’s behalf. To help us do this, we invited residents to complete an online survey, which closed 5pm Friday 16 February.

If you have an interest in the future of development in Ku-ring-gai you can learn more on the NSW Government’s planning website.

Council launches campaign to demand better planning

Council has launched a campaign inviting our residents to join us to demand better planning from the NSW Government.

What Council is calling for is:

✅ Consulting directly with communities
✅ Working with local councils to understand each community
✅ Protecting natural and built heritage 
✅ Maintaining the tree canopy, wildlife and environment 
✅ Investing in all necessary new and additional infrastructure.

There are a number of ways you can help fight these changes. Click the below link to learn how you can add your voice to the campaign.

Learn what actions you can take to help fight these changes 

What the changes mean for Ku-ring-gai

  • Allowing dual occupancies (two dwellings on the same lot) in all low-density residential zones, with a minimum lot size of 450 square metres. Currently dual occupancies are generally not permitted in Ku‑ring‑gai.
  • Allowing terraces, townhouses and two storey apartment blocks near railway stations and possibly other local centres. Currently these multi-dwelling housing types are permitted in Ku-ring-gai to a very limited extent.
  • Allowing 6 to 7 storey mid-rise apartment blocks near railway stations and possibly other local centres. Currently mid-rise apartment blocks of up to 5 storeys are permitted in Ku-ring-gai to a limited extent.
  • Allowing affordable housing bonuses of up to 30% for floor space ratio and height, on top of the proposed new controls. 
  • Overriding existing planning controls such as those for heritage and environment.
  • Introducing ‘non-refusal standards’ for the new planning controls by which development consent may not be refused.
  • There will be impacts on heritage, trees, biodiversity, traffic and stormwater.
  • Significant tree loss across Ku-ring-gai.
  • No consideration currently given to the necessary infrastructure to support density such as schools, transport and community facilities.

Visual representation of proposed density


Changes to create low and mid-rise housing

Dual occupancies

The NSW Government has referred to dual occupancies as being two dwellings on a single lot, commonly known as duplexes or semis. 

It is proposed that dual occupancies be permitted on all land zoned R2 (low density residential), up to 9.5m high and floor space ratio of 0.65:1, provided the minimum lot size is 450 square metres and a minimum 12m in width.

Tree canopy targets will be as low as 15% of the site area. 

Currently dual occupancies are generally not permitted in Ku‑ring‑gai.

Multi-dwelling housing near stations and town centres

The NSW Government has referred to multi-dwelling housing as being terraces, townhouses, and manor houses (two storey apartment buildings).

It is proposed that within 800m walking distance of a railway station or a centre with a wide range of frequently needed goods and services such as full line supermarkets, shops and restaurants, the following will be permitted:

  • On land zoned R2 (low density residential): terraces and townhouses up to 9.5m high at floor space ratio 0.7:1, plus manor houses up to 9.5m high and floor space ratio 0.8:1. This is in addition to existing controls that allow multi-dwelling housing in R3 and R4 zones.
  • Tree canopy targets will be as low as 20% of the site area.

Examples of low-rise housing
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Mid-rise housing near stations and town centres

The NSW Government has referred to mid-rise housing as being residential apartment buildings and shop-top housing that is generally between 3 and 6 storeys.

It is proposed that within 400m walking distance of a railway station or a centre with a wide range of frequently needed goods and services such as full line supermarkets, shops and restaurants, the following will be permitted:

  • On land zoned E1 (local centres) or MU1 (mixed use): up to 21m high (approx. 6 to 7 storey) shop-top housing at a floor space ratio of 3:1
  • On land zoned R3 (medium density): up to 21m high (approx. 6 to 7 storey) apartments at a floor space ratio of 3:1

It is proposed that between 400m and 800m walking distance of a railway station or a centre with a wide range of frequently needed goods and services such as full line supermarkets, shops and restaurants, the following will be permitted:

  • On land zoned E1 (local centres) or MU1 (mixed use): up to 16m high (approx. 4 to 5 storey) shop-top housing at a floor space ratio of 2:1
  • On land zoned R3 (medium density): up to 16m high (approx. 4 to 5 storey) apartments at a floor space ratio of 2:1

The proposed planning control would reduce requirements for deep soil planting and tree targets from 50% to 7% of site area for mid-rise housing.

The government is seeking input from councils to determine which E1 and MU1 centres contain an appropriate level of goods, services and amenities to be included for mid-rise housing and multi-dwelling housing.

Examples of mid-rise housing

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Ku-ring-gai Council submission on low and mid-rise housing

Ku-ring-gai Council has made the below submission on the proposed low and mid rise housing policy changes.

Final Ku-ring-gai Council Submission - Changes to create low and mid rise housing

Transport Oriented Development

The Transport Oriented Development (TOD) program is another part of the NSW Government’s plan to increase the supply of housing.

The public is not being directly consulted about this program. The government is instead asking for feedback from councils.

The TOD program will focus on precincts that have existing infrastructure and are located within 400m of certain railway stations across Sydney. There are four locations proposed in Ku-ring-gai: Roseville, Lindfield, Killara and Gordon.

In these four locations the changes will allow:

  • Up to 21m high (approx. 6 to 7 storey) residential apartment buildings in all residential zones (R2, R3, and R4) within 400m of stations; and
  • Up to 21m high (approx. 6 to 7 storey) residential apartment buildings and shop-top housing in local centre zones (E1) within 400m of stations.

In addition to the 21m maximum building height, other proposed planning controls are:

  • Floor space ratio 3:1
  • No minimum lot size or lot width
  • Minimum active street frontage controls in E1 zones
  • Maximum parking rates

The amended TOD planning controls are proposed to commence in April 2024 and remain in place until councils have completed and delivered new strategic rezoning plans for these areas. These strategic plans must provide uplift in these locations equal to or exceeding the TOD controls.

Briefing on Transport Oriented Development from the Dept of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure for Ku-ring-gai

View the Transport Oriented Development program

Ku-ring-gai Council submission on Transport Oriented Development Program

Ku-ring-gai Council has made the below submission to the NSW Government on the proposed TOD program. 

Although the public was not consulted by the NSW Government about the TOD program, Ku-ring-gai residents completed an online survey to assist the Council in preparing this submission (survey closed on 16 Feb).  

Affordable Housing

On 14 December 2023 the NSW Government implemented affordable housing reforms to encourage private developers to boost affordable housing and deliver more housing.

The reforms include a floor space ratio bonus of 20–30% and a height bonus of 20–30% for projects that include at least 10-15% of gross floor area as affordable housing. The height bonus only applies to residential flat buildings and shop-top housing.

This could mean that the proposed 21m high (6 to 7 storey) apartment buildings may be up to 27m high (8 to 9 storeys) inclusive of a 30% affordable housing bonus.

This part of the housing policy is already in effect.

Read the announcement

Learn more about these changes

View the proposed policy

Existing Heritage, Environmental and other Planning Controls

Planning controls in Local Environmental Plans and Development Control Plans such as heritage and environmental considerations will continue to apply, but only to the extent they are not inconsistent with the proposed new planning controls. This means the proposed new controls will override the existing controls. 

The proposed new planning controls will apply in Heritage Conservation Areas and the NSW Government has stated it will result in significant changes in these locations as housing is delivered.

Map of NSW Government's proposed new housing controls in Ku-ring-gai

The proposed new planning controls will apply in Heritage Conservation Areas. 

An affordable housing bonus of up to 30% height and floor space ratio may apply in addition to the proposed new planning controls shown on this map.

It is possible that other local centres will be added to the government plans if they are considered to have a wide range of goods and services.

Ku-ring-gai Local Government Area
*Please note: This map is indicative only.
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* The areas showing proposed new planning controls are indicative based on information provided by the NSW Government. The purpose of this map is to indicate the proposed changes at a high level and it should not be used to assess impacts on individual properties. The areas proposed for new planning controls are shown as circles on the map for simplicity but may differ if implemented. There may be more or fewer properties impacted by the proposed new planning controls than is shown on this map.

In addition to all of the railway stations, the NSW Government is seeking input as to which other areas with shops (with E1 Local Centre or MU1 Mixed Use zoning) in Ku-ring-gai should be included for mid-rise housing, multi dwelling housing and manor houses. The government provides guidance that these shopping areas should provide a wide range of frequently needed goods and services such as full line supermarkets, shops and restaurants. Apart from at railway stations, this map also shows the proposed new planning controls around the St Ives Shopping Village, on the basis that it is an area in Ku-ring-gai that is likely to meet the government criteria.

It is possible that other local centres will be added to the government plans if they are considered to have a wide range of goods and services.

Public information session

Ku-ring-gai Council held a public information session on Wednesday 31 January. See below for a video recording of the session and presentation slides. 

Housing changes presentation slides

 

This a summary of the questions put forward online at the public forum on 31 January that were not addressed due to time limitations. Please note that comments/observations relating to the meeting itself, as well as general comments or political commentary have not been included.

Public forum questions and responses

If you would like further clarification or have other questions please contact us at krg@krg.nsw.gov.au

Council resolution on housing

At the Extraordinary Meeting of Council held on Monday 5 February, Council unanimously resolved to take action against the State Government's housing policies. Council's resolution:

A.     Condemns the State Government for its irresponsible approach to planning for the future of the built and natural environment in NSW.
B.     Rejects the proposed changes to planning controls and demands that they be withdrawn with genuine consultation to be undertaken with councils and their communities, as intended by the National Housing Accord 2022.
C.    Explore all options to oppose the changes and stop them being implemented.
D.    Lodge applications under the GIPA act to obtain the NSW Government analysis of the proposed planning controls and other information relating to the possible impact on Ku-ring-gai.
E.    Continue to actively inform the community, and request NSROC and Local Government NSW to lobby against the proposed changes to planning controls.
F.     Write to the Mayors of all Sydney metropolitan councils seeking for these councils to fight back and demand that the proposed changes to planning controls be withdrawn.
G.    Arrange for banners in key locations to alert residents to the proposed changes.
H.    Continue to actively campaign against the proposed changes, collaborating with the community, councils and other stakeholders.  
I.      Authorise the General Manager to take all action necessary to implement this resolution and otherwise progress the interests of Council consistent with this resolution. 

View minutes from the Council meeting here

Council meeting 20 February

Council is considering a report on the NSW Government’s Transport Oriented Development (TOD) Program and proposed Low and Mid-Rise Housing at the next Ordinary Meeting on 20 February. Read the Council report.

Have your say 

  • Council has launched a campaign inviting our residents to join us to demand better planning from the NSW Government.

Learn what actions you can take to help fight these changes here