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In July 2018 the NSW Government introduced new planning controls through the Low-Rise Medium Diversity Housing Code (the Code) under State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development).
The Code allows for the development and subdivision of dual occupancies; multi-dwelling houses (including terraces), manor homes under a fast track complying development approval process where those land uses were currently permitted with development consent from Council.
This approval can be issued by a private certifier within 20 days if the application complies with requirements in the Code.
More information about the complying development process can be found at NSW Department of Planning & Environment.
Council raised a number of concerns with the proposed operation of the Code as it permitted:
- The subdivision of dual occupancy development into smaller allotments than currently permissible under Pittwater and Manly LEPs in the R2 zone
- Dual occupancy development with lesser setback and car parking requirements than currently permissible under Pittwater and Manly Development Control Plans (DCPs) in the R2 zone
- The subdivision of ‘manor houses’ and ‘multi-dwelling housing’ into smaller allotments than currently permissible under the Manly LEP in the R2 zone
- Manor houses and multi-dwelling housing at a higher density than currently permissible under the Manly DCP in the R2 zone
- Proposals to be built under a fast track complying development approval providing little opportunity for the community to have its say
Council was subsequently granted a deferral from the operation of the Code by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPI&E) until 1 July 2020.
In late March 2020, Council sought a further 12 month deferral from the Code to permit it to complete its Local Housing Strategy.
Council was subsequently advised that the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces would not grant a further deferral and the Code would commence in the Northern Beaches LGA on 1 July 2020.
Council made urgent submissions to DPI&E requesting amendments to the Manly LEP and State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes 2008) to reduce the impact of the Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code (see the Council meeting of 23 June 2020). The amendments proposed to:
- Introduce a minimum site area per dwelling for the erection of multi dwelling housing (terraces) and manor houses in the R2 Low Density Residential zone under the Manly LEP 2011 consistent with the residential density areas map within Manly DCP 2013.
- Introduce minimum allotment sizes for the subdivision of multi-dwelling housing (terraces) and manor houses in the R2 Low Density Residential zone under the Manly LEP 2011 to ensure that the application of the Codes SEPP will result in subdivision standards consistent with the residential density areas map within Manly DCP 2013.
The associated LEP amendments were agreed to by DPI&E and published on the NSW Legislation website, commencing on 1 July 2020.
Impact on your property
The Code applies where dual occupancies and multi-dwelling housing are permitted with development consent under a Council’s Local Environmental Plan (LEP).
In the Northern Beaches, “Dual occupancy” is currently permitted with development consent in the R2 low density residential zone under the Pittwater and Manly Local Environment Plans (LEPs).
“Multi dwelling housing” is currently permitted with development consent in the R2 zone under the Manly LEP only.
“Multi dwelling housing” and “dual occupancy” is also permitted with development consent in the R3 Medium Density residential zone under the Manly, Pittwater and Warringah LEPs.
Dual occupancy (attached) is also permitted with development consent in the R5 Large Lot residential zone under the Pittwater LEP.
Council Planning Proposal
Council had drafted a Planning Proposal to ensure the character of local suburbs are retained and protected in response to the Code.
The amended Planning Proposal sought to prohibit dual occupancy within Pittwater and Manly low density residential zones and medium density residential developments (including terraces and manor homes) within the Manly low density residential zone.
See the Council meeting of 23 June 2020 for more background information on the Planning Proposal.
For questions regarding the Low Rise Housing Diversity Code, contact the Department of Planning, Infrastructure and Environment via email at email@example.com or call the Service NSW Codes Hotline on 13 77 88.