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In July 2018 the NSW Government introduced new planning controls through the Low-Rise Medium Density Housing Code (the Code). The Code allows dual occupancies; multi-dwelling houses (including terraces), manor homes and subdivision within all low density residential zones to be built under a fast track complying development approval. This approval could be issued within 20 days if the application complies with requirements in the Code, providing little opportunity for the community to have their say. Complying development is a fast-track approval process for straightforward residential, commercial and industrial development. If the application meets specific criteria it can be determined by either a private certifier or council. More information NSW Department of Planning & Environment.

Council was granted a deferral of the Code by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPI&E) in the Northern Beaches local government area (LGA) until 1 July 2020 which means applicants cannot use the Code or lodge development applications for manor houses or terraces, or use the Code for dual occupancies until then.

Impact to your property

Dual occupancy is currently permitted via a development application within the R2 low density residential zone in the Pittwater and Manly Local Environment Plans (LEPs) and multi dwelling housing is currently permitted via a development application within the Manly LEP. The Code applies to where dual occupancies and multi-dwelling housing are permitted.

The Code however permits:

  • 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 their say

Council Planning Proposal

Council has drafted a Planning Proposal to ensure the character of local suburbs are retained and protected in response to the Code. The amended Planning Proposal prohibits 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.

More information on the Code

NSW Planning, Industry & Environment

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Department of Planning, Industry of Environment.