New South Wales

NSW Government releases discussion paper for an expanded complying development system

NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes last week said the State Government will explore new actions to improve housing supply, affordability and diversity.

Mr Stokes released a discussion paper on fast-tracking delivery of low-rise medium density housing types – such as dual occupancies, manor homes, townhouses and terraces – under the state's complying development assessment process.

Elizabeth Bay, Sydney
Above: Elizabeth Bay, Sydney / by Aldo van Zeeland.

"What has been absent for a long time in NSW is a consistent approach to housing like terraces and dual occupancies," Mr Stokes said.

"Sydney will need an extra 664,000 homes over the next 20 years. To plan for this growth we must provide quality, sustainable and affordable housing stock for those who need it, where they need it.

"Terraces and villas are more energy efficient than detached houses and medium density housing also offers more variety and flexibility for Sydney's changing demographics."

A third of homeowners surveyed by the Department of Planning & Environment last year said they would consider downsizing to terraces in the future – preferences which are being driven by changing lifestyles and demographics.

The complying development assessment process allows approval of developments that meets set rules without a full development application.

Approval for complying development applications takes on average 18 days, compared with 70 for a full DA. In 2013-14 complying development allowed 29 per cent of all development approvals to be fast-tracked and a total of $4.4 billion worth of development to be delivered.

According to the Minister, proposals would still be required to comply with the State Policy for Exempt and Complying Development and existing local council zonings, meeting strict development standards, design requirements and amenity guidelines.

More information is available from the Department of Planning and Environment website at <>.

Photo: Elizabeth Bay, Sydney / Aldo van Zeeland / Licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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