News & Property Markets

Changes To The Housing Code

To fast-track low rise housing in NSW there are going to be new housing planning laws that are set to benefit owners of narrow properties who never thought their blocks were suitable for development.

If you drive around the Wollongong Region you will see more duplexes popping up in the area. It’s great to see many of them are well designed, aesthetically pleasing buildings instead of the uninspiring blocks of brick that some areas of Sydney have turned into.

According to the NSW Dept. of Planning, Industry and Environment, the Low Rise Housing Diversity Code will allow well-designed dual occupancies and terraces (up to two storeys) to be carried out under a fast-tracked complying development approval pathway.

This change to the housing code came into effect on 1st July 2020 although it is currently being deferred by Wollongong Council, and means that duplexes can be approved as complying developments in as little a few weeks

This is no doubt to tackle the housing shortage across major cities into the future. It is also a compromise from large high rise or townhouse developments that can dominate a streetscape.

It also gives mum-and-dad investors an opportunity to create, with their home a second income or sell off one of the properties to make a profit.

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Under the new rules, blocks with a 12 metre frontage may be eligible to build a duplex (if vehicle access is at the rear of property), overriding past rules requiring frontages to be at least 15 to 20 metres.

Development must meet all of the development standards in the Code and the Design Criteria in the Low Rise Housing Diversity Design Guide.

We have already had multiple calls from homeowners to check if their property is suitable with the new standards or find out whether owners can add more value now with the option for a duplex.

Trever Molenaar
Trever has worked in the industry selling property for over two decades. This lifelong profession has enabled him to master the art of negotiation. Trever’s own personal values relate through to his professional life 
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