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Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code Update


One of Polyhouses's 4 unit Manor House prototypes

If you've been following the progress of the Code and its implementation you would be aware that Professor Roberta Ryan conducted an independent review of the Code at the request of the Planning Minister (Robert Stokes)..


We have provided a summary of that review on an earlier post - here

As noted on the NSW Department of Planning's website:


"The independent review identified strong support for an increase in housing supply and diversity that the Code seeks to provide. It also found that enhancing local character is important to the success of the Code."


"The report recommended the temporary deferral of the Code for the 45 deferred councils be extended to 1 July 2020. This is to allow those councils time to complete their strategic planning, including Local Strategic Planning Statements and Local Housing Strategies and update their LEPs, and identify and map areas of special local character."


We are aware that several Councils have already prepared their Local Strategic Planning Statements or are identifying areas of 'special local character' suggesting that they are indeed preparing for the roll out of the Code. This offers some promise that the implementation of the Code will not be deferred beyond 1 July 2020.


For your information, we have provided here a summary from an earlier post that outlines several housing types permitted by the Code as well as implications associated with each of the types relative to Code requirements:


Terrace Houses: Minimum 6 metre wide terrace houses on a site where you could run a row of them across the frontage (think Paddington) but 1.5-metre side setbacks are required for the two end terraces. Minimum starting site size is 600sqm with a frontage of 18 metres (implying you would need a wider site to get three on - refer Duplex below for narrower sites)


For Duplexes (one up one down) / Dual Occupancies (side by side or detached), the minimum lot width is 12 metres, and the minimum lot size is 400sqm which in theory means that you can get 2 on a site that has a 12 metre frontage, but the key will be how the cars are accommodated. With a rear lane (with the cars at the rear) or corner site this is readily possible at 12 metres, or with a basement, but with a single frontage, you may need closer to 15 metres to get it to work if parking is located on grade.


For Manor houses (like a big ‘house’ containing up to 4 independent units) the minimum lot width is 15 metres, with a minimum lot size of 600sqm. Manor houses allow you to get 3 to 4 units on a single site. But, to get 4 on you will likely need a corner site or wider site. These are interesting building types that could be a really viable proposition for smaller developers, housing providers or existing landowners seeking an attractive alternative to downsizing without relocating, but site permissibility and design will be important to achieving an optimal arrangement.


Polyhouse has already developed several 3 and 4 unit Manor House designs for CDC approval which offer a unique opportunity to redevelop individual sites without the need for amalgamation. These are suited to typical suburban residential lots, and we are continuing to develop further types. We've identified a range of opportunities which will likely eventuate come 1 July 2020. If you would like to discuss opportunities relating to your existing sites, please do not hesitate to contact us.


We'll keep you posted with further updates as further information comes to hand.

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