Developers of narrow lots are set to benefit from new planning laws to fast-track medium-density housing.
The NSW Government is introducing a new low rise, medium density housing code on 6 July 2018. The new code will speed up the redevelopment of suburban lots into medium density housing by reclassifying duplexes, terraces and manor houses as complying developments and reducing the minimum frontages required.
NSW Planning and Housing Minister, Anthony Roberts, said, “Low-rise medium-density housing is the missing part of the NSW housing stock between traditional free-standing homes and strata-titled apartments”.
It “allows for seniors to downsize as well as being a more affordable option for young people”, said Roberts
The drawbacks of denser development
The new housing code runs counter to current policy in the City of Ryde, which requires a minimum 20m frontage for duplexes.
Ryde Community Alliance spokesperson Noel Plumb agrees the new housing code could be present problems for urban planning.
“Any development control plan and any local environmental plan which has been designed to maintain the heritage and style of a particular area has been overridden,” he said.
Bringing much needed change and bridging the gap
Whilst the president of the NSW Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects Andrew Nimmo is concerned that using complying developments may stifle innovative design, he believes increasing supply of medium-density housing is the way forward.
“We have multi-residential [development] smashing right up against suburban development, and the idea of a missing middle can be a good way of transitioning between one scale and another,” says Nimmo.
“This starts to bring some common sense into some councils’ position that they won’t depart from their old minimum lot size or frontage standards. Those standards may well have evolved from town planning thinking 20 years ago, before it became so important that we find alternative ways to provide housing choice, housing affordability and housing supply,” says Fragar.
Are you looking to build your next project as a complying development under the new code? Register here for the next TDF event on 8 May where architect and TDF founding member Gus Fares will host a Q&A session on medium density developments.