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NSW Housing Code Workshop Community Information Session February 2009 PowerPoint Presentation
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NSW Housing Code Workshop Community Information Session February 2009. Please turn off your mobile phone. Chris Johnson Aoife Wynter Department of Planning.

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NSW Housing Code Workshop Community Information Session February 2009

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NSW Housing Code Workshop

Community Information Session

February 2009


Chris JohnsonAoife Wynter

Department of Planning

nsw housing code
Outlines how residential developments, including detached single and two storey dwelling houses, extensions and other ancillary development, can proceed on lots 450m² and greater as complying development with council or accredited certifier sign-off

Also outlines how 40 types of minor developments around the home can proceed as exempt development without planning approval

NSW Housing Code
key benefits
Faster - approvals within 10 days, down from 121 days (average Sydney councils) and 53 days (regional areas)

Simpler for everyone to understand

Councils focus on bigger and more complex projects

First home owners get the time to access Commonwealth and State first home owner grants

Cost savings of approximately $6,500 per application in Sydney and $2,500 in regional areas (HIA estimate)

Environmental gains

Key benefits
a kick start to the economy
The NSW Housing Code will provide a kickstart to the NSW economy and will boost housing starts and renovations that will flow onto the housing and building industries and supporting businesses.A kick start to the economy
part of a national trend
Other States have either introduced or are planning to introduce complying codes:Part of a national trend
  • Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and the ACT have introduced housing codes
  • South Australia is planning to do so
  • Tasmania and the Northern Territory are at an early stage of drafting their codes
extensive consultation with the public and industry
In May 2008, the draft NSW Housing Code and NSW Commercial Building Code were placed on an eight week exhibition period accompanied by a road show of 26 workshops across NSW attended by 1000 people

A number of industry groups were set up to provide feedback on the Code including an Implementation Advisory Committee, Complying Development Expert Panel, the Local Government Planning Directors Group and 11 trial Councils

Extensive consultation with the public and industry
extensive research
270 projects across NSW were tested

30 Development Control Plans (DCPs) and Local Environmental Plans (LEPs) were reviewed to see how the Code could be applied

Extensive research

As the NSW Housing Code was being developed, there was an extensive process of research into existing rules and codes and testing against a wide range of housing projects:

where does the code apply
Complying development is an alternative to the Development Application (DA) process. Anyone can continue to submit a DA for a new home or extension if they prefer.

The Code applies to the construction of new detached housing, housing extensions for single and two storey houses and other ancillary development on land 450 m² and greater.

Where does the Code apply?

Four lots sizes

Type A 450m2 up to 600m2 and minimum primary road frontage of 12m wide

Type B 600m2 up to 900m2 and minimum primary road frontage of 12m wide

Type C 900m2 up to 1500m2 and minimum primary road frontage of 15m wide

Type D 1500m2 and greater and minimum primary road frontage of 18m wide


TYPE C 900m2 – 1500m2

TYPE A 450m2 – 600m2

TYPE B 600m2 – 900m2

TYPE D 1500m2 or greater


Ancillary development

  • Demolition and removal of buildings
  • Swimming pools
  • Fences

What sites are excluded?

  • Exempt & Complying Development
    • State Environmental Planning Policy (Kosciuszko National Park – Alpine Resorts) 2007
    • Warringah Local Environmental Plan 2000
  • Environmentally sensitive areas including:
    • Coastal waters of the State
    • Coastal lake
    • SEPP No. 14 Coastal Wetlands or SEPP No. 26 Littoral Rainforests
    • Aquatic reserve or marine park
    • Wetlands of international significance or World Heritage

What sites are excluded? (cont.)

Exempt & Complying Development

  • Land reserved under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 or land to which Part 11 of the Act applies
  • Land reserved or dedicated for preservation of flora, fauna, geological formations or environmental protection purposes
  • Critical habitat under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 or Part 7A of the Fisheries Management Act 1994

What sites are excluded?Complying Development

  • Heritage items or draft items
  • Heritage conservation areas or draft areas
  • Wilderness areas
  • Land reserved for acquisition
  • Unsewered land to which Drinking Water Catchments Regional Environmental Plan No 1 applies
  • Land on Acid Sulfate Soils Map (Class 1/2)
  • Bush fire prone land
  • Flood control lots
  • Excluded land identified by an EPI
  • Land in a foreshore area

What sites are excluded?Complying Development

Land identified by an environmental planning instrument including within a:

  • buffer zone
  • coastal erosion hazard
  • difficult site
  • ecologically sensitive area
  • environmentally sensitive land
  • foreshore land
  • foreshore building line
  • foreshore scenic protection area
  • protected area
  • scenic area, scenic preservation area and scenic protection area
  • special area
7 key rules
Site requirements

Building height


Landscaped area

Car parking and access

Earthworks and drainage

Ancillary development

7 key rules

Protecting neighbours and the amenity of the home

The controls in the Code are about protecting neighbours but also maximising the amenity of individual houses, to try to get a balance between the two.


Planning Certificate

  • A Planning Certificate (formerly known as a Complying Development Requirements Certificate) can be generated by a council
  • It identifies if complying development can be carried out and lists local variations and exclusions

Neighbour notification

  • Good practice to notify neighbours before lodging any application to council / accredited certifier
  • No requirement to notify neighbours priorto receiving a certificate
  • Notify neighbours (within 40m) that a certificate has been issued, within 2 days

Local variations

  • There will be local variations:
  • Front setback
  • Side setback
  • Landscaping

Local exclusions

The Housing Code establishes standard exclusions across NSW where the Code will not apply.

Councils can apply for additional local exclusions to the Department of Planning.


Covenants - planned estates

  • Some new / existing housing estates have covenants on title for particular development characteristics
  • Covenants are not affected by the SEPP
  • Land owners / agents must ensure that the legal requirements of any covenants applying to the land are complied with

Exempt Development

The NSW Housing Code outlines 40 types of minor developments around the home that can proceed as exempt development.

Exempt development typically covers small-scale structures associated with a dwelling where, subject to satisfying pre-specified standards, there is no need for planning or construction approval to be obtained.

There is now one single uniform approach to exempt development across NSW.


Review of the Code

The Housing Code will come into effect from 27 February 2009. It’s anticipated that amendments will be made in mid 2009 as a result of any local variations and exclusions.

Other minor amendments may also be made during 2009 in response to any minor issues that might arise and particularly due to any unintended consequences.

Future updates will include small lots (less than 450m² and rural lots).

When designing a development under the Housing Code, always check the latest version of the Codes SEPP.



  • Joint initiative of the Department of Planning and the Local Government and Shires Association of NSW with funding from the Commonwealth Government
  • Uses technology to deliver planning information and services
  • Online delivery of the Housing Code

For more information


Postal Planning Reforms

Department of Planning

GPO Box 39, Sydney NSW 2001

Questions Department of Planning Information Centre freecall 1300 305 695 or 02 9228 6175


Who can help?

Accredited Certifiers

Architects - via Archicentre

Australian Institute of Architects

Building Designers

Building Professionals Board

Building Surveyors

Department of