{{ propApi.closeIcon }}
Our industry
Our industry $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Economic research and forecasting Economics Housing outlook Tailored market research Economic reports and data Inspiring Australia's building professionals HOUSING The only place to get your industry news Media releases Member alerts Submissions See all
Business support
Business support $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Become an apprentice host Hire an apprentice Why host a HIA apprentice? Apprentice partner program Builder and manufacturer program Industry insurance Construction legal expenses insurance Construction works insurance Home warranty insurance Tradies and tool insurance Planning and safety services Building and planning services How can HIA Safety help you? Independent site inspections Solutions for your business Contracts Online HIA Tradepass HIA SafeScan HR Docs Trusted legal support Legal advice and guidance Professional services Industrial relations
Resources & advice
Resources & advice $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Building it right Building codes Australian standards Getting it right on site See all Building materials and products Concrete, bricks and walls Getting products approved Use the right products for the job See all Managing your business Dealing with contracts Handling disputes Managing your employees See all Managing your safety Falls from heights Safety rules Working with silica See all Building your business Growing your business Maintaining your business See all Other subjects COVID-19 Getting approval to build Sustainable homes
Careers & learning
Careers & learning $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
A rewarding career Become an apprentice Apprenticeships on offer Hear what our apprentices say Advice for parents and guardians Study with us Find a course Get your builder's licence Learn with HIA
HIA community
HIA community $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Join HIA Sign me up How do I become a member? What's in it for me? Get involved Become an award judge Join a committee Partner with us Get to know us Our members Our people Our partners Mates rates What we do Mental health program Charitable Foundation GreenSmart
Awards & events
Awards & events $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Awards Australian Housing Awards Awards program National Conference Industry networking Events
HIA products
HIA products $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Shop @ HIA Digital Australian Standards Contracts Online Shipping and delivery Purchasing terms & conditions Products Building codes and standards Hard copy contracts Guides and manuals Safety and signage See all
About Contact Newsroom
$vuetify.icons.faTimes
$vuetify.icons.faMapMarker Set my location Use the field below to update your location
Address
Change location
{{propApi.title}}
{{propApi.text}} {{region}} Change location
{{propApi.title}}
{{propApi.successMessage}} {{region}} Change location

$vuetify.icons.faPhone1300 650 620

Low-rise Medium-density Housing Code

The Low-rise Medium-density Housing Code, otherwise known as the ‘Missing Middle’ Code, aims to streamline the approvals process and reduce costs for applicants, potentially saving up to $15,000 when compared to the costs of a development application. It also intends to provide more housing choice for consumers, which may lead to improvements in housing affordability.

In this article

  • The purpose of the Code
  • Housing types under the Code
  • How the Code will work
  • Lot sizes
  • Development standards
  • Low-rise Medium-density Design Guide for Complying Development

The purpose of the Code 

The Low-rise Medium-density Housing Code is included in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (the SEPP) as Part 3B, and permits some new one- and two-storey medium-density homes to be approved as complying development within 20 days. Approval is by a council or an accredited certifier. 

Housing types under the Code 

The Code allows for three housing types as complying development: 

  • dual occupancies (side-by-side, either attached or detached) 
  • manor houses and dual occupancies (one above the other) 
  • multi-dwelling houses (terraces). 

Dual occupancies are two dwellings on one lot and can be detached or attached. 

A manor house is a building containing 3–4 dwellings on one lot of land and can be up to two storeys in height (excluding any basement). Each dwelling is attached by a common wall or floor and at least one dwelling is partially located above another dwelling. 

Multi-dwelling housing (terraces) is three or more dwellings on one lot. Each dwelling fronts a public road and there are no other dwellings located above or below. 

How the Code will work 

Low-rise medium-density housing as complying development is permissible in R1, R2, R3 and RU5 zones where councils already allow it under their Local Environmental Plan (LEP). Some exclusions do apply, including: 

  • state or locally listed heritage items and heritage conservation areas 
  • land reserved for public purposes

environmentally sensitive areas and areas excluded by councils (based on local circumstances). 

 Lot sizes

The development must meet the minimum lot size requirements as follows: 

 

  • Dual occupancy – the size of the lot being developed must meet the minimum lot size required to build a dual occupancy under the relevant council LEP. If the LEP does not specify a minimum lot size, the Code applies a minimum 400m2 lot size
  • Manor houses – a minimum 600m2 lot size requirement applies 

Terraces – the size of the lot being developed must meet the minimum lot size required to build multi-dwelling housing under the relevant council LEP. If the LEP does not specify a minimum lot size, the Code applies a minimum 600m2 lot size. 

 Development standards 

The Code sets the development standards (controls) for each low-rise medium-density housing type. Summary tables of the development standards are available, as follows: 

Low Rise Housing Diversity Design for Complying Development Guide

The Low Rise Housing Diversity Design Guide for Complying Development Guide is available to assist councils when assessing development applications for dual occupancies, manor houses and terraces. 

The Code includes a requirement to prepare a Design Verification Statement to promote good design outcomes. The Design Verification Statement must be prepared by a qualified designer (registered architect) or building designer accredited with the Building Designers Association of Australia. 

To find out more, contact HIA’s Planning and Environment team.

Email us

Share with your network:

More articles on:

{{ tag.label }} {{ tag.label }} $vuetify.icons.faTimes
Find guides, how-tos, resources and more

Business support


 

Supporting building professionals with custom built services and products.

  • Legal support
  • Contracts Online
  • Host an apprentice
  • Insurance services
  • Managing safety

Explore Business support

Building it right topics


 

Can’t find what you need, check out other resources that might be closer to the mark.