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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.
The Code allows for three housing types as complying development:
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.
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:
environmentally sensitive areas and areas excluded by councils (based on local circumstances).
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.
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:
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.
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