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Low rise housing diversity code

The NSW Government has greatly expanded the types of development that can proceed as Complying Development in recent years through the Low rise housing diversity code. Complying development is a type of fast-tracked development that can proceed through a certificate issued by a private certifier, rather than requiring a Development Consent from the local Council.



Advantages of complying development include:


- Generally faster approval time frames. The regulatory period is 20 days to determine most Complying Development Certificates (CDCs) against 40 days for most Development Applications. While the regulatory period to determine a Development Application is 40 days, my experience is that the average for most Councils in the Sydney region is much longer, with timeframes of over six months being common. Complying Development offers an opportunity to avoid this process.

- A more black and white criteria for what will be approved and what cannot be approved. To proceed as complying development, a development needs to meet the standards of the relevant SEPP, Act and Regulations and there is not a process for merit assessment. Under the Development Application process, a Council needs to consider all of the matters outlined in Section 4.15 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. Therefore if an application complies with all the planning controls eg. the LEP and DCP, it may still be refused for other reasons eg. submissions received, not being in the "public interest" etc.


While the more black and white nature of complying development is generally an advantage, it is not always as such for developers. If a development does not meet all the necessary standards, it cannot proceed as Complying Development. There is no process to request a variation to a standard. Under the Development Application process, a Council can generally approve a variation to a standard where it believes there is merit to do so. The local government Development Application process can generally therefore be seen as more flexible.


The low rise housing diversity code has expanded opportunities for Complying Development to new categories of development including dual occupancies, manor houses and terraces in many areas.


I have performed an assessment of many developments against the Complying Development standards to determine whether they meet the requirements for a CDC to be issued. This planning report can then be submitted to the private certifier to assist in their assessment. If you are interested in obtaining a quote for this service, feel free to get in contact.

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