Time-saving housing code changes welcomed

The Department of Planning has removed the requirement for a development application for more types of building work, including new houses and additions on small lots and on rural properties.

It has also removed the blanket ban on quick approvals in some bushfire-prone, flood-prone and foreshore areas and will allow limited external works in heritage zones without a DA.

The Housing Code introduced in February last year removed the need for a development application to the local council for new houses and additions on lots bigger than 450 square metres if they meet certain standards.

Such ”complying development” must be approved by a private certifier or the council within 10 days.

From February 25 next year, the Housing Code and a new Rural Code will mandate 10-day approvals for:

New houses and additions on lots bigger than 200 square metres with walls that are able to be built right to the boundary. This will apply to more than 150,000 lots just in the Sydney area.

New houses and additions on rural-zoned allotments.

Development in heritage, foreshore, low-risk bushfire zones and low-risk flood-prone zones previously prohibited under the code.

A Housing Alterations Code will allow attic conversions and rear additions and alterations in heritage zones without a development application.

Nine additional forms of development will be added to the 40 that are already classified as ”exempt” and therefore require no approval, including solar hot-water systems, some temporary structures and tennis courts in rural zones.

Bed-and-breakfast accommodation will be removed as exempt development and classed as complying development.

The Minister for Planning, Tony Kelly, has also announced that the period in which applicants can choose between the Housing Code and a council’s own complying development policy will be further extended to September 11 next year. After then, only the statewide Housing Code will apply.

Mr Kelly says the exempt and complying codes have saved mums and dads and small-business owners time and thousands of dollars.

”The expansions I have announced will extend those benefits to even more people, saving them, on average, 64 days and potentially far more in approval times for new homes or home extensions compared to lodging a full DA with the local council.”

The changes have been welcomed by the housing industry. ”We have been calling for a much broader adoption of the code, including smaller lot sizes and its expansion into areas previously excluded,” says the NSW executive director of the HIA, David Bare.

”[The Housing Industry Association] recognises the benefits of the code, however believes that ongoing expansions and improvements will be required to respond to future needs.”

The Department of Planning will hold workshops throughout the state early next year to explain the new provisions to the industry.

Story by Harvey Grennan , domain.com.au

Leave a Reply