Draft Medium Density Design Guide

NSW Gets Its Say on Medium Density Design

Building heights for medium density housing would respond to factors such as street character, landform and existing buildings whilst gross floor area would fill only 70 percent of the building envelope and street masterplans and public domain plans would inform decisions regarding setbacks under a new draft code released by the New South Wales Government.

As of this week the NSW Department of Planning & Environment are one step closer to implementing a new Medium Density Design Code which will set out the details which proposals for medium density development will need to meet in order to be assessed as complying development and therefore benefit from a fast-track approval. Referred to as the “missing middle” by Rob Stokes, the Minister for Planning, building types which will fall within this code will include terrace housing, dual occupancies, semi-detached dwellings, manor houses and ‘on top of one another’ dual occupancies.

It will be interesting to see what the implications for this new code are on design quality, housing availability and affordability. While Professor Peter Phibbs (chair of urban and regional planning and policy at the University of Sydney) indicated in a recent symposium on housing affordability that the increase in the number of homes has not impacted on housing affordability in recent years in NSW it would appear hard to argue that there will not at least be an increase in availability with this fast-track development system.

The government says it has a plan to fix the housing affordability crisis. This chart suggests it doesn’t.

This is the chart economists say demonstrates that the government’s plan to halt rocketing house prices is doomed. It shows house prices in Greater Sydney have continued to climb skyward despite a five-year boom in housing supply. The NSW government insists change is on the horizon.

As is the case with existing complying development controls for houses (Complying Development for houses) there will be a list of stringent requirements required of all applications lodged under this code. If this is the sort of development you are thinking about and would like to know more please drop us a line here



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