NEWSFLASH: Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code implementation delayed until 2020

The NSW Government has deferred comprehensive implementation of the new Medium Density Housing Code until July 2020. The Code had been scheduled to commence across NSW by the end of 2019.

The Code enables dual occupancies, manor houses and terraces (up to 2 storeys) to be eligible for a “fast track complying development approval”. 

This would mean that a complying development approval could be issued within 20 days and therefore streamlining the approval process for landowners and developers.

The Code applies to General Residential (R1), Low Density Residential (R2), Medium Density Residential (R3) and Rural Village (RU5) zonings where such housing developments are already permissible under the relevant LEP.

The deferral of the Code until July 2020 applies to 45 Councils including: Ryde, Canterbury Bankstown, Hornsby, Inner West, Lane Cove, Mosman and Northern Beaches.

Councils across NSW raised concerns about the potential impact of the Code on local character due to the proliferation of permissible housing under the Code and the strains it could potentially place on local infrastructure.

Following an Independent Review commissioned by the Minister for Planning, it was recommended that the rollout of the Code be deferred as additional time was needed to ensure Councils completed adequate strategic planning and amendments to planning controls in response to the widespread effect of the Code.  The extension of time will enable Councils in conjunction with the Department of Planning, Infrastructure and Environment to continue developing their strategic planning policies and identify how housing needs in their communities will be met before the code comes into full effect.

For further information or advice regarding how the Medium Density Housing Code will affect you, please contact Dennis Loether, Partner of Environment and Planning at or 02 8281 7925.