The commencement of the Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code in local council areas has been pushed back from July to 31 October 2019. Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama and Shoalhaven council areas have all been granted a further deferral of the code.
The Code, which was released in July 2018, allows certain medium density development including dual occupancies, manor houses and terraces to be approved under the fast track complying development. Provided the property is located in residential (R1, R2, R3) or village (RU5) zones and satisfies the prescriptive code requirements, it can be approved as complying development.
The further deferral comes as a disappointment for many developers and homeowners looking to improve their properties without the red-tape usually associated with obtaining an approval. Under the Code one or two-storey occupancies, manor houses and terraces can be approved within 20 days by a private certifier.
The Code is part of the NSW Government's commitment to providing housing diversity to meet the needs of the changing and growing population. It has been implemented in 82 council areas across the State. Whilst it represents a step in the right direction, the deferrals and the strict criteria under the Code are factors which have lessened its effectiveness.