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6 July 2018: Department of Planning and Environment news

On 6 July 2018, the Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code (the Code), the Low Rise Medium Density Design Guide (the Design Guide) and the Greenfield Housing Code come into effect.

Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code 

The Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code allows for the approval of one and two storey dual occupancies, manor houses and terraces under a fast track complying development approval pathway. 

The Code is supported by a Low Rise Medium Density Design Guide for Complying Development to make it easier for applicants to build well designed, quality medium density housing across NSW. Under the Code, medium density housing is only permitted where the council's Local Environmental Plan (LEP) currently permits it. To view the Code and the Design Guide for Complying Development visit our website

Temporary deferral of the Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code

Many councils commenced the implementation of the Code on 6 July 2018. For councils that have requested additional time, a deferral has been granted until 1 July 2019. For the list of the deferred LGAs, please see our website. 

For all other LGAs, the Code will commence on 6 July 2018. 

Low Rise Medium Density Design Guide for Development Applications (DAs) 

Where a proposal does not meet the development standards in the Code, applicants will be able to lodge a DA for manor houses, terraces or dual occupancies, where it is permitted under the council’s LEP. 

The Department has prepared a Design Guide for DAs  to support councils when assessing DAs, and support applicants and designers when preparing applications. 

For further information please see  the FAQs.

Greenfield Housing Code 

The Greenfield Housing Code commenced on 6 July 2018, and applies to greenfield areas across NSW. It will allow 1-2 storey homes, alterations and additions to be carried out under the fast-track complying development approval pathway in greenfield areas mapped by the  Greenfield Housing Code Area Map on the NSW Legislation website. 

Free Tree Initiative 

To help kick-start the greening of new release areas under the Greenfield Housing Code, the NSW Government has announced the “Free Tree Initiative”, which offers a free tree to help families in Western Sydney establish a garden for their newly built home. The Free Tree initiative is open to people who are building a house in certain Western Sydney locations, and who have received a complying development planning approval after 1 January 2018. Further information on the Free Tree Initiative is available on  our website.

For more information


Phone: 13 77 88

See our website


Best regards

Deborah Brill

Acting Executive Director, Planning Policy


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