The Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code (as it was formerly known) was originally intended to commence in all parts of Sydney and NSW on 6 July 2018. However, the NSW Government formally excluded 47 LGAs until 1 July 2019.
On 28 June 2019, the Code was deferred to 31 October 2019 in 46 LGA (the great majority of Sydney). Further to that, the Minister for Planning requested an independent review which recommended that the implementation of the Code be deferred until 1 July 2020.
On 1 July 2020, the now renamed Low Rise Housing Diversity Code (the Code) commenced operation throughout NSW.
The Code applies in all local government areas (LGA) in NSW, but only in R1, R2, R3 and RU5 zones where this type of housing is already permitted under a Council's Local Environmental Plan (LEP). Some other exclusions do apply, including:
- state or locally listed heritage items and heritage conservation areas
- land reserved for public purposes
- environmentally sensitive areas and areas excluded by councils (based on local circumstances)
The Code allows for dual occupancies, manor houses and terraces (up to two-storeys) to be carried out under as complying development, subject to meeting all of the development standards in the Code and the Design Criteria in the Low Rise Housing Diversity Design Guide (the Guide). The Low Rise Housing Diversity Code currently exists as Part 3B of State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008
The Guide includes a requirement to prepare a Design Verification Statement (DVS) to promote good design outcomes. The DVS must be prepared by a qualified designer (registered architect) or building designer accredited with the Building Designers Association of Australia.
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