The new Greenfield Housing Code and Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code released recently in New South Wales are expected to reduce approval time, increase housing affordability and provide savings to homeowners.

Under the new planning codes, homeowners in new release and established areas across NSW will save up to $15,000 in building and administrative costs.

Applicable to one and two storey homes as well as renovations and extensions, the Greenfield Housing Code will allow these projects to be carried out under a fast-track complying development approval. This planning code will also ensure the greening of new residential suburbs.

Alison Frame, deputy secretary of Policy and Strategy, said the simplified Greenfield Housing Code will speed up the delivery of homes in new release areas through faster housing approvals, saving time and money. The Code also tailors the complying development standards, such as building heights, setbacks and landscaping to ensure homes are designed to protect the privacy and amenity of neighbourhoods.

The new planning code additionally requires a tree to be planted in the front and back yard of each new home approved under complying development, ensuring the greening of the new residential suburbs.

Similarly, the Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code seeks to encourage well-designed, dual occupancies, manor houses and terraces to be built under a fast-track complying development approval, saving homeowners time and money.

Frame says that the new Code will facilitate faster housing supply and contribute to housing affordability. Low-rise medium density housing delivers multiple benefits including promoting greater housing choice, diversity and affordability, allowing seniors to downsize, and providing a more affordable option for young home buyers.

The new Code will only apply in areas where councils have already permitted medium density housing under their Local Environmental Plan.

Two Design Guides – one for complying development and an additional one for development applicants, industry and councils – have also been released to support applicants and ensure good design outcomes for medium density housing proposals across NSW.