What changes to SSLEP 2015 have been gazetted?

As of 1 February 2019 minimum lot size controls have been introduced into Sutherland Shire Local Environmental Plan (SSLEP) 2015 for dual occupancy and multi dwelling housing in the R2 – Low Density Residential zone. A minimum lot size control has also been introduced into SSLEP 2015 for dual occupancies in the E4 – Environmental Living zone. SSLEP 2015 has not previously contained minimum lot sizes for these types of development.

One set of changes, which applies to some developments in the R2 – Low Density Residential zone, is contained in the new Clause 4.1E – Minimum lot sizes for dual occupancies and multi dwelling housing. That clause states that:

“Development consent must not be granted to development on a lot in a zone shown in Column 2 of the Table to this clause for a purpose shown in Column 1 of the Table opposite that zone, unless the area of the lot is equal to or greater than the area specified for that purpose and shown in Column 3 of the Table.”

development consent

The second set of changes, which applies to dual occupancy developments in the E4 – Environmental Living zone, is contained in Schedule 1 – Additional Permitted Uses. Under that schedule, dual occupancies had previously permissible on land shown edged heavy red and identified as “A” on the Additional Permitted Uses Map, with no minimum lot size applying to such development. The newly introduced minimum lot size is contained in the amended Clause 28 – Use of certain land in Zone E4 Environmental Living, as follows:

“(1)  This clause applies to land shown edged heavy red and identified as “A” on the Additional Permitted Uses Map.

(2)  Development for the purpose of dual occupancies is permissible with development consent, but only if the area of the lot is equal to or greater than 700 square metres.”

Council earlier cited two main reasons for the proposal. The first is concern regarding overdevelopment of small lots, and related impacts to amenity. The second is the Missing Middle Codes SEPP, whereby medium density developments including multi dwelling and dual occupancy development will be able to gain easier approval, as complying development. Once enacted following their deferral to 1 July 2019, the Codes SEPP relating to middle missing type developments refers to LEPs with regards to permissible lot sizes for such development. As SSLEP 2015 did not previously feature minimum lot sizes for these type of developments, they could have been approved as complying development on any lot size in these zones, without gaining Council approval. These changes can be seen as a reaction to the soon-to-be-introduced Missing Middle Codes SEPP.

What are the effects of these changes?

The impacts of the changes are tangible to home owners and developers. For instance, on a 550m2 site in the R2 zone, where dual occupancy development was previously permitted, this development is no longer permitted on that site, by law. This could have significant impacts on the development options available on a site (or in the case of the multi dwelling minimum lot size, even amalgamation of multiple sites might not provide sufficient area), and ultimately on the value of a property.

What can I do if I think my property or a potential development opportunity might have been affected?

If you are unsure whether these changes apply to your property, Wynne Planning recommends checking the lot size, zone and permitted uses on your site, to see whether your development options might be impacted by the changes.

Ultimately, a range of alterative development opportunities will likely remain available to lots that have been affected by the proposed changes now they have been gazetted.