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A Planning Proposal has been submitted by Sutherland Shire Council that aims to “amend Sutherland Shire Local Environmental Plan 2015 (SSLEP2015) with regards to the minimum lot size requirements for dual occupancy and multi dwelling development” in the R2 and E4 zones.
The proposal, on exhibition until 21 February 2018, would lead to the following changes to the Sutherland Shire Local Environmental Plan 2015 (SSLEP 2015):
- “Introduce minimum lot size of 600m2 for the construction of a dual occupancy in zone R2 Low Density Residential”: There is currently no minimum lot size requirement for dual occupancy development in the R2 zone, and under Cl. 4.1 (3C) of SSLEP 2015 there is no minimum lot size to Torrens Title dual occupancies in the R2 zone.
- “Introduce a minimum lot size of 700m2 for the construction of a dual occupancy in zone E4 Environmental Living”: Similarly, there is currently no minimum lot size requirement for dual occupancy development in the E4 zone, and under Cl. 4.1A (3B) of SSLEP 2015 there is no minimum lot size to strata subdivide dual occupancies in the E4 zone.
- “Introduce a minimum lot size of 1200m2 for the construction of multi dwelling housing in zone R2 Low Density Residential”: There is currently no minimum lot size requirement for multi dwelling housing development in the R2 zone.
Council cites 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, the Codes SEPP relating to middle missing type developments refers to LEPs with regards to permissible lot sizes for such development. As SSLEP 2015 currently does not feature minimum lot sizes for these type of developments, they could be 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 is the immediate effect of this proposal?
The immediate effect of these changes for home owners and developers in the Shire will be limited. As noted above, these changes are on exhibition until late February, at which point community feedback will be considered by the Department of Planning, before the SSLEP 2015 is amended and the changes become law.
For Development Applications (DAs) submitted prior to these changes being gazetted, the draft plan will be a consideration in a Section 79C assessment. However even where sites do not comply, the changes are unlikely to have any real effect as the current SSLEP 2015 controls (i.e. no minimum lot size control for these development types) prevail.
What are the longer-term effects of these changes?
The longer-term impacts of the changes will be more tangible to home owners and developers. For instance, on a 550m2 site in the R2 zone, where dual occupancy development is currently permitted, as soon as the changes are gazetted into the SSLEP 2015, this development will no longer be 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 development will be affected?
If you are unsure whether these changes will affect 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, applications that will be affected by the proposed changes once they are gazetted should be lodged sooner rather than later.