Proposed Changes to Housing

Published on 31 January 2024

A low angle shot of two apartment blocks next to each other.

New Development Controls

The NSW Government is preparing to implement one of the most far-reaching policies on new housing in decades.

The proposed policy will mean significant changes to development in the Lane Cove Local Government Area - and residents have until 23 February to give feedback to the NSW Government.

Community Information Session

To help keep our community informed, Council hosted a Community Information Session on Tuesday 20 February with details about how the NSW Government’s proposed changes will impact Lane Cove. This was a hybrid event and residents were able to attend in-person or watch online. 

Download the presentation from the Community Information Session.

Proposed Changes

The following changes are proposed to take effect by the end of June 2024:

• Allow dual occupancies (two dwellings on the same lot) with a minimum lot size of 450 square metres in all R2 low density residential zones.

Currently new dual occupancies require a minimum lot size of 750 square metres and are not permitted to be strata titled in the Lane Cove Local Government Area. This has tended to minimise the number of dual occupancies.

• Allow terraces, townhouses and 2 storey apartment blocks within 800 metres of transport hubs (St Leonards, Wollstonecraft Station) and town centres (such as the Lane Cove Village) in R2 low density residential zones.

Currently this type of development is not permitted in R2 low density residential zones as it is not deemed low density.

• Allow mid-rise apartment blocks {4 to 6 storeys} within 800m of train stations (such as St Leonards) and town centres (such as the Lane Cove Village) in R3 medium density zones.

Council has already included higher density around the Lane Cove town centre and St Leonards Station precinct.

• Creation of new development standards that encourage diverse homes to be built.

The Lane Cove Local Government Area’s planning controls will continue to apply, but only to the extent they are not inconsistent with the proposed new planning controls.

The proposed new planning controls will apply in Heritage Conservation Areas and the NSW Government has stated it will result in significant changes in these locations as housing is delivered. Controls relating to traffic and tree canopy retention will also be overridden in some circumstances, resulting in significant tree loss across the Lane Cove Local Government Area.

A graphic of houses, apartment blocks and townhouses all in a row

Have your say

The NSW Government is seeking public feedback on the proposed changes to the housing policy until Friday 23 February. You can find out more on the Department of Planning’s website.

Lane Cove Council will also be making a submission to the NSW Government, the submission will be considered at the Council meeting to be held on Thursday 22 February 2024.

Affordable housing

On 14 December 2023 the NSW Government implemented affordable housing reforms to encourage private developers to boost affordable housing and deliver more housing.

The reforms include a floor space ratio bonus of 20–30% and a height bonus of 20–30% for projects that include at least 10-15% of gross floor area as affordable housing. The height bonus only applies to residential flat buildings and shop-top housing.

For example, this could mean that a proposed 21m high (6 to 7 storey) apartment buildings may be up to 27m high (8 to 9 storeys) inclusive of a 30% affordable housing bonus.

This part of the NSW Government’s housing policy came into effect in December last year.

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