Posted on July 1, 2024 by Megan Hawley and Thuy Pham

ALERT – Permissibility of Dual Occupancies and Semi-detached Dwellings in Zone R2

The State Environmental Planning Policy (Housing) Amendment (Dual Occupancies and Semi-detached Dwellings) 2024 (Amendment SEPP), which seeks to encourage development for the purposes of dual occupancies and semi-detached dwellings in Zone R2 R2 Low Density Residential, has been published.

The Amendment SEPP amends the State Environmental Planning Policy (Housing) 2021 (Housing SEPP) and the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) (Codes SEPP).

The Amendment SEPP commenced operation today, 1 July 2024.

In summary, the Amendment SEPP provides that:

  1. Development for the purposes of dual occupancies and semi-detached dwellings is permitted with development consent in Zone R2 across the State, other than in the Bathurst Regional, City of Hawkesbury. City of Blue Mountains, and Wollondilly local government areas, subject to certain exceptions dealing with sensitive land.
  2. Development for the purposes of dual occupancies carried out in the R2 Zone is not complying development under the Codes SEPP, unless the local environmental plan also permits dual occupancies in the zone.

Permissibility in Zone R2

The Amendment SEPP introduces Part 12 to the Housing SEPP. Section 141C of the Housing SEPP now provides that development for the purposes of dual occupancies and semi-detached dwellings is permitted with consent in Zone R2 Low Density Residential.

Since a SEPP takes precedence over a local environmental plan, section 141C will override any prohibition on dual occupancies and semi-detached dwellings in the R2 Zone in the local environmental plan for all local government areas other than those noted above.

However, the provision does not apply to land that is:

  • in a Transport Oriented Development Area as defined in the Housing SEPP;
  • a heritage item or on which a heritage item is located;
  • bush fire prone land;
  • certain flood prone land or land within flood planning areas in certain local government areas;
  • in a coastal vulnerability area or a coastal wetlands and littoral rainforests area;
  • in an ANEF contour or ANEC contour of 20 or greater; or
  • land within a certain distance of certain pipelines.

Not Complying Development under Codes SEPP 

The Amendment SEPP also inserts sub-section 1.19(3B) into the Codes SEPP, which provides that those dual occupancies carried out in Zone R2 that are now permitted with consent under the new Part 12 of the Housing SEPP are not complying developing under the Low Rise Housing Diversity Code. However, this does not apply to any dual occupancies which were already permitted in Zone R2 under the relevant local environmental plan. That is, it will not prevent a dual occupancy being carried out as complying development if it could be carried out as complying development before the Amendment SEPP came into force.

The State Environmental Planning Policy (Housing) Amendment (Dual Occupancies and Semi-detached Dwellings) 2024 can be found here.

If you have any questions regarding this article, please contact Megan Hawley on 02 8235 9703 or Thuy Pham on (02) 8235 9731.

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