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We are now considering feedback on theBackground Paper - A Review of Complying Development in Greenfield Areas and Explanation of Intended Effect (EIE) for a new Greenfield Housing Code.

By 2036, we’ll need homes for an additional 2.2 million residents in NSW. Sydney alone will need an extra 725,000 new homes over the next 20 years to keep pace with demand. Many homes will be built in new land release areas, or greenfield sites, in Sydney’s South West and North West growth areas. We are committed to speeding up the delivery of new homes in greenfield areas to meet the needs of a growing population and to improve housing affordability.

The Background Paper addresses barriers to the take-up of complying development in greenfield areas with a focus on good design.

The proposed Greenfield Housing Code outlined in the EIE will ensure complying development requirements are easier to understand and use, reducing red tape and simplifying the planning system for homeowners, industry and councils. It will speed up housing approvals and the delivery of homes in greenfield areas, which will boost housing supply and improve housing affordability.

Proposed Greenfield Housing Code

The proposed Greenfield Housing Code aims to increase the use of complying development, a fast-track approval pathway for straightforward residential development, in greenfield areas.

The proposed Code will include simplified and tailored development standards for complying development in greenfield areas.

The new Code will allow homes in greenfield areas to be built using complying development, a fast-tracked approval pathway which can be completed in as little as 20 days.

Quality design outcomes

The Government is committed to delivering good design and promoting quality urban environments which are great places to live now and in the future.

The development standards for the proposed Code were developed in consultation with stakeholders and are designed to protect neighbouring residents through mandatory development standards, such as maximum building height, minimum landscaping and setbacks. The proposed landscape requirements include the provision of a tree to the front and rear garden.

Development standards proposed for the Code will contribute to improving streetscape, building design quality, and amenity.

The Department also plans to develop master planning and subdivision guidelines for greenfield areas, which would respond to the broader strategic objectives of A Plan for Growing Sydney. These guidelines would encourage good design for neighbourhoods.


Read the background paper

Free tree initiative 

The proposed Greenfield Housing Code will also ensure new residential suburbs are more environmentally friendly through a ‘free tree’ initiative. Every year for the next three years, the NSW Government will give a free tree to up to 5000 owners of homes approved under complying development in Western Sydney.

By increasing the number of trees in greenfield areas, this initiative will help to reduce urban heat in Western Sydney. More trees will complement new homes, produce cleaner air and increase shade in summer, raising the quality of life for homeowners while improving property values over time.

Information on how homeowners will be able to obtain their free tree will be available soon.
Fact sheet: free tree initiative for complying development

Thank you to all who have taken the time to provide feedback on the Greenfields Discussion Paper from 16 May until 7 July 2017

Next steps

Once submissions have been reviewed and a decision is made, we will publish an update here.
For further information please see the Frequently Asked Questions, phone 1300 305 695.
You can also subscribe to our newsletter for regular updates from the department.

Page last updated: 14/12/2017