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The new Greenfield Housing Code (the Code) will speed up the delivery of new homes in greenfield areas (new release areas) across NSW to meet the needs of the State’s growing population and improve housing affordability.


The new Code will be included in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (State Policy) and aims to:

  • simplify the standards in the State Policy for greenfield areas
  • tailor development standards to suit market demand, housing types and lot sizes typically delivered in greenfield areas
  • increase the take-up of complying development to help achieve faster housing approvals.


The Greenfield Housing Code has been simplified by:

  • presenting the Code in plain English and including tables and diagrams to clearly explain the planning rules (similar to the Housing Code);
  • reducing and simplifying development standards; and
  • simplifying and aligning certain standards so they match the standards under the Growth Centres DCPs.

The Code will apply to greenfield areas across NSW. The Code will allow 1-2 storey homes, alterations and additions to be carried out under the fast-track complying development approval pathway, saving homeowners time and money.


The Code requires a tree to be planted in the front and rear yard of each new home approved under complying development. The landscaping requirements in the new Code will ensure new release areas are leafier and more sustainable.



The Code has been approved but does not yet have legal effect. It will take legal effect when it is published on the NSW Legislation website and the changes will commence two months later.


Benefits of the new Greenfield Housing Code

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The Greenfield Housing Code has been developed in close consultation with council and industry stakeholders to ensure amenity, privacy and design considerations are incorporated into the development standards and good design outcomes can be achieved for new dwellings in greenfield areas.  

There will be a three-year transitional period, where applicants can choose whether to use the Greenfield Code, or the new simplified Housing Code or Transitional Code (until 13 July 2019).




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The new Greenfield Housing Code will come into effect from 6 July 2018 to provide sufficient time to help the community and stakeholders to understand the new Code.

This means, for an applicant wanting to undertake complying development in a Greenfield Housing Code Area can use the Greenfield Housing Code from 6 July 2018. Alternatively, they can use the Housing Code up to 6 July 2021, or the Transitional Housing Code (formerly the General Housing Code) up to 13 July 2019. 

This provides choice and flexibility for new home owners and industry.



For more information:

  • Call our Information Centre on 13 77 88
  • If English isn’t your first language, please call 131 450. Ask for an interpreter in your language and then request to be connected to our Information Centre on 13 77 88


Free tree initiative

The NSW Government is offering a free tree to help families in Western Sydney establish a garden for their newly built home. This will help to ensure that our future suburbs have a high-quality amenity and are attractive places to live, work and play.


The Free Tree Initiative is open to persons who are building a house in certain Western Sydney locations, and who have received a complying development planning approval after 1 January 2018.


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.


Page last updated: 11/04/2018