NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Greenfield housing at Brighton Lakes

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; and
  • 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.

Watch 'Leafier suburbs in NSW'

See the difference between a suburb before trees are planted, and once they start to grow and add to the beauty of the neighbourhood.

The Code commenced on 6 July 2018 and is available on the NSW Legislation website.

Benefits of the new Greenfield Housing Code

The image below shows the three benefits of the new Greenfield Housing Code; easier to use, saving time and saving money.

greenfield housing code benefit one easier to usegreenfield housing code benefit 2 saving timegreenfield housing code benefit 3 saving money

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).

The image below shows a timeline of the new Greenfield Housing Code coming into effect and for how long the Housing Code or the Transitional Housing Code can be used.

greenfield housing code timing 835x549

The new Greenfield Housing Code came 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 they 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.

After 13 July 2019, no applications relying on provisions in the Transitional Housing Code can be submitted or determined.

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


New eModule: learn more about the Greenfield Housing Code

The Department’s new eModule is a short online course which provides useful information on the Greenfield Housing Code. The Code applies to greenfield areas across NSW and allows 1-2 storey homes, alterations and additions to be carried out under the fast-track complying development approval pathway, saving homeowners time and money.

Participants can put their learning into practice by answering 10 questions to obtain a Certificate of Completion.

The Module is designed for:

  • Council customer service staff, planners and building surveyors.
  • Homeowners and businesses wanting to learn more about exempt and complying development.
  • Certifiers wishing to take a refresher course.
  • Anyone wanting to explore private certification as a career option.

Access the module

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.

You will receive a $40 voucher to be used at Bunnings, which can be used on eligible trees in store. You can purchase either three eligible trees in 200mm pots or one eligible tree in a 300mm pot.

To redeem your free tree or for further information please visit the free tree initiative page on the Planning Portal.

More information

Call the Planning customer service team on 1300 420 596 or contact us.

Page last updated: 13/09/2022