NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Greenfield Housing Code

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

The Code is part of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (State Policy) and: 

  • simplifies the standards in the State Policy for greenfield areas
  • tailors development standards to suit market demand, housing types and lot sizes typically delivered in greenfield areas and
  • increases 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 applies to greenfield areas across NSW. The Code allows 1–2 storey homes, alterations, and additions to be carried out under the complying development approval pathway. 

The complying development approvals issued under the Code can be approved within 20 days, compared to an average of 71 days for the development applications. 

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 Code ensure that the urban 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.

Implementation of the Greenfield Housing Code

The Greenfield Housing Code was developed in close consultation with councils and industry stakeholders. This was to ensure amenity, privacy and design considerations were incorporated into the development standards to achieve good design outcomes for new dwellings in greenfield areas. 

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

greenfield housing code timing 835x549

There was a three-year transitional period until July 2019, when applicants could choose whether to use the Greenfield Housing Code or the Housing Code or Transitional Code. 

The Greenfield Housing Code came into effect on 6 July 2018, to provide sufficient time to help the community and stakeholders to understand the Code.

If an applicant wanted to undertake complying development in a Greenfield Housing Code Area, they could use the Greenfield Housing Code from 6 July 2018. Alternatively, they could 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, the complying development approvals for the Greenfield areas should rely on the provisions in the Greenfield Housing Code.


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More information

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

Page last updated: 07/02/2023