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Minns Government identifies significant gap in approval of density

17 Oct 2023

Terraces and 1-2 storey unit blocks are permitted in R2 zoning in only two of 32 Local Environmental Plans (LEPs) – that’s just six per cent of the LEPs across Sydney. This is despite 77% of land being zoned for low density residential (R2).

This has meant that over the last 12 years, low rise density has been ignored in the face of a growing housing crisis.

Suburbs like Glebe, Surry Hills, Redfern, Waverton and many more were built using this type of density, they are still standing more than one hundred years later, supporting vibrant communities.

Greater density is better for the environment and ultimately cost the taxpayer less.

Terraces, townhouses and low-rise apartments have a significant role to play in creating diverse housing options as we confront the housing crisis.

If we were able to put a terrace on 5 per cent of lots of land zoned low density, we would get 67,500 new homes, which is more than 20 per cent of what we need to deliver by 2029.

The Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, will be writing to councils to encourage them to permit this type of housing within their local government areas.

We are not using our land well and it is costing us.

The NSW Productivity Commission released a report this year that found a double to quadruple cost to keep going out compared to infill development.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Paul Scully

“It’s surprising and disappointing that housing types synonymous with Sydney’s housing past are not permitted to be part of Sydney’s housing future, because of local planning rules.

“I will be writing to councils whose LEPs presently do not permit terraces and small apartment blocks in these residential zones, to make it clear that these types of houses are critical to address the housing crisis.

“We want to make infill housing a priority. It’s cheaper to deliver and better for the environment.

“More housing in existing suburbs gives young people, especially, a choice to live near their parents - not be forced to live with their parents.

“It also saves essential workers from having to travel long distances to get to centrally located places of work, like hospitals and schools.