Medium Density and Mid-rise Residential

NSW Department of Planning and Environment & Government Architect NSW

Feasibility Review of Housing Typologies

The Low Rise Housing Diversity Code (the Code) permits certain housing typologies under a fast track complying development approval pathway. These typologies are dual occupancies, manor houses and terraces (up to 2 storeys).

These housing typologies are only allowed in the R1, R2, R3 and RU5 zones where this type of housing is already permitted under a Local Environmental Plan (LEP). Development must meet the development standards in the Code and the design criteria in the Low Rise Housing Diversity Design Guide. Since implementation of the Code, the take-up of the complying development pathway (for the three housing typologies) has been low. 

There are other medium density housing typologies that could be permitted under an LEP and these include: attached dwellings, semi-detached dwellings and multi-dwelling housing (which could be in the form of villa or townhouse developments). These can be developed under a development application (DA) pathway.

Overall, the delivery of medium density housing has been low. The NSW Government sought to investigate the deliverability of various low and mid-rise typologies within existing urban areas that were well serviced and close to public transport facilities. 

What we did  

Atlas worked within teams of architects, urban designers and planners to review housing typologies within metropolitan and regional context settings.

Atlas provided economics and financial feasibility advice to assist the review of various housing typologies and investigation into rezoning opportunities for more diverse housing.

The outcome

In November 2023, the NSW Government announced proposed changes to allow a greater diversity of housing types such as residential flat buildings of 3-6 storeys, terraces, townhouses, duplexes, and 1-2 storey apartment blocks in areas where they are currently not permitted.

Medium Density and Mid-rise Residential-3
Medium Density and Mid-rise Residential-4