The Missing Middle

The new Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code will commence in most local government areas on 6 July 2018.

The new code provides opportunities to use complying development for one and two storey dual occupancies, manor houses and terraces in Zones RU5, R1, R2 or R3.

Low rise medium density housing as complying development is only allowed where medium density development is already permitted under a council’s Local Environmental Plan (LEP).

The code is officially known as State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) Amendment (Low Rise Medium Density Housing) 2017.


The following development (including the building of or alteration to) can be complying development under the code:

  • Any 1 or 2 storey dual occupancy, manor house or multi dwelling housing (terraces)
  • Any attached development relating to any building referred to above.

Complying development may only be carried out under the code where a lot will have lawful access to a public road at the completion of the development.

Strata and Torrens Title Subdivision are possible in certain conditions under the Code.


Development excluded from the code under Section 3B.2 includes:

(a) The erection or alteration of, or an addition to, a roof terrace on the top most roof of a building,

(b) Development that is complying development under the Housing Alterations Code,

(c) Development on a battle-axe lot,

(d) Development that is attached to a secondary dwelling or group home,

(e) The erection of a building over a registered easement,

(f) The alteration of, or an addition to, a garage or carport that is located forward of the building line,

(g) The erection of multi dwelling housing (terraces) on bush fire prone land.

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