Media Release

1 July 2020

NSW Labor is demanding the Government scrap or heavily amend its divisive Low Rise Housing Diversity code, to address concerns about overdevelopment and poor planning controls.

From today the controversial code, which was widely opposed by councils, will be implemented across the 46 Local Government Areas where it was deferred, including:

  • Sydney LGAs:  Bayside, Blue Mountains, Burwood, Camden, Campbelltown, Canada Bay, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Georges River, Hawkesbury, Hills, Hornsby, Hunter’s Hill, Inner West, Mosman, Northern Beaches, Parramatta, Randwick, Ryde, Strathfield, Sutherland, Sydney, Willoughby, Wollondilly, Woollahra.
  • Regional LGAs: Armidale, Ballina, Bellingen, Byron, Central Coast, Coffs Harbour, Hilltops, Kiama, Mid-Coast, Mid-Western, Moree, Narromine, Shellharbour, Shoalhaven, Snowy Monaro, Tamworth, Tweed, Upper Lachlan, Wingecarribee, Wollongong, Yass.

The code sets aside Council planning controls and allows more intense, unplanned development.

Under the code, terrace houses, dual occupancy and manor houses will be fast tracked under the State Environment Planning Policy as ‘complying developments’ in as little as 20 days. These do not require a full development application to a council, only a complying development certificate issued by a certifier. This process removes Council oversight and community input.

The code has been described by many Councils as overdevelopment by stealth and has the potential to overcrowd suburban streets across the State.

Labor wants the Berejiklian Government to either scrap the code entirely or:

  • Permanently exclude local government areas which are especially bushfire prone and have already made provision for medium density in local planning rules; and
  • Ensure the Code does not remove existing planning controls or community input.

Labor is not opposed to medium density housing where appropriate. However, this code imposes an inappropriate ‘one size fits all’ approach on all local communities across the State, without any public input.

Labor Leader in the Legislative Council and Shadow Minister for Planning and Better Living, Adam Searle said: “The first time residents will know about these kinds of developments occurring next door will be when construction starts. Even local Councils will not know ahead of time. This means there will no chance that growing communities will get the social and physical infrastructure they need.

“Labor has consistently campaigned against the code in its current form and will continue to fight for it to be scrapped or at the least heavily amended.”

Labor Shadow Minister for Local Government, Greg Warren, said it demonstrates disregard for communities and Councils across NSW.

“The Government has ignored concerns from 46 councils across NSW.

“Residents deserve to have a say about the future of their community. This code must be scrapped or amended to ensure this happens and overcrowding concerns are addressed.”