Today’s announcement by Minister for Planning & Public Spaces Rob Stokes, on the new Housing State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) has been welcomed by UDIA NSW as it demonstrates that government have not only listened to industry feedback but taken this into account when finalising the policy.
UDIA has been a strong supporter of the policy to provide diverse housing opportunities through simplified planning pathways and incentives, however there were aspects of the draft Housing SEPP that caused concern and we made some recommendations in our submission in August this year.
The key points from our submission recommended a number of changes to the exhibited draft SEPP, including:
- Reinstate the intent of the policy to promote and deliver diverse, affordable and seniors housing products.
- Reverse the decision to prohibit seniors housing and boarding houses from the R2 low density residential zone.
- Reconsider the accessibility and local character requirements so as not to further restrict these products, and
- Undertake economic modelling to understand the impact of the proposed changes on feasibility, crucially important for this sector where feasibility is marginal.
UDIA is encouraged to see that government listened to these concerns and has made a number of positive changes to the final policy which include:
- Permitting seniors independent living developments in R2 – Low Density Residential zone,
- Permitting Co-living housing (including boarding houses) anywhere residential flat buildings or shop top housing are permitted under another environmental planning instrument including the R2 – Low Density Residential zone, and
- Amending the requirements regarding local character to include ‘desired future character’.
There remains concern that the reduction in incentives for seniors and affordable housing and the continued restriction on affordable housing and some seniors housing products within the R2 low density residential zone, will have the effect of making development unviable and reduce supply of these much needed housing types in NSW.
“There are many challenges with the successful delivery of affordable and seniors housing beyond just the Housing SEPP and we look forward to working with the NSW Government to ensure that these vital housing products can be produced in NSW,” said Steve Mann, CEO UDIA NSW.
Deanna Lane 0416 295 898 or email@example.com.