NSW Medium Density changes to laws

NSW Medium Density changes to laws

These laws have been around for 2 years but deferred in a number of councils including the Central Coast until now. From July 1st 2020 no further deferrals will be permitted by any NSW council so anyone considering developments into the future best know about the new rules.

So what is medium density?
It covers developments such as dual occupancies, townhouses (multi dwelling), terraces and a new thing called a Manor home (3-4 residences and 1 can be on top of another).
It covers zones such as R1, R2 and R3 which is common on the Central Coast, Lake Macquarie and Newcastle. R2 is low density housing which is where the contention on these laws can stem from.


  • If it is a complying development, you can do a CDC and avoid the council DA path potentially. The new NSW planning portal is touted to speed things up also.

  • Minimum lot width is 12 mtrs.

  • Heights (up to 8.5mtrs) and setbacks are laid out. Living area ceiling heights are mandated at 2.7mts so 2 storey maximum.

  • Minimum sqm per number of rooms are all detailed.

  • Minimum lot sizes and GFA (Gross Floor Area) are also detailed. A dual occupancy for example under the CC (Wyong) LEP is 550sqm for attached and 700 sqm for detachedhttps://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/EPI/2013/759/part4/cl4.1d.It will vary by council. Lots in size above 700sqm may become more popular on the market.

Further reading
Legislation https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/EPI/2008/572/part3b
Summary https://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/-/media/Files/DPE/Manuals-and-guides/Medium-density-design-guide-for-development-applications-2017-07-05.pdf

If you are looking at future developments or sub divisions in the Central Coast, Lake Macquarie and Newcastle area then let Baxter know. We would be happy to begin a conversation with you on your plans and how we may assist at any point along the journey from pre-purchase of a site, through design, council and construction.