From September 1 2023 new Medium Density Codes will be introduced - are you ready?
Read below for some frequently asked questions on the new Medium Density Codes that will be coming into place in September 2023.
What are the Residential Design Codes?
The Residential Design Codes (R-Codes) provide a framework for local governments and developers to ensure that residential buildings and developments meet certain design standards. They set out minimum requirements for things like setbacks, open space, and room sizes, and also provide guidance on more subjective design elements like building height and landscaping.
The R-Codes are divided into two volumes. Volume 1 applies to single houses and grouped dwellings and multiple dwellings from R2-R100. Volume 2 applies to multiple dwellings (apartments) R80 and above and R-AC. The recently introduced Medium Density Housing Code applies to single houses and grouped dwellings in areas coded R30 and above, and multiple dwellings coded R30-R60. Please see the below figure:
|SPP 7.3 Residential Design Codes||Single Houses||MGrouped Dwellings||Multiple Dwellings
(including dwelling components of mixed use developments)
|Volume 1||Part B
|R25 and below||R25 and below||R10 to R25|
|R30 and above;
|R30 and above;
|R30 to R60|
|Volume 2||N/A||N/A||R80 and above; R-AC|
Local governments are responsible for implementing and enforcing the R-Codes in their jurisdictions. Developers and property owners must ensure that their designs comply with the relevant R-Codes, and local governments may refuse development applications that do not meet the minimum standards set out in the codes.
What changes have been made to the Residential Design Codes?
The State Government has introduced a new Medium Density Housing Code which forms part of the amended State Planning Policy 7.3 Residential Design Codes, Volume 1 (R-Codes). This Code applies to single houses and grouped dwellings in areas coded R30 and above, and multiple dwellings coded R30-R60.
When does the Medium Density Housing Code come into effect?
To allow for a transition period, the new Medium Density Housing Code will come into effect on 1 September 2023. During this period, the City’s local planning policies, local development plans, and local structure plans are being reviewed to align with the new provisions.
It is important to note that the City will not assess any residential applications against the 2021 Residential Design Codes after the gazettal date, even if the application is submitted prior to the date. Therefore, it is encouraged for all applicants to consider their designs and timing of lodgement of their applications.
What happens to the City’s existing framework that varies the 2021 Residential Design Codes?
Please be aware that local development plans and structure plans that modify the ‘deemed-to-comply’ provisions of the previous version of the R-Codes and approved prior to the release of the Medium Density Housing Code are valid until expiry and will prevail over the Medium Density Housing Code. However, the City is currently reviewing these and they may be amended to align with the new Medium Density Housing Code.
The diagram below demonstrates the timeline of implementation.
- Public release of Policy
- Application determined in lin with R-Codes Vol.1 2021
- Deferred gazettal period of 6 months
1 September 2023
- Public gazettal
- Most applications determined in line with R-Codes Vol.1 2023
- Special provisions apply to single houses in Structure Plan and Local Development Plan areas
- Special transition period of 24 months
1 September 2025
- Special transition period ends
- All applications determined in line with R-Codes Vol.1 2023
For further information, please refer to the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage’s website
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the City’s planning department on 9405 5000.