Townhouses on the Pacific Highway in Hornsby.

January 14, 2017 ·

In response Hornsby Mayor Steve Russell – known for his pro development approach – said it would “affect the suburban nature of every street in the shire”.

AT CAAN we have had difficulty finding the minimum lot sizes for the different medium density developments in the Planning NSW documents. We had a recollection but in view of our inability to find the specific lot sizes for these developments it raises concerns about the proposed infiltration of medium density; it blunts any debate about it!

Hearsay works in their favour; puts off opposition.

COULD this be why so little is being said about it? The facts aren’t clear …

LUCKILY we came across this article from the Hornsby Advocate, and it reveals:

Minimum size lots proposed for complying development to townhouses, villas, etc:

-2 dwellings on a 400m2 lot
-3-4 dwellings on a 500m2 lot
-3-10 dwellings on a 600m2 lot

THOSE in the know are obviously salivating with the one most attractive to them being the 600 m2 site; there’s plenty around; they will go for the 10 to max out their profit.

THEN we came across the submission from STEP to Planning NSW and this reveals:

“The proposals would also lead to an effective blanket rezoning to medium density, with minor exceptions, of virtually all single dwelling, low density residential R2 land with a street frontage of 12.5 m or more and a minimum lot size of 400 m2.

The suite of medium density complying development types cover dual occupancies, manor houses (2 up, 2 down) and townhouses/ terraces depending on land size. For example 3 to 10 dwellings could be built in a terrace or townhouse type configuration on land with a minimum size of 600 m2.”

That it:

-will remove residents rights to object
-residents in R2 (low density) zones will suddenly find medium density development happening next door that they thought was not permissible under the existing zoning laws
-breaking down communities; with the loss of leafy treescapes; increased water runoff; loss of amenity; more congestion

BUT it appears that Planning NSW and the NSW Government want one size fits all!

Read more from STEP:


New housing plan to put medium-density developments on residential lots almost anywhere in NSW

A “ONE size fits all” approach to new housing may see up to 10 dwellings built on a single lot almost anywhere in NSW.

The changes, outlined in a NSW Government discussion paper to “fast-track delivery of housing options”, were described as “an absolute disaster” by Hornsby councillors last week.

The paper proposes medium-density housing be approved under the complying development process.

Complying development is a planning and construction approval issued by councils or private certifiers when a set of controls and requirements are met.

Hornsby Mayor Steve Russell said it would “affect the suburban nature of every street in the shire”.

“I don’t see any merit in this at all,” Cr Russell said.

Cr Nick Berman was pushing for townhouse development in the Hornsby Shire in 2013, but he does not agree with the new planning paper.

Councillor Antony Anisse said units are an “inappropriate product” for many people and medium density housing should be encouraged to fill the gap in Sydney’s housing shortage.

There are not enough incentives for this type of development at the moment, he said. However this proposal is “unacceptable currently”.

Pennant Hills Civic Trust president Andrew Wilson said the trust was concerned it would lead to “further ad-hoc, higgledy-piggledy, messily unplanned, unstructured, unstrategic development”. “We like people having a democratic right to object to a DA,” he said.

Hornsby councillor Robert Browne said it effectively rezoned NSW to a “one size fits all” regime with “the potential to change the whole character of our suburbs”.

Lots as small as 200m are being proposed, meaning many trees that characterise residential areas will “eventually disappear”, Cr Browne said.

The intent is to implement the plan and this was just the first round, he said.

The paper is open for comment until March 1 at:

A townhouse in Cecil Rd, Hornsby.


■ 29 per cent of NSW 2013-14 development approvals were complying developments

■ Average 18 days to approve, compared to 70 days for a DA

Minimum size lots proposed for complying development to townhouses, villas, etc:

2 dwellings on a 400m2 lot

3-4 dwellings on a 500m2 lot

3-10 dwellings on a 600m2 lot