Development of granny flats
A granny flat, or secondary dwelling, is self-contained accommodation within, attached or separate to an individual home. A Council or accredited certifier can certify granny flats as complying development without the need for a development application, provided they meet the specific development standards in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009.
To be allowed to build a granny flat as complying development it must be:
- Established in conjunction with another dwelling (the principal dwelling),
- On the same lot of land as the principal dwelling (and not an individual lot in a strata plan or community title scheme), and
- May be within, attached to, or separate from the principal dwelling.
A granny flat may be approved within 20 days by a Council or accredited certifier as long as it meets the complying development provisions listed in Schedule 1 to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009.
- Summary of the relevant complying development provisions under Schedule 1 to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009.
- Site Requirements.
- Building articulation and corner lots.
- Privacy Requirements.
- Building heights and set backs.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q. How does a home owner apply for approval of a secondary dwelling/granny flat?
Applications for a secondary dwelling or granny flat can be made in two ways:
- By applying to an accredited certifier if it meets the development standards in the State Environmental Planning Policy Affordable Rental Housing 2009, or
- By submitting a development application to your Council. You will need a development application when the proposed development does not meet the development standards in the AHSEPP.
Q. Where are granny flats allowed?
Granny flats (also known as secondary dwellings) may be allowed in a number of residential zones. Councils decide if granny flats are permissible in the zones which include:
- Zone R1 General Residential,
- Zone R2 Low Density Residential,
- Zone R3 Medium Density Residential,
- Zone R4 High Density Residential,
- Zone R5 Large Lot Residential (via development application only), or
- Equivalent zones for the Council area.
Q. Are granny flats permissible in rural zones?
Granny flats cannot be built as complying development in rural zones. You may be able to build a granny flat in a rural zone through a development application. You will need to check with your Council to see if granny flats are allowed in rural zones.
Q. Can a secondary dwelling be established in conjunction with a 'principal dwelling' where the 'principal dwelling' is part of a dual occupancy or residential flat building?
No. Under clause 22 of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009, there can only be one other dwelling on the land with the secondary dwelling.
Q. Do other council planning controls still apply?
The State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009, applies to granny flats built as complying development. If the proposed granny flat does not comply with all of the development standards in the AHSEPP you will need to get development approval from your Council. When lodging a development application with council, council controls apply.
Q. What happens if there is a conflict between the controls in a local environmental plan (LEP) and the AHSEEP?
If there is an inconsistency between the AHSEPP and the relevant Council's LEP, the provisions of the AHSEPP will override those in the extent of the inconsistency.
Q. Do Section 94 Development contributions apply?
The State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009 does not affect the levying of development contributions under section 94 of the EP&A Act.
Q. Are granny flats approved under the SEPP exempt from bushfire and flood planning requirements?
No, the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009 does not override bush fire or flood planning requirements.
Q. Does BASIX apply?
The State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009 does not change the application of the BASIX requirements. Read more about how BASIX applies to granny flats and which BASIX tool to use.