Secondary Dwellings (Granny Flats)

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Do I need approval?

Yes, you need approval for a secondary dwelling such as a granny flat.

You may be able to apply for a Complying Development Certificate or a Development Application.

Do I qualify for a Complying Development Certificate?

Complying Development Certificate may be issued for your Secondary Dwelling for land zoned R1, R2, R3, R4 if the proposal meets all of the relevant development standards. 

You can use the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009 to check whether your proposal is a complying development.

If your proposal does not meet all of the standards you must lodge a Development Application.

I need a Development Application (DA). What do I do?

If your proposal does not qualify as Complying Development, you will need to lodge a Development Application with Council.

Secondary Dwellings are permissible under land zoned R1, R2, R3, R4 and R5.

The total floor area of the dwelling (excluding any area used for parking) must not exceed whichever of the following is the greater:

(a)  60 square metres,

(b)  60% of the total floor area of the principal dwelling.

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has a useful guide to the DA process.

Can I convert my studio into a granny flat

A detached detached studio is defined in the State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) as a habitable building that is used for purposes ancillary to a dwelling house such as a home office, entertainment area, art studio or guest room and:

(a)  is established in conjunction with a dwelling house, and

(b)  is on the same lot of land as the dwelling house, and

(c)  is separate from the dwelling house, and

(d)  is not used as a separate dwelling house, and

(e)  does not contain any cooking facilities.

To change the detached studio into a separate dwelling / granny flat approval is required.