NSW/ACT Member Update - Legislative Changes and Code Updates

1 July 2020

Please find information below concerning the adoption of new legislation and amendments for the low rise medium density housing code.


Adoption of New Legislation

On Friday 26 June 2020, included in the NSW gazette was notification of adoption of new Regulations, parts of which take effect on Wednesday 1 July 2020. Some members may already have been alerted to this via other means however to assist in reaching a common understanding of what is changing and the implications for practice in NSW, we have prepared the following summary of what we understand the changes are.

 

Commencing

Regulation

Requirement

1 July 2020

Building and Development Certifiers Amendment (Provision of Information) Regulation 2020
(Click here to view)

Whole of Regulation amendment being:
•Clause 9 – prescribed conditions of registration
•Schedule 2 – Qualifications and experience
•Schedule 3 – Knowledge and skills
•Schedule 4 – Continuing professional development (CPD)
•Schedule 8 – Provision of information by registered certifiers and local councils

1 July 2020

Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018 No 63

Whole of Act

1 July 2020

Building and Development Certifiers Regulation 2020 (78)

Whole of Regulations


New requirements which have been highlighted as having an impact include Section 31 – Requirements related to contracts for certification work of the B & DC Act and Regulation 31 – Must be accompanied by information sheet of the B & DC Regulation. Attached are information sheets which have been provided to us today for your attention and information.

We note also that the introduction of Schedule 8 in the B & DC Amendment Regulation will create duplication of work to report information about projects. Notably, there are minor differences in the information that must be reported pursuant to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act and Regulations compared with the new requirements of Schedule 8 of the B & DC Amendment Regulation.

AIBS understands that there is a ‘grace period’ regarding implementation of requirements pursuant to the above reforms. Customer Service, NSW Fair Trading has advised that “From 1 July 2020, a three-month grace period will apply during which Fair Trading’s enforcement approach will focus primarily on education of certifiers in relation to the reforms. This will allow certifiers to adjust to new requirements, such as the contract provisions. Certifiers are still expected to take steps to comply as soon as practicable.”

Please be assured that we are working hard to ensure that the full impact of the changes is understood, particularly the short notice period provided in this process.

Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code Amendments

As you may be aware, AIBS are represented on the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, Complying Development Expert Panel (CDEP). Following the recent meeting of the CDEP, an update was received on the Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code (Code) which will apply to all local government areas in NSW from 1 July 2020. Please find details below for your information.

 

To coincide with the full commencement of the Code minor housekeeping amendments have been made to provide clarity and fix minor drafting errors (see high level table below). The amendments also include a change of name to the Low Rise Housing Diversity Code.

A full list of amendments has been published on the NSW legislation website.

 

Standard

Affected Housing Type

Amendment

Name Change

Whole Code

The name of the Code and the Design Guide has been updated

Minimum lot size

Manor Houses

Reflect changes to LEPs that introduce a minimum lot size for manor houses and multi dwelling housing (terraces)

Landscaping

Dual occupancies andTerraces

Clarification of the intent of the landscaping standards

Development that is not complying development under this code

Whole Code

Additional types of development that cannot be complying development includes:
-development that is in-fill affordable housing within the meaning of Division 1 of Part 2 of State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009,
-development on unsewered land, and
-development on land identified as being susceptible to landslide risk in any relevant environmental planning instrument relating to the land

Lot requirements

Dual occupancies

Clarification that the minimum width of a lot for the development of a dual occupancy is 15m, except where the lot is only accessible from a secondary road, parallel road or lane, then its 12m

Part 6, Subdivision

Dual occupancies (subdivision of)

Removal of 60% rule to ensure that minimum lot sizes for subdivision are maintained in accordance with council LEPs

New terms

Whole Code

The introduction of new terms “parent lot” and “resulting lot” to clarify which area the development standard shall be applied

Diagrams

Whole Code

A number of diagrams have been updated and new diagrams added to provide further explanatory details


Further information can be found on the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment website.