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The Rules in NSW

The New South Wales Government, recognising the need to provide alternative housing options, has made it much easier and faster to design and build granny flats (or secondary dwellings). The new State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) provides a range of planning incentives to encourage homeowners and developers to invest and create new affordable housing. In Sydney, granny flats are a big part of that strategy.

We've provided some basic information and links to further resources below. However, we suggest that you remember that we do this all the time, so it’s probably best to give us a call and discuss your plans.

What exactly is a 'Granny Flat'?

According to the planning legislation, a granny flat is a self-contained unit that:

  • is established in conjunction with a house and is either within the house, or attached to the house, or separate from the house as a home addition; and
  • is on the same lot of land as the principal house and is not on a separate lot, in a strata plan or in a community title scheme.

Am I allowed to build a granny flat?

Granny flats are very popular in Sydney and are now permitted in all residential zones across the State, subject to meeting the following requirements:

  • There is only one house and one granny flat on the lot.
  • The combined total floor area of the house and the granny flat complies with the floor space area controls in the local environment plan (ask your local council or speak to us about this).
  • The maximum floor area of the granny flat is no greater than: (a) 60 square metres; OR (b) the maximum floor area prescribed by the council in the local environmental plan.
  • The lot is not subdivided.
  • The granny flat meets planning controls such as building height and setbacks, floor space ratios, and open space in the local environmental plan and/or the complying development provisions in the Affordable Rental Housing SEPP.
  • The granny flat meets the requirements of the Building Code of Australia.
  • There are no requirements under the policy to provide any additional parking for the granny flat.

A granny flat may occur either with DA consent, or as complying development.

Thinc Projects (Granny Flats Builder Sydney) can take you by the hand from concept right through to the day you move in. Choose one of our granny flats designs or we can customise a plan to suit your personal needs.