Promoting Housing Diversity in Sydney’s Priority Growth Areas

The Government has announced changes to increase housing choice and improve housing affordability across the North West and South West Priority Growth Areas. These changes will increase the supply of housing, reduce the costs of developing small lot housing and provide a greater range of housing choices for new residents in Western Sydney.

The changes will apply across the Priority Growth Areas from Monday 11 August 2014
, following an amendment to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Sydney Region Growth Centres) 2006 (Growth Centres SEPP).

•    Brochure – Housing Diversity: Sydney’s Growth Areas (August 2014)
•    Frequently Asked Questions (August 2014)

A number of other documents have been developed to support the changes in the Growth Centres SEPP, including:

-    A Finalisation Report outlining issues raised during exhibition and how these have been addressed in the final package;

-    A Dwelling Density Guide to demonstrate how different housing types and lot sizes can be used to achieve residential densities; and

-    An Amending Development Control Plan, includes new controls for subdivision and housing  development.

The amending Development Control Plan was adopted on 13 August 2014, and has now come into force.

The Growth Centre Precincts Development Control Plans (DCP) have been updated with the provisions of the amending Development Control Plan and are available here.


The need for the changes

Fundamental changes in the housing market driven by demographics, affordability and lifestyle trends are increasing the demand for more diversity in housing types. The demand is currently being amplified by the need to supply more affordable housing.

To deliver housing choice and price points demanded by home buyers, more flexible planning controls are required.

To deliver affordable and diverse housing, changes are required to:
•    Increase the range of housing types permitted in residential zones;
•    Introduce new approval pathways; and
•    Remove restrictions on the delivery of small lots.

The changes in the Housing Diversity package remove constraints that have made it difficult to deliver affordable and diverse housing, will accelerate and diversify housing supply and will put downward pressure on the cost of new homes.

What is changing?

The changes include amendments to the Growth Centres SEPP and the Growth Centre Precincts Development Control Plans (DCPs) to assist in the delivery of greater housing choice and to create more affordable housing – particularly on smaller lots.

The purpose of the amendments to the Growth Centres SEPP and existing DCPs is to facilitate the delivery of a more diverse range of housing in the
Priority Growth Areas.  This will help bring more homes to the market, place downward pressure on prices and provide a greater range of housing choices for new residents in the Priority Growth Areas.

The changes give developers flexibility in delivering smaller homes on smaller lots and are based on successful practices that are already in use by some local councils in the Priority Growth Areas and other areas of Western Sydney.

New subdivision approval pathways will also increase the opportunity for fast tracked complying development approval for new houses on smaller lots.

Previous consultation

The Housing Diversity Package was on exhibition from 29th August to 14th October 2013. The department reviewed all submissions received and considered issues raised during exhibition.

To view the exhibited information click here.   

More Information

Please contact the Community Information Line during business hours on 1300 730 550 or email