SEPP 65 Consultation

7 October 2014

Have your say on proposed changes to NSW's State Environmental Planning Policy No 65 – Design Quality of Residential Flat Development.

The NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure is inviting public comment on proposed changes to the State Environmental Planning Policy No 65 – Design Quality of Residential Flat Development (SEPP 65). 

The proposed changes are designed to further improve apartment design and affordability, and will apply across the state. They include the following:

  • The policy will be extended to include mixed use development and shop top housing of three or more storeys and four or more dwellings in addition to residential flat buildings.
  • Councils will be able to appoint design review panels, independent experts who advise councils on design quality for proposed apartment developments, and they can decide who is on the panel.
  • The new Apartment Design Guide will replace the Residential Flat Design Code.
  • Key elements of the Apartment Design Guide will prevail over council requirements, to promote certainty and consistency for visual privacy, solar and daylight access, common spaces, apartment layout, ceiling heights, balconies and private open space, natural ventilation and storage.
  • It is now clear that apartment buildings being assessed under SEPP 65 will also need to comply with BASIX (the building sustainability index).
  • If the minimum standard in the Apartment Design Guide is met for apartment size, car parking requirements and ceiling heights, a development cannot be refused on that basis.
  • New aims have been introduced to provide a variety of housing types, affordable housing and timely assessment of applications.

Detailed information is available on the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure website.

Submissions can be made through the website.

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