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How to get Council Approval for a Granny Flat Š Fragar Planning & Development 2012

How to get counci l a p p r o v a l f o r a g r a n n y fl a t is a question we o f t e n ge t a s k e d a s a t ow n planning consulta n c y. What is a Granny Flat? A ‘Granny flat’ is a self-contained dwelling secondary to the principal dwelling. This secondary dwelling could be: • Attached to the principal dwelling, • Separate to the principal dwelling, or • Within the principal dwelling footprint. To be a true granny flat it needs to be on the same lot of land as the principal dwelling (not being an individual lot in a strata plan or community title scheme for example).

Why a Granny Flat? For astute property investors, a granny flat (with Council Approval) is a way of increasing cash flow. With an extra rental income this allows many to turn a negatively geared property into a positive cash flow property. It is also a great way of accelerating debt reduction.

How to get Council Approval for a Granny Flat

How to get Council Approval for a Granny Flat As town planners we help people create lawfully approved granny flats. As there are many ‘loopholes’ and ‘snares’ in this area it is best to get a certified town planner like Fragar Planning & Development to give you specific advice.

Generally, if your property is in the state of NSW there are two channels to make sure your granny flat is lawful: 1. Local Planning Regulations 2. State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Housing) 2009 The choice of which avenue to take will depend on the particulars of your property such as its zoning, land size and whether it is in an environmentally sensitive area.

Illegally built granny flats will cause

headaches at the time of sale, get you into trouble if it comes to the attention of Council or could result in insurance complications. So best to follow the advice from a Certified Town Planner.

How to get Council Approval for a Granny Flat


Local Planni n g R e g u l a t i o n s

Each local government in NSW has its own Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and Development Control Plans (DCP). This is the primary legislative mechanism for the approval of secondary dwellings. Under the LEP and DCP will be rules for dual occupancies (and granny flats) which will stipulate the requirements for such a secondary dwelling. Consider the differences between exempt development, complying development and development requiring consent. Remember not to make the ‘First Biggest Mistake that people make in dealing with Council’ (available from

How to get Council Approval for a Granny Flat


SEPP ( Afford a bl e H o u s i n g )

The state policy is an alternative statute designed to shortcut the council approval process and to provide the social benefit of providing additional affordable housing in the state. If the SEPP does apply, then the granny flat can be approved as ‘complying development’ and reduce the turn around time so can start construction. Here is a list of things you will need to satisfy to use this provision. Note however that this is by no means a comprehensive list. We highly recommend you talk in person to Fragar Planning and Development at the Council Approval Café or on the phone 02 4784 3235 (we don’t charge for the first telephone discussion). Some of the things you will need to satisfy to engage this legislative fast track are: Not be in an environmentally sensitive area or contain a heritage item or draft heritage item. Secondary dwelling to have a maximum floor are of 60m2 Have a minimum site area of 450m2 Comply with the Australian Building Code. Be on an R1, R2, R3, R4, R5 or equivalent zone

How to get Council Approval for a Granny Flat

In summary, getting approval by whatever mechanism for a granny flat has significant cash flow advantages once completed. There are many loopholes but also snares that you should be aware of, whether that is using the state based planning policy or the local planning rules. To avoid the stress and cost in going down the wrong path we recommend you talk to the town planning experts at Fragar Planning & Development 02 4784 3235.

How to get Council Approval for a Granny Flat

How can we help? Fragar Planning & Development is an experienced town planning consultancy helping you get the approval you desire for your development. Whether it is a new premises for your business, subdivision, major commercial development or a simple house extension, we are here to help.

Why use Fragar Pl a n n i n g & D e v e l o p m e n t ? Your project needs the best advice. We are certified praciticing planners. By using Fragar Planning & Development, you are using a planning consultant who speaks the same language as Council, giving you the best chances of getting the development consent you desire. With over 45 years of experience in property development and town planning, we demystify and take the stress out of dealing with Council. We know when a Council delay or request for more information is in order or unreasonable. We recommend you talk to the town planning experts



Planning 02 4784 3235.

How to get Council Approval for a Granny Flat



How to get council approval for a granny flat?