Planning change permits secondary dwellings on rural land

Port Macquarie-Hastings

Port Macquarie Hastings Council (PMHC) has received approval from the NSW Government for an important change to its local planning laws, which aims to increase housing diversity and contribute to more affordable housing options within the region.

At the July Ordinary Council meeting, Councillors endorsed an amendment to the Port Macquarie-Hastings Local Environmental Plan (LEP) permitting landowners to now build secondary dwellings on rural properties.

It applies to land zoned RU1 Primary Production, RU2 Rural Landscape, and RU5 Village, allowing landowners in these zones to apply to PMHC with plans to construct a smaller dwelling like a granny flat for downsizing, visitor accommodation or to rent.

The changes permit up to 60 square metres of total floor area for the secondary dwelling, or 33 per cent of the total floor area of the principal dwelling, excluding any area used for parking.

The distance between the secondary dwelling and the principal dwelling must not exceed 100 metres.

Approval was granted by the NSW Government in December, before the proposal was publicly exhibited and endorsed by the Council in July.

Port Macquarie Hastings Mayor Peta Pinson said the change will enable private landowners in our rural areas to help in creating more housing opportunities and supply across the region.

“This change will allow private landowners to unlock access to more housing options in the Port Macquarie Hastings, which as we know is desperately needed,” Mayor Pinson said.

“By amending the LEP to also allow secondary dwellings in our rural areas, private landowners have the freedom and flexibility to decide on how they choose to use their secondary dwelling, which could provide a perfect option for downsizing, a second home for their family or children, suitable accommodation for renters or as accommodation for visitors.

“I am supportive of any strategy to address housing shortages across the region so this is great outcome that will hopefully complement other local, State and Federal Government policies to assist with supply across the nation.”

The amendment to the LEP is consistent with the North Coast Regional Plan and Port Macquarie-Hastings Council’s Strategic Planning Principles and Planning Priorities set out in the Shaping Our Future 2040 – A Local Strategic Planning Statement for Port Macquarie-Hastings.

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