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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Medium Density Housing Code?

On 6 April 2018, the Minister for Planning announced changes to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) to introduce a Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code.

These changes will allow one to two storey dual occupancies, manor houses and terraces to be developed under the complying development approval process in areas where medium density development is permitted under a council’s local environmental plan (LEP).

Under the code, low density areas (R1 and R2 zones) will be able to be developed as medium density in the City of Ryde. The NSW Government is adding terrace housing and manor homes to Council’s controls. Council currently only permits villas and attached dual occupancies where deemed appropriate.

What is complying development?

Complying development is a fast-track approval process for straightforward residential, commercial and industrial development. If the application meets specific criteria it can be determined by either a private certifier or a council.

More information on complying development can be found on the NSW Department of Planning & Environment.

What is a manor house?

A manor house is essentially a block of flats, limited to two storeys, with a maximum of four dwellings.

When does the code come into effect?

The code is due to come into effect on 6 July 2018.

How could the code impact the City of Ryde?


The introduction of the code will drastically increase the concentration of housing in the City of Ryde. It is anticipated that the changes will mean the number of sites in the City of Ryde able to be developed for medium density housing will jump from 4,082 to an estimated 14,465. This represents approximately 62.5% of all land in the City of Ryde and could potentially result in an additional approximately 60,000 residents.

The amendments introduce more forms of medium density development (manor houses, terraces and Torrens title subdivision with the construction of two or more dwellings) that were not previously permitted.

The changes will also impact reduce lot sizes and frontages considered appropriate by Council and increase the number of sites potentially available for these types of development.

Map: City of Ryde LGA map. R2 zone shown below in pink identifies the areas potentially affected.

What is Council seeking in relation to the code?

The City of Ryde is seeking an urgent exemption to the new housing code and requests that Council’s own local planning controls prevail over State Government policy.

Why is Council opposing the introduction of the code?

The introduction of the new code would undermine Council’s efforts to provide balanced housing choices on appropriate sites. It will also result in a significant increase in the population of the City of Ryde, which will impact existing infrastructure and services and increase traffic.

The limited community consultation relative to the impact of the changes undermines decades of strategic land use planning in the City of Ryde. In close consultation with the community, the City of Ryde has designed controls to ensure the character of local streets is protected.

How has Council opposed the introduction of the code to date?

  1. In December 2016, Council unanimously supported making a submission to the Department of Planning and Environment in relation to the Draft Medium Density Housing Code that raised multiple concerns about population density increases and the lack of supporting infrastructure to support the increase in population. Council received no response to this submission.
  2. In April 2018, Council forwarded a letter to the Department of Planning and Environment requesting access to the reports and documentation used to include the City of Ryde in the new housing code, the assessment of Council’s submission seeking exemption and questioning the adequacy of consultation with Council and our community.
  3. On 19 April 2018, City of Ryde held an extraordinary Council meeting, with the Mayor lodging a Mayoral Minute regarding an urgent response to the Medium Density Housing Code changes. During this meeting, Council resolved to:
    • Seek an urgent meeting with relevant State and Council representatives to seek an exemption from the code changes and request that Council’s local planning controls prevail over the State Policy.
    • Authorise the General Manager to investigate and take all steps available in regard to planning pathways and legal action to prevent this legislation taking effect in City of Ryde on 6 July 2018.

How can I oppose the code?

You can contact the Department of Planning of Environment to voice your opposition at

How can I get updates on what’s happening?

Visit the Save our Streets page for updates.

Where can I find more information about the code and the impacts of this on the City of Ryde?

More information about the code can be found on the NSW Planning & Environment website at

All other relevant documentation can be found on the Save our Streets page.


Last updated on 17 May 2018