“Bulldozers on every street”

Last month there was some big news, in case you missed it.

The NSW government is forcing Ryde local government in Sydney to allow more medium density development.

“The NSW government is facing a suburban revolt over its new medium-density housing code, with one mayor predicting bulldozers in every street if the rules are implemented.

The code will permit homeowners and developers to carve up blocks into terraces and dual occupancy dwellings, or create “manor houses” in which a single building houses three or four dwellings, using a complying development process that is faster and cheaper than existing approval processes.

The new housing code begins in July but real estate agents selling properties in Ryde were already tailoring advertisements to appeal to developers.

The new rules apply only to areas where medium density development is already permitted under a council’s local environmental plan.

NSW Finance Minister Victor Dominello said Ryde council’s planning laws were outdated.

The new housing code also permit blocks as narrow as 12 metres for a duplex, compared to existing council rules requiring frontages to be at least 15 to 20 metres.
Jerome Laxale, the Labor mayor of Ryde, was also troubled by rising house prices and congestion because of new rules that make it easier to convert larger blocks in Sydney into terraces and other medium-density housing.

“Unless the Minister reverses these changes, there will be bulldozers in every street in Ryde,” he said.”

Expect this battle to be played out every year from now on.

Sydney needs more houses. Not just a few, but a phenomenal amount.

But where to put them? The greenfield sites are gone. The only option is to build up.

But local governments don’t want that. Residents like they’re leafy streets, thank you very much.

The only way to make it happen is to ram it through.

And so that’s what’s going on. Ryde won’t be the last local government area to be on the sharp-pointy end of this agenda.

The future is medium density.

There’s no way around it.

Spiro Kladis
Managing Director, Cashflow Capital

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