NSW Council Requirements for Granny flats

the NSW Council Requirements for Granny Flats

In New South Wales (NSW), building a granny flat is an excellent way for homeowners to increase the square footage of their living area and the value of their home. Recognising the specifications set forth by the NSW Council for granny flats is important to guarantee that your building project conforms with regional laws and planning guidelines. 

 The procedure, controlled by the granny flat regulations set forth by the NSW Council, makes it possible to include additional, useful rooms easily while complying with regional planning requirements. By following these guidelines, you may create a well-balanced addition to your house that meets your requirements and preserves the neighborhood’s architectural style.

What Are the NSW Council Requirements for Granny Flats?

Without a doubt, homeowners on the Central Coast are not required to seek municipal approval before building a granny flat, albeit their property must meet a few basic requirements.

The Affordable Housing State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP), first introduced by the NSW Government in 2009, enables all residential property owners—including real estate investors—with properties larger than 450 square meters and with a minimum street frontage of 12 meters to build granny flats on their properties.

For smart investors, property owners, and retirees in particular, this development holds great promise. Basically, it means that you may build a two-bedroom granny flat in your garden without getting council clearance (and without having to deal with unjustified complaints from neighbors). Additionally, this may be completed in just four weeks, which is an incredibly short time frame.

Overview of Regulations

In New South Wales, homeowners who meet specific requirements can construct granny flats on residential properties without obtaining individual council approval under the Affordable Housing State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP). The following are the main requirements for eligibility:

 • Property Size: The minimum property size required is 450 square metres.

 • Frontage: A street frontage of at least 12 metres is necessary.

 • Zoning: The land must be zoned suitably under municipal environmental guidelines.

Attached Granny Flat NSW Rules

In New South Wales, building a connected granny flat gives homeowners possible way to increase their living area. To make sure your addition complies with NSW Council regulations, it is important to understand the regulations that are special to attached granny flats.

The property must be at least 450 square metres in size and have a minimum of 12 metres of frontage in order to be eligible. Smaller properties could need specific clearance from the local government.

Link to Main House: A wall between an attached granny flat and the main house is required. This integration guarantees that the structure conforms with regional architectural requirements and contributes to preserving the property’s architectural standards.

Design and Construction Guidelines: The attached granny flat’s layout should complement the main house. The outside finishes and materials must match or enhance the main house to maintain the visual continuity of your property.

Building Approvals: Although attached granny flats often need fewer permits than detached ones, homeowners must submit comprehensive plans to their local government. These plans must follow all applicable council rules and construction norms, especially accessibility and fire safety.

Regulations Regarding Privacy and Safety: Particular consideration needs to be made for the privacy and security of the main house as well as the attached granny flat. To improve resident privacy, separate entrances and enough soundproofing are advised.

Building Specifications

The NSW Council regulates the following building regulations to guarantee privacy and safety:

  • Setbacks: Predefined setback distances from property boundaries vary based on the rules set forth by your local council.
  • Height Restrictions: Generally, granny flats can be single or two-storied, with height limits to preserve neighborhood character.
  • Design Requirements: Granny flats should use materials that fit correctly with the architectural style of the existing home.

Planning and Approval Process

Homeowners should take the following actions before starting construction:

  1. Consult Local Council: Verify any local laws that may impact your construction, such as those about special zoning or heritage conservation.
  2. Prepare Detailed Plans: Provide thorough construction plans that meet local council and SEPP regulations.
  3. Seek Certification: Depending on your circumstances, obtain approval for a Development Application (DA) or a Complying Development Certificate (CDC).

Granny Flat Approval NSW

In New South Wales, the Affordable Housing State Environmental Planning Policy streamlines obtaining approval for a granny flat (SEPP). The goal of this programme is to provide the state with more options for inexpensive housing. Here is a thorough how-to manual for negotiating the approval procedure:

Determine Eligibility: First, make sure your property meets the requirements for size (450 square metres minimum) and frontage (12 metres minimum), as well as the proper residential zoning.

Selecting the Appropriate Approval Route: You may choose between a Development Application (DA) and a Complying Development Certificate (CDC) based on the details of your project. A CDC can greatly speed up the approval process and is appropriate for projects fulfilling all predetermined requirements. If a proposal doesn’t fit these requirements, a DA is needed, which entails a more thorough examination by the local council.

Planning: Creating detailed plans involves providing thorough architectural designs that include site plans, floor plans, and elevations that detail every aspect of the project. These plans must comply with both the SEPP and local council regulations.

Consultation with Local Council: Get in touch with your local council as soon as possible to learn about any unique zoning regulations or heritage conservation issues that may have an impact on your project.

Getting Certifications: Make sure your granny flat design satisfies all requirements for environmental, safety, and accessibility certifications in addition to construction clearances. This covers approvals for water and sewage services and fire safety, if applicable.

Final Inspections and Certifications: Once the project is completed, a final inspection is required to ensure that the construction follows the approved plans and building codes. Following a successful inspection, an occupation certificate is issued, allowing the granny flat to be occupied lawfully.


A self-contained, small home, measuring 60m2, is referred to as a granny flat if it is built in the backyard of an existing house. The following is a list of the key council requirements for granny flats:

– The property must be at least 450m2 in size (bigger plots are subject to various laws; see Granny flat setback requirements).

– The property needs to be zoned for residential use (further information is available in the section under Residential Zoning requirements).

– The building line of the existing residence should be at least 12 meters wide. You can choose an attached granny apartment if your property does not meet this requirement.

– Keep a 0.9-meter distance from the side limits and a 3-meter distance from the back boundary.

– – Any existing trees that are taller than 4 meters must be kept at a distance of 3 meters.

– The granny flat’s outside space cannot be larger than 60m2. Per eligible property, only one granny flat is allowed.

If your property does not meet the aforementioned NSW requirements for Complying Development Certificate (CDC) Approval, our experts can assess it to see if a Development Assessment through your local Council can be undertaken to support your project. Please feel free to contact us right away to go over the Development Assessment (DA) Approval process.

The requirements set forth by the council for properties between 450 and 900 square meters are depicted in the diagram below.

According to council legislation in NSW, the requirements change for properties larger than 900m2. Please refer to the chart below, which outlines the requirements set forth by the NSW council for lots that are between 900 and 1,500 square meters and those that are more than 1,500 square meters. For further information, you can also consult our fact sheet on granny flats in New South Wales.


According to council legislation in NSW, the requirements change for properties larger than 900m2. Please refer to the chart below, which outlines the requirements set forth by the NSW council for lots between 900 and 1,500 square meters in size.In terms of minimum frontage, side setback height (for structures up to 3.8 meters in height), and rear setback height (for structures up to 3.8 meters in height), the following information is provided for various lot sizes:

– For lots between 450 and 900 square meters:

  – 12 meters minimum frontage

  – 0.9 meters is the minimum side setback.

  – 3 meters minimum rear setback

– For lots that are 900 to 1,500 square meters in size:

  – 15 meters minimum frontage

  – 1.5 meters minimum side setback

  – 5 meters minimum rear setback

– For lot sizes exceeding 1,500 square meters:

  – Minimum frontage: 18 meters

  – Minimum side setback: 2.5 meters

  – Minimum rear setback: 10 meters


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