Hills planning laws amended to boost housing diversity & affordability

Published on 06 September 2021

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Long-awaited changes to The Hills Shire Council's planning controls will mean homeowners in The Hill's rural zones will have more clarity and fairness surrounding the maximum size of a secondary dwelling.
The Hills Local Environment Plan (LEP) was recently amended to include a provision that specifies that the permitted size of secondary dwellings (in rural zones) is 110m² or 20 per cent of the total floor area of the principal dwelling, whichever is the greater.  
Mayor of The Hills Shire, Dr Michelle Byrne described this as a "win for rural landowners". 
"This policy change gives a lot of flexibility for residents to help them manage their rural properties and balance their individual needs," Mayor Byrne said 
“It responds to the growing demand for more affordable and diverse housing options, while also maintaining the character of our rural areas. This means that residents who want to keep their family close, can do so, including parents and their adult children. It also means they can live in a good-sized home that enables them to remain in the local area and raise a family. 
"Council also believes these changes will incentivise the retention of rural land uses and allow the region to continue to contribute to the food needs of our Shire and beyond. And when the Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek is fully operationally, it is my dream to see our Shire's produce being transported and enjoyed around the world. 
"This a fantastic outcome and I thank our residents who made submissions during the consultation period," Mayor Byrne added.
The new amendment only applies to those located in rural zoned land where secondary dwellings are already permitted with consent, including in the RU1 Primary Production, RU2 Rural Landscape and RU6 Transition zones.
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