Byron Shire

In many regions of NSW there are 2 options for secondary dwellings (in layman’s terms, a granny flat) approvals: to either comply with the NSW Affordable Housing State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) or the relevant Council’s Development Control Plan (DCP). Byron Shire Council recently responded to the spirit of the Affordable Housing SEPP by waiving various fees including the S.94 and S.64 contributions (being for roads & community facilities plus water & sewerage respectively). This equates to a potential savings of around $15,000-$30,000 and brings Byron Council’s policy towards granny flats more in-line with that of other Councils in northern New South Wales.

If applications are lodged under the Council’s DCP then you may be exempt from such levies. However, if you don’t use the DCP and instead use the Affordable Housing SEPP then the levies will apply. Here are some examples where this might be the case:

  • If you require an extra-large granny flat
  • If your land size doesn’t meet Council’s requirements

Byron Shire Council Considerations

  • Most Granny Flats require Development Approval (DA).
  • DA fees are calculated as a percentage of the cost of the Granny Flat.
  • DA’s for Granny Flats usually take about 6 weeks to approve
  • Certain conditions must be met in order to take advantage of Byron Council’s recent decision to waive the S.94 contributions. These include (but are not limited to):
  • The Granny Flat must be no more than 60m2 in size, this excludes Decks, Patios, Garages, Carports, etc. Importantly, the 60m2 Gross Floor Area (GFA) is measured from the inside of the external wall frame.
  • The main residence plus the Granny Flat must not have more than 5 bedrooms (combined).
  • An alternative to a Granny Flat is an “Expanded House” which is a granny flat that is not self-contained (ie. similar to an outbuilding). Uses might include an artist’s studio, home office, entertainment area. However, they:

Must be no more than 45m2 in size
Must be linked to the house with a path
Cannot be rented

All State government and Local Authorities planning requirements are detailed and complex, however they must be followed in order to get development approval. A good first step in helping decide the use of your land is to contact Council and request a S149 Planning Certificate; this will have information on the planning controls and development restrictions that may apply for a particular site.

Disclaimer: We recognise that every site is different and each person’s requirements are unique. This information is a simplified summary of requirements for granny flat developments. The information contained herein should not be considered advice or take the place of direct consultation with the relevant authorities or qualified professionals. Talk with us or visit the Byron Shire Council for more information.