A Happy Medium

Sydney sure is growing up fast. It’s seems like only yesterday that the NSW capital was a naughty little toddler of three million, but last year the population topped five million and pundits claim it will hit eight million by the mid-2050s – that’s playing with big boys like London and New York.

Obviously this has led to a massive demand for housing, which transformed the entire city skyline into a veritable forest of cranes as 78,000 units were approved for construction in Sydney between 2012 and 2015, and “high-density living” became a catchphrase for government town planners and developers alike.

However, while creating unit developments around transport hubs – including the burgeoning WestConnex, Metro and light rail developments – makes sustainable sense and puts Sydney more in line with its urban counterparts overseas, it’s been a bit of a shock to the system for us locals. We’re used to looking up and seeing blue sky, not skyscrapers.

Thankfully, the pollies have been listening and have thrown their support behind a compromise: medium-density housing. “Low-rise medium-density housing is the missing part of the NSW housing stock between traditional freestanding homes and strata-titled apartments,” explains NSW planning and housing minister Anthony Roberts. This support takes the form of a new housing code and design guide that aims to make it cheaper and easier for homeowners to convert larger blocks into terraces, duplexes (also known as dual occupancies) or “manor houses” of three or four dwellings in a single building.

All these types of housing are familiar to Londoners, for example, but less so to Sydney residents. But that is all set to change, with the NSW Low Rise Medium Density Housing policy – due to take effect from July 6 – which allows such homes to be built as complying developments, rather than having to go through the often more expensive and drawn-out process of development application approval.

This means that if your present single-dwelling house in Marrickville or Dulwich Hill leaves a lot to be desired but you’re blessed with the right sized block, redeveloping your real estate with a medium-density residential structure could be a much more viable option than ever before. And who has the expertise to help you with that process? Why, the building design team at Design Plus Drafting of course!

We offer home design, drafting and architectural drawing services and are totally across the building codes and planning legislation that affect Sydney homeowners. A knock-down and duplex rebuild not an option for you? We can still help you increase the value of your property with a clever renovation, extension, loft conversion or even a granny flat.

Speak to a specialist draftsman at Design Plus Drafting about your home design plans and be part of the solution to Sydney’s ever-expanding population. There’s room for everyone.

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