‘Build-to-rent’ back on in Central Sydney, with a double backflip by the NSW Government

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By Aaron Gadiel, Partner

In a double backflip, the NSW Government has today (30 July 2021) reinstated the new ‘build-to-rent’ planning pathway in ‘Central Sydney’.

This follows an article we published on 19 July 2021 detailing how the NSW Government had cancelled the new ‘build-to-rent’ planning pathway in ‘Central Sydney’ only five months after it became available.

The timeline is as follows:

  • February 2021: The NSW Government amended the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009 (the Affordable Housing SEPP) to create a new development assessment stream for ‘build-to-rent housing’.  Mills Oakley outlined the new scheme in an article here.
  • 1 July 2021: The Sydney Local Environmental Plan 2012 (Amendment No 52) took effect, setting aside all of the Affordable Housing SEPP in ‘Central Sydney’, including the build-to-rent planning pathway.
  • 30 July 2021: The Sydney Local Environmental Plan 2012 (Amendment No 72) takes effect, reinstating the ‘build-to-rent’ planning pathway (but otherwise retaining the exclusion of the Affordable Housing SEPP from ‘Central Sydney’).

Developers of rental housing will welcome the government’s willingness to carry out a second about-face.  Some developers may be disappointed that other measures designed to boost rental affordability will remain unavailable in ‘Central Sydney’.  For example, bonus floor space ratio for ‘in-fill affordable housing’ (and boarding houses) was available in ‘Central Sydney’ until 1 July 2021, and (it seems) will not be coming back.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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