Dual occupancy dwellings: Can I build one on my land?

Dual occupancy dwellings, also known as a duplexes, can maximise the value of land for property owners and developers. Dual occupancies are defined in the Standard Instrument Principal Local Environmental Plan as two dwellings on one title, either attached or detached. This means that on a single property, there are two separate dwellings that are either connected, or completely detached.

In recent decades, dual occupancies have become a popular option in New South Wales due to increasing property prices and a state-wide housing shortage. Furthermore, as a landowner or developer, dual occupancies can offer better rental returns or increase the sale value of a property. In some cases, building a dual occupancy can result in further subdivision potential.

Lot Requirements for Dual Occupancies Under the Exempt and Complying Development SEPP

Every council will have varying requirements for land that determines whether it is suitable for a dual occupancy dwelling. However, the State and Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 details certain lot requirements for a dual occupancies that apply to all land in NSW. The development standards include:

  • Zoning: The zoning must allow for the development of dual occupancies
  • Minimum Lot Size: The minimum lot size for dual occupancy development must be the minimum lot area specified for dual occupancies in local environmental plan (LEP) that applies to the land concerned. If no minimum lot size is specified in the local LEP, then the minimum lot size is 400sqm.
  • Minimum Lot Width: The minimum width of a lot at the building line but be at least 15 metres, or 12 metres where the property is accessible from a secondary road or lane.

If you believe that your site may have the potential for dual occupancy development, contact us to get a site report detailing the planning considerations for your property.

Subdivision of Dual Occupancies

Once a dual occupancy has been built and is permanently established, there may be an opportunity for a subdivision below the stated minimum lot size for the zoning. If you would like to find out if you can subdivide your existing dual occupancy, get in contact with the expert planners at Precise Planning!


Contact the Author

Get Access to Original Research,
Data, & Planning Advice