Looking to build a Duplex? The Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code Explained

In 2018, the NSW Government introduced the Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code to allow duplexes, triplexes and terraces to be approved through a Complying Development Certificate (CDC). This now means that a fast-tracked planning and construction approval can be obtained for this type of development through a private building certifier, avoiding the need to go through council.

To be eligible for CDC approval, duplexes and terraces would need to be currently permissible under the local council’s Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and the proposal must also comply with the relevant controls outlined in the State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP2008).

The proposed design also needs to be signed off by a NSW Registered Architect, or a building designer accredited by the Building Designers Association of Australia.

At the time of writing, 45 councils mostly in Sydney and along the South Coast have deferred the implementation of this code until July 2020. Councils with which the code is currently operating in include Fairfield City Council, Blacktown City Council, Lane Cove Council, North Sydney Council and Waverly Council.

More information regarding the Low Rise Medium Density Code can be found in the link below:


One of the main benefits of the code is that it allows this type of development to potentially achieve higher density / floor space than what would have been allowed if it were approved through a Development Application (DA). For example, in certain sites in the Fairfield City Council jurisdiction, the maximum floor space for a duplex on a 600m2 site would be 270m2 if approved under the council’s LEP rules. However, by proceeding through the CDC pathway, this same site could theoretically achieve up to 450m2 of floor space! Now that Is a substantial difference in size and could dramatically affect the resale value of the development. If you are looking to build a duplex or even multiple dwellings for larger sites, please feel free to contact us. Through our in depth understanding of local council codes as well as this newly implemented Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code, we can help you maximise the development potential of your site.