Getting Your Granny Flat Approved
The approval process for your new Great Value Granny Flat has a few different steps. Please keep in mind that the following guide assumes that you wish to approve your granny flat under Complying Development (CDC) which essentially means the flat will be approved through the State the State Environmental Planning Policy or Affordable Rental Housing 2009 (AHSEPP).
Similarly to building a standard home, the Building Code of Australia (BCA) also applies to the building of granny flats regardless of whether it has been approved under the CDC. This essentially means that the flat needs to be built to code and shortcuts are not a viable option.
To understand the approval process, it’s important to understand the basics, for example, what qualifies as a dwelling as a granny flat?
What is a granny flat?
A secondary dwelling or granny flat is self-contained accommodation within, separate or attached to an individual residence.
Does it have to be in the backyard?
A granny flat can be within, separate or attached to the main dwelling.
How do I get approval for my granny flat?
A “private certifying authority” (PCA) or what is often referred to as a “private certifier” are able to assess and approve your new granny flat application.
Is it easy to get approval?
It’s possible to get your granny flat approved within 20 days.
What if my neighbours aren’t happy?
If your neighbours aren’t happy with your granny flat and complain about it, there’s little they can do unless they can identify a reason that it should not have been approved through the AHSEPP.
The certifying authority you choose will notify your neighbours of an application 14 days prior to its approval, and after the Complying Development Certificate is issued, you will also need to notify the neighbours 7 days before commencing work on your flat.
Do I need to go through my local council?
No, a local development application won’t be necessary as long as the granny flat application meets all the AHSEPP requirements.
4 key requirements
To be allowed to build a granny flat it must be:
- Established in conjunction with another dwelling (the principal residence)
This essentially means that you cannot build your granny flat on a vacant block of land.
- On the same block of land as the principal residence
This means that you can not build a granny flat on a block of apartments.
- One secondary dwelling and one principal dwelling
Subdivision is not an option.
- Granny flats can be built in these development zones that will be within your respective local council’s LEP:
Zone R1 General Residential
Zone R2 Low-Density Residential
Zone R3 Medium Density Residential
Zone R4 High-Density Residential
Zone R5 Large Lot Residential (this is via development application only)
Equivalent zones for the local council zone. A guide to these equivalent zones can be found here: http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/equivalentzones
Please note: These requirements DO NOT automatically guarantee the approval of a Granny Flat on your property.
Overview of the Rules
The following covers the minimum requirements outlined in the AHSEPP.
*Please Note: this is a general guide and we advise you, for your granny flat build, to review each provision contained in the AHSEPP.
How large can a granny flat be?
60 square metres is the maximum allowable floor area for a granny flat.
Does the 60sqm include patios etc.?
The 60sqm DOES NOT include any patios, garages and verandas that can be approved and also built in conjunction with your new granny flat. For example, if your planned covered patio area is 10 square metres that your total build area could be 70 square metres.
How big does my block of land have to be?
The site for the granny flat to be built upon needs to be at least 450 square metres in size.
What type of granny flat will I be able to build?
Typically granny flats are built as either: a conversion, attached or detached options.
Requirements of your Block
|Granny Flat Size||60sqm (or less)*|
*note: This is the floor area as measured from the external wall. Thus a thick brick veneer granny flat will result in less liveable space compared to a cladded building because of the wall thickness.
Some Additional Standards:
- granny flats not permitted on environmentally sensitive land
- heritage restrictions can apply
- once the granny flat development has been completed, only one principal and the one newly completed secondary dwelling can exist.
- once the granny flat has been constructed, the lot can’t now be subdivided
- granny flats builds are not permitted on strata subdivided land lots or on community title schemes.
- there cannot be any external alterations to the main dwelling other than just an additional entrance.
|BLOCK (SQM)||FRONTAGE||SITE COVER||FLOOR AREA||HEIGHT||FRONT SETBACK||SIDE SETBACK||REAR SETBACK||LANDSCAPE AREA|
*note: front setbacks still need to be the average setback of the closest two properties fronting the same principal rd or the above minimum whichever the greater.
Building height (also referred to as the ‘height of building’) means the vertical distance between the existing ground level and the highest point of the new building, this includes lift as well as plant overruns. However the following are excluded: flagpoles, antennas, satellite dishes, chimneys, masts and the like.
- The maximum height achievable and compliant for a granny flat is 8.5 metres measured from the ground below that point.
- Although IF the height of the secondary dwelling or granny flat, exceeds 3.8 metres then this setback will increase relative to the height of the building as well as the lot size.