The NSW Government Is Considering A Plan To Build Apartments Without Parking

Sydney – who needs a car to get around here anyway? Photo: Getty

NSW Planning Minister Pru Goward has floated the idea of letting developers build apartments without car parking under new planning guidelines released today.

The change would only apply to 22 specific councils in the Sydney area, and the buildings would need to be within 400 metres of public transport, such as a train station or light rail stop.

The minister says she would “strongly discourage” councils from allowing residents of such apartments to receive street parking permits.

“A car space can add up to $50,000 to the cost of a new apartment, so providing more flexibility around car parking requirements could lead to savings of up to the same amount for homebuyers,” the minister said.

How much of that saving would be passed on to home buyers is another matter.

The councils included in the no parking needed rule are: Ashfield, Auburn, Bankstown, Botany Bay, Burwood, Canada Bay, Canterbury, City of Sydney, Hurstville, Kogarah, Lane Cove, Marrickville, Leichhardt, North Sydney, Parramatta (City Centre), Randwick, Rockdale, Ryde, Strathfield, Waverley, Willoughby and Woollahra.

Goward argues that there’s a major shift the demographics and housing choices of Sydney residents.

“Research has shown only 41 per cent of Sydneysiders would choose to live in a detached house, but this type of housing currently makes up 62 per cent of Sydney housing stock,” she said.

“The population of NSW is changing – single-person households are the fastest-growing dwelling type and by 2031 one in five people living in NSW will be aged 65 and over.”

Other proposed changes to the apartment design guidelines and development policy include:

  • Every new apartment to have balcony and access to well designed and functional shared open space
  • Minimum standards for communal open space, light, air and privacy
  • Increased protection from noise in surrounding areas
  • Greater, site specific flexibility around design
  • Independent design experts to provide advice to councils
  • Extension of the policy to include mixed used and shop-top housing
  • A minimum size of 35m2 for studio apartments
  • New sections dealing with the adaptive re-use of buildings to apartments

The NSW Government today called for community input into the proposed changes. Public comment is open until 27 October 2014 and the changes can be seen online at Planning NSW.