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Important tips when finding a site to do a Duplex as a CDC in the Wollongong LGA

Author: Nathan Battishall

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Are you interested in discovering the benefits of doing a Duplex through the fast track approval CDC process in the Wollongong LGA and also getting some tips on what to look for in a site that is suitable for a Complying Development?

Nathan Battishall, our founder and Director, shares his advice on CDC Duplexes in the Wollongong LGA area.

My name is Nathan Battishall from Duplex Building Design and we are specialists when it comes to development and investment design and duplexes or dual occupancies are one of our most popular services we offer to clients.

If you are confused about the rules on whether you can do a dual occupancy via the fast track CDC, please book in for one of the consultations we have available for you

A Quick Understanding on the CDC Pathway

The Low Rise Diversity Housing Code is a NSW State planning policy also known as a SEPP, this code was introduced only a few years ago and was brought about by the need in NSW to create a fast track approval system. The State Government understood that there had been too many delays within Local Government (councils) when it came to low diversity developments such as dual occupancies, duplexes, terraces or manor homes. With the need to create affordable housing, the delays that are caused through council’s often made smaller projects such as a duplex not viable due to the holding costs. The Low Rise Diversity Housing Code is a guideline and within that guideline there are a set of rules and compliances that need to be followed in order to gain approval. This pathway has now shaved months and months off the approval time and bottle necks for a development such as a duplex.

What are the benefits of doing a Duplex CDC in Wollongong LGA?

  1. Floor Space

Often you can achieve more floor space by doing the CDC pathway in the Wollongong LGA. Lets look at a couple of real life scenarios

Scenario A

600m2 block at Bulli in R2 Zoning

DA pathway

50% Floor Space Ratio (FSR) = 300m2 of FSR

So you get 150m2 of Floor Space per side of the Duplex

CDC pathway

25% of Lot + 300m2 (150m2 + 300m2) = 450m2 of FSR

So you get 225m2 of Floor Space per side of the Duplex

So you get 75m2 per dwelling of additional Floor Area

Scenario B

450m2 block at Kembla Grange in R2 Zoning

DA pathway

50% Floor Space Ratio (FSR) = 225m2 of FSR

So you get 112.5m2 of Floor Space per side of the Duplex

CDC pathway

25% of Lot + 300m2 (112.5m2 + 300m2) = 412.5m2 of FSR

So you get 206.25m2 of Floor Space per side of the Duplex

So you get 93.75m2 per dwelling of additional Floor Area

Because all of our clients who develop duplexes have some kind of investor mind set, you don’t always use all the available FSR because you can over capitalize but as you can see from the two scenarios we are able to achieve a much better floor space through CDC, it’s the difference from doing a very small 3 bed duplex through DA to a nice spacious 4 bedroom duplex as a CDC.

  1. No objections putting a stop to your project

The moment you start proposing a duplex in a street, suburb or area where there are only large suburban houses you can get pushback from neighbors, the fear from neighbors is that their street will be over crowded, over developed, that a dual occupancy will lower the value of their big McMansion, fears around over shadowing, loss of views and privacy. Under a DA pathway your neighbors have a period of time to object your proposal which can cause stressful delays, design changes and sometimes the project not being able to go ahead.

The advantage of the CDC pathway is that you 100% comply with the code and neighbors can not object the development.

  1. Less Strenuous Parking Requirements

Under the Low Rise SEPP CDC pathway we you are only required to have one vehicle parking space per dwelling, under Wollongong Council DCP you are required to have two vehicle spaces for a dwelling over 125m2 of FSR, the tricky part of DA is that council don’t always like a stacked parking arrangement and there can be large delays in proving or showing council how you can fit a second vehicle.

  1. Faster Approval Process

When investing, time is money, holding costs can kill a project, especially with rising interest rates. A DA for a dual occupancy can typically take anywhere from six to twelve months and that’s before even getting a construction certificate. The great thing about a CDC is that its almost like getting a DA and CC combined. Our CDC approvals tend to take roughly 2-4 weeks to gain full approval so you can begin construction saving you between five to element months of delays.

 

TIPS FOR FINDING A DUPLEX CDC SITE IN WOLLONGONG LGA

Zoning

Find a block that is R2 Zoning as dual occupancy is permissible in that zoning

Minimum Lot Size

Make sure the block is a minimum 450m2 of area (this is the minimum lot size for a dual occupancy in Wollongong LGA)

Width at Building Line

Make sure the block has 15m of width at the building line – Remember for CDC 15m width is not the frontage width, it’s the width at the building line when the building is constructed

Average Front Setback

Check the setbacks of the dwelling either side of the block you are looking at because you are required to be the average of your two closest dwellings on the same side of the street within 40 meters. If your block is 30m long but both your neighbors are set back 10m and 11m that means you need a 10.5m setback and could have a very detrimental effect on achieving the yield on the site with such a big setback

Native Trees

Check for any native or protected trees in areas where the driveway cross overs need to go, where the building needs to go, keep in mind the dwellings need to be a minimum of 3 meters from a tree under the SEPP.

Drainage / Stormwater

Make sure the block slopes to the street, if the block slopes to the back fence then you need to check that there is a stormwater easement in place or get an agreement from the neighbor behind to get the stormwater to the lower street

Driveway Cross Overs

Normally for a duplex you have one shared cross over or a cross over for each side of the duplex, be sure to make sure the driveway cross overs comply with Wollongong Council DCP, we always try to apply for a Section 138 Driveway crossover approval early in the design process, its important to check that there are no power poles, sewer inspections or native trees on council land that can hinder a driveway cross over. Sadly its these items that can kill a site being able to be developed

Flooding

Wollongong LGA area is know for its flood affection, make sure you order a Flood Certificate from Council before buying the site, its less than $100.00 and from here you can get information on the flooding over the site. We can still do CDC in many flood affected areas but without the flood certificate we can not make a decision on the permissibility

Acid Sulphate Soil

Some parts of Wollongong LGA are impacted by Acid Sulphate Soils, for CDC if its class 1 and 2 acid sulphate you can not do a CDC, for class 3 and 4 you can do CDC but can not excavate more than 1 meter so that counts basements out and for Class 5 acid sulphate you can do CDC and basements.

 

We hope that this article has given you some valuable insights into finding a site to development a Duplex as a CDC, if you would like to discuss a site in detail make sure you book a feasibility call

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