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Sydney council proposes changes to own BTR planning rules

By Grace Ormsby
23 April 2024 | 9 minute read
clover moore lord mayor sydney reb gh3fxy

The City of Sydney is aiming to encourage developers to create more build-to-rent (BTR) properties across the council area, with updates to planning rules.

Amendments to the Sydney Local Environmental Plan 2012 are now on show to the public, with the City of Sydney council seeking feedback on the plans, which aim to assist in tackling the housing crisis.

Under the proposal, the council said developers would be given 20 per cent to 75 per cent more floor space for build-to-rent development in conversions and new builds, depending on site location. It’s set to apply to any applications made within a five-year time frame from the changes being enacted.

Lord mayor Clover Moore AO acknowledged Sydney as “constantly changing and growing”.

“Our planning system must respond to these changing needs and effectively deliver the space needed for jobs and housing,” she stated.

“We’ve seen build-to-rent work well overseas to help address the housing crisis, with these types of developments providing stable and secure accommodation for renters.

She explained that as well as increasing rental stock in central Sydney, “this type of accommodation has high occupancy rates”, noting it as “great for inner-city vibrancy”.

She also acknowledged that it avoids situations where international investors leave newly built flats empty, commenting that “build-to-rent housing does not sit idle with lights out, as some high-end investor apartments do, and these developments will help revitalise and boost the local economy”.

Alongside the extra access to floor space, the council proposals would also enable developers to access 20 per cent more floor space for co-living accommodation, such as student and low-income worker accommodation close to major tertiary institutions, which would also encourage these developments.

“Students are one of the groups hit hardest by the rental crisis in Sydney, with the lack of appropriate accommodation and affordability both major issues,” Moore said.

“By offering these floor space incentives, we hope landowners and developers will create more co-living accommodation in areas like Haymarket, which has proved popular with students.”

Draft changes will be on public exhibition until 14 May 2024.


Grace Ormsby

Grace Ormsby

Grace is a journalist across Momentum property and investment brands. Grace joined Momentum Media in 2018, bringing with her a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) from the University of Newcastle. She’s passionate about delivering easy to digest information and content relevant to her key audiences and stakeholders.

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