New planning code for the missing middle

Apr 18
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The NSW government this week released a new draft code for low-rise medium-density housing in an effort to curb Sydney’s crippling housing affordability problems. The code will allow for one and two-storey dual occupancies, while also introducing manor housing and terrace dwellings as new terms meeting the definition of “medium density”. The new system will apply to areas where medium density development is already permitted by the local council.

The code has been launched alongside a medium-density design guide. The guide elevates the role of good design and along with the code, presents real developments supporting missing middle housing types as a solution to density and diversity issues across our major cities.

It will be interesting to follow this change and understand how the code and design guide influence better design and planning moving forward. Hassell Fellow Professor Ken Maher is a strong advocate for the role of design and has stated in the recent past that as a key player in the development of the built environment, the architecture profession has the skills to deliver housing that addresses crucial issues, such as affordable living, sustainable design and flexible housing. Innovative and intelligent design solutions are emerging consistently, the most well publicised being the Nightingale housing project in Brunswick.

However communities still often expect the worst, in terms of design quality of medium density housing. It is so important for the industry to get the missing middle right and move forward with momentum.

It is clearly a dynamic space.

The Housing Density & Diversity forum in June in Melbourne will showcase a range of key players and voices in this field including:

  • Professor Ken Maher, Honorary Professor UNSW, President ASBEC: HASSELL Fellow
  • Peter Poulet, NSW Government ArchitectAdjunct Professor David Chandler OAM FAIB
  • Deena Ridenour, Specialist Urban Designer: City of Parramatta
  • Jeremy McLeod, Director: Breathe Architecture

Don’t miss a great opportunity to hear the latest developments within the dynamic space of missing middle housing in Australia.

Submitted by Josephine O’Brien

Josephine O'Brien

Josephine is a conference producer with Criterion.

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