Apartment Design Review process (Design and Place SEPP) subject to economic review after housing affordability flagged as critical concern


The Property Council of Australia has welcomed the response from the NSW Government on the recent Design and Place SEPP Explanation of Intended Effect (EIE) report released and the recognition of the opportunity and challenges that exist within this policy.  

The Design and Place SEPP seeks to establish principles for the design and assessment of places in urban and regional NSW, as well as repeal and replace two key pieces of legislation governing the design and sustainability of housing development in NSW.

Property Council of Australia NSW Acting Director, Lauren Conceicao said although she supported the aims of the report, there were concerns over its changes and their impact.

“We strongly support the objectives of the Design and Place SEPP to ensure sustainable, well-designed buildings, cities, towns and streets,” Ms Conceicao said. 

“Balancing productivity and feasibility in requirements for design and sustainability considerations, particularly in relation to the Apartment Design Guide and housing affordability is critical for the success of the policy. 

“It is important to get this balance right and we will continue to work with Government to address  issues to ensure strong investment to increase much needed housing supply. 

“I welcome the investment by the Minister and the Government Architect in this process and their commitment to ensuring flexible application of the revised Apartment Design Guide will allow for innovative and sustainable apartment design.

“However, this must be tempered against the potential for this to add costs to development, escalating the housing affordability crisis which is impacting upon the quality of life of many Australians.

“It is pleasing that the Minister acknowledges the implementation of this important work has the potential to significantly impact on housing affordability and feasibility of residential development of projects and invested in getting this right,” she said. 

“The Property Council notes that the NSW Government is undertaking economic modelling on the proposed SEPP to determine the impacts to commercial feasibility of the proposals and is supportive of this approach.

 ‘We are pleased to see the NSW Government is considering incentivising opportunities for better design through accelerated approval processes. We commend the premise of this work and will continue to work closely with the government on the detail that will allow the vision come to life.”

Media contact: Aidan Green | M 0491 030 028 | E [email protected]