Building A New Home

If you are planning on building a new home, there are some important things to consider.

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Stop, Look, Listen!

It's important to carefully analyse your block of land before choosing a design for your home.

Which Way's North?

Understanding where north is on your block will help you pick the best design for your site

Design your living areas to face north. This will help to make your home warmer and a more pleasant place in the cool winter months, when the sun is lower in the northern sky.

Placing your garage on the western side of the house, and reducing the number of west-facing windows, can help to keep your home cooler in summer.

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What Shape Is My Block?

Choose the right house design for the shape of your block.

If your block is short and wide when viewed from the street, rather than long and narrow, or is an unusual shape, you may need a custom home design. Standard home designs are often not suited to unusual shaped blocks of land.

Other Things To Consider

Consider the slope of the land.

Views, including potential view loss for nearby properties.

Whether your proposal will unreasonably overshadow or overlook your neighbours.

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Check The Planning Rules For The Site

There are many rules that apply to house design. This is to make sure that housing is enjoyable to live in, looks good and doesn't cause too much of a nuisance to neighbours.

Sutherland Shire Local Environmental Plan 2015 includes the major rules for your site, including zoning, floor space, landscaped area and building height.

Sutherland Shire Development Control Plan 2015 includes more detailed controls, including for distances from boundaries, privacy and overshadowing.

Common Problems with Home Design

Council is finding that many development applications for single dwellings do not comply with some of the key planning controls in Sutherland Shire Development Control Plan 2015.To reduce the risk of delays in assessment and costly redesigns, please ensure that:

  • Two or three storey development extends to a maximum of 60 percent of the depth of the site.
  • Articulation elements (such as blade walls) extend no closer than 6 metres to the front boundary.
  • At least 50 percent of the area between the front boundary and the front of the building is made up of soft landscaping.
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What About Garages?

Car parking required by Council is exempt from the gross floor area calculation. Council requires 2 car spaces per dwelling, with sizes governed by Australian Standard AS 2890.1. This equates to an area of 16.5m2 for single garages or 31.35m2 for double garages. Any additional garage space will be counted as gross floor area, except for basement storage.

Containment of Fill

Council requires fill to be contained within the perimeter of the building. This can usually be achieved by the use of a dropped edge beam. The only exception to this requirement is where retaining wall designs are included with the development application.

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More information


Development Application - New Dwellings and Major Alterations Complying Development Certificate



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