How does this affect Heritage Conservation Areas?

    The changes apply generally and do not affect the existing heritage controls within the LEP or DCP.

    What are the changes specifically?

    The changes to the planning proposal include:

    • reducing minimum lot sizes for medium density residential areas where supported by sound design principles
    • sensitively increasing building heights on medium density residential zoned land close to business zones (increasing by one to three metres generally with some exceptions e.g. four meters in parts of Windale and six meters in a select part of Charlestown, considering previous location specific studies along with the existing and future intended character of the area) 
    • moderate increase in building height in business zones where increases to building heights are proposed in adjoining medium density residential areas, to ensure the building heights are consistent between the two zones
    • discreet new areas of medium density residential land reflecting the outcomes of study recommendations or the character of the area
    • allowing the additional use of dual occupancy development on sites zoned for medium density development that are constrained by drainage, slope, or location
    • new definitions for a manor house (a type of residential flat building) and a terrace house (a type of multi-dwelling housing) in the LMDCP 2014 for clarity
    • development control plan amendments to support infill development in strategic locations, with guidance on exceptions to the minimum lot size 
    • changes to the minimum area required per dwelling for the various housing types, while ensuring the built form outcomes meet the intent of housing diversity and respect to the neighbourhood (i.e. retaining current landscape and other amenity requirements).

    What is the purpose of the changes?

    Lake Macquarie has a large population and extensive areas of land zoned for medium density housing. While new detached dwelling approvals in Lake Macquarie are strong, new multi-unit dwelling approvals in Lake Macquarie are not as high as expected or intended given the extensive areas zoned for this purpose and our land use policy objectives.

    The intent of the changes is to unlock and facilitate further opportunities for infill housing in residential zones close to economic centres. The focus is on amending controls that unintentionally limit infill housing on land zoned for medium density residential purposes, and situated close to business zones. This will assist in increasing the supply and diversity of housing close to centres to include some smaller dwelling types. 

    What locations do the amendments apply to?

    The changes to the LMLEP 2014 apply to medium density residential zoned land and business zoned land in the following suburbs: Argenton, Belmont, Belmont North, Blackalls Park, Bonnells Bay, Boolaroo, Cardiff, Caves Beach, Charlestown, Dudley, Edgeworth, Fennell Bay, Gateshead, Glendale, Holmesville, Jewells, Kahibah, Mount Hutton, Rathmines, Redhead, Speers Point, Toronto, Valentine, Wangi Wangi, Warners Bay, West Wallsend, Whitebridge and Windale. 

    Please refer to the map on our website for a summary of amendments that apply to each suburb.

    What is Council’s responsibility in relation to housing in the Local Government Area?

    Council’s responsibility for housing is primarily associated with providing strategic direction and planning controls to support the housing needed in the city. Council’s adopted Housing Strategy identifies actions to amend the Lake Macquarie Local Environment Plan (LMLEP) 2014 and Lake Macquarie Development Control Plan (LMDCP) 2014 to address the identified housing needs. 

    Amending the LMLEP 2014 and LMDCP 2014 is consistent with Housing Strategy actions to facilitate infill housing opportunities close to jobs, services and infrastructure. These planning control changes also aim to increase housing diversity and affordability, and promote the economic and practical use of land for housing. The changes seek to find a balance between infill housing that recognises community feedback regarding the character of areas while planning to meet future changing needs.

    What consultation took place in developing the exhibited amendments?

    In April 2020, Council adopted the Lake Macquarie Housing Strategy (Housing Strategy) (20DP014). The Housing Strategy implementation plan includes 40 actions to be completed over the next four years. 

    Action 1.1 in the adopted Housing Strategy is to ‘actively investigate removing barriers for infill land development in the city, particularly in areas identified for growth.’

    Significant research and analysis led to the recommendations in the adopted Housing Strategy. The work examined the housing market, liveability, affordability, design and feasibility. 

    Community and industry consultation, surveys, research, investigations and studies were completed to better understand the city’s housing needs. The outcomes showed the need for a focus on infill housing and a broadening of housing choice in the city.

    Please visit our Housing Strategy consultation page for more information or read the summary snapshot here.

    You can also view population forecasts for Lake Macquarie on the Remplan population, households and dwellings forecasts to 2041 website.

Glossary of terms

    Infill housing

    • Infill housing is the development/redevelopment of sites in areas already used for urban purposes. Specifically, the reuse of a site within the existing urban footprint for new housing.

    R2 / R3 zones

    • Zone R2 areas are Low Density Residential zones. They provide for the housing needs of the community and generally consists of single and two storey dwellings, including lower scale free-standing homes and dual occupancy.
    • Zone R3 areas are Medium Density Residential zones. They provides a variety of housing types, within a medium density residential environment, including multi dwelling housing and residential flat buildings. R3 zones are generally located close to commercial/business centres. 

    Dual occupancy

    • Dual occupancy means two dwellings on one lot of land, that are either attached to each other or detached.