Canberra Land Owners Able to Split Blocks into Dual-Occupancy Housing

The ACT government has announced changes to the Territory Plan that will allow landowners in Canberra to split their residential blocks into dual-occupancy housing. Under the new rules, owners of blocks that are 800 square metres or larger will have the option to build a second dwelling on their property.

The second dwelling will be limited to 120 square metres in size and must adhere to existing rules regarding the percentage of the block covered by buildings, as well as landscaping and tree planting. This is an increase on previous rules, which only allowed for a second dwelling of 90 square metres and did not allow for subdivision.

The government hopes that these changes will lead to an increase in the number of homes in existing suburbs and a decrease in housing prices. However, some community groups are skeptical about the impact this will have on housing supply and prices in the area.

One benefit of the new rules is that they will allow older Canberrans to “age in place.” Julie Hamilton, a resident of Torrens in Canberra, has recently moved into a specially designed granny flat in her backyard, allowing her children to live in the main house. Hamilton believes that the new planning laws could provide more opportunities for independence in the future.

While there are concerns that poor site layout and the need to knock down existing structures may limit the number of people who can take advantage of the new rules, many believe that the changes are a step in the right direction. However, there are also considerations to be made about the impact on existing trees and the preservation of the city’s natural canopy.

Overall, the new rules allowing for dual-occupancy housing in Canberra have the potential to increase housing options and promote multi-generational living. However, it remains to be seen how many landowners will choose to take advantage of the changes and whether they will have a significant impact on housing supply and prices.