Building Lifestyle Through Investments

What are the NSW granny flat requirements?

by | Jun 25, 2019

No council approval needed to build a granny flat on your property!

A granny flat is a self-contained small home of 60m² built in the backyard of an already existing house.

In 2009, the NSW Government released the Affordable Housing State Environment Planning Policy (SEPP) which allows all residential home owners (and property investors) with a property larger than 450m2  (that also has a minimum 12m street frontage) to build a granny flat on their property.

This is exceptional news for savvy investors, homeowners and retirees and actually means that you are able to have a 2 bedroom granny flat built in your backyard, with no council approval (and no unjustified neighbour objections) approved in just 10 days.

Minimum Site Requirements for a granny flat:

  • Property must be a minimum of 450m2 in area (different rules apply for larger block sizes, see below)
  • Property must have residential zoning.
  • Property must have a minimum 12 metre width at the building line of the existing dwelling. If your property does not meet this requirement you are able to apply for an attached granny flat.
  • Maintain a 3m setback from the rear, 0.9m setback from the side boundaries.
  • Maintain a distance of 3m from any existing trees over 4m in height.
  • Maximum 60m2 external area for the granny flat.

These site requirement rules for granny flats are still current in NSW as of today.

The diagram below shows the council requirements for a block size that is between 450m2 & 900m2 in size. According to council regulations, the rules change for properties that are larger than 900m2Download our NSW granny flat fact sheet.


For larger blocks, refer to the table below which shows NSW council requirements for lot sizes that are between 900m& 1,500m2  and more than 1,500m

Granny flat setback requirements for any block size:

Lot size (sqm) Minimum frontage (lineal meters) Min side setback height <=3.8M Min rear setback height <=3.8M
450-900 12m 0.9m 3m
900-1,500 15m 1.5m 5m
1,500+ 18m 2.5m 10m

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