By Stephen White | 3 Aug 2015

Urbis, in partnership with leading law firm Gadens, hosted a much anticipated seminar on Thursday to discuss the legal and design implications of changes to SEPP65 and release of a new ADG. The event was attended by close to 200 of Sydney’s top developers, property managers, architects and other apartment industry stakeholders.

Last month, the NSW Department of Planning and Environment released the amendment to State Environmental Planning Policy No 65—Design Quality of Residential Flat Development (SEPP 65) and introduced an Apartment Design Guide (ADG) to replace the Residential Flat Design Code (RFDC) and associated policies. These changes formally came into effect on 17 July 2015.

Urbis and Gadens hold seminar to discuss implications of SEPP65 amendments and new Apartment Design Guide

Urbis and Gadens hold seminar to discuss implications of SEPP65 amendments and new Apartment Design Guide

I, along with Gadens Partner Christina Renner, had the privilege to present our expert interpretations of how the new provisions and design guide will impact future developments in NSW.

Specifically, I explained how the ADG now identifies the criteria where DCP provisions have no effect in relation to eight key design elements which include Visual Privacy, Solar and Daylight Access, Natural Ventilation, among many others.

The following potential issues that may arise out of the new provisions were also identified:

  • Impact on future apartment design;
  • The need for more work to be done to demonstrate criteria satisfaction; and
  • Additional time and costs for Design Review Panel meetings and technical advice to support alternative solutions

Click here to view Stephen’s entire presentation

Following the presentations, an engaging Q&A session took place with a panel of experts from Urbis and Gadens. We were also joined by Urbis Planning Director Clare Brown and Gadens Partner Anthony Whealy. The discussion was moderated by Gadens Partner Aaron Gadiel.

The successful and well-attended seminar enabled participants to better understand how the amendments to SEPP65 and ADG will impact their current and future projects. However, it was also clear that navigating through the complex regulations would still require specialised expertise in order to achieve a successful outcome.

For further information or specific enquiries about how the changes to SEPP 65 and the new Apartment Design Guide can affect your developments, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.