Whether you are planning to buy, sell, or build in NSW, land zoning is an important part of the process. Understanding the area surrounding your home or desired home will give you insight into your future. Are you a young couple planning a family? You may want to live close to a school or park. Are you planning to retire? Finding a quiet area that has a hospital within a reasonable distance may be on the agenda. Knowing what your property, and the property surrounding you, is zoned for will give you the assurance that you are getting what you want.

How Zoning Principles are Determined

In simple terms, zoning is designed with future predictions in mind. Those predictions apply to population growth and management, socioeconomics, and the environment. In broader terms, zoning is intended to pre-empt challenges that could arise from allowing certain types of development in a particular zone.

Large bodies of research have been carried out to manage predicted population growth and how it relates to the wider issue of sustainability. Sometimes that means areas need to be set aside for natural land protection. Other times it means land needs to be set aside for a shopping centre or a school, even industrial growth.

NSW Residential Zoning

When looking for a home or to build a house in NSW, it helps to understand the different residential zones. The Standard Instrument LEP (Local Environmental Plan) was established in 2006 to create a format for local zone planning. All councils in NSW use this plan and they work closely with the state government to ensure local development is done appropriately. The five main zones are:
  • R1 General Residential
  • R2 Low Density Residential
  • R3 Medium Density Residential
  • R4 High Density Residential
  • R5 Large Lot Residential
Each one of these zones reflects a style of living. Want seclusion? You may want to look for an R5 zone. Do you desire the hustle and bustle of a busy neighbourhood? You may consider one of the other zones depending upon how large a property you feel you may need.
Some things may not be apparent when you are looking for a home or a place to build. For instance, the beautiful spacious area behind your dreamy lot may be slated to become a shopping centre in the upcoming years. Or that small house that you hope to add a level to is in an area where one cannot add another storey. This is where finding a knowledgeable source to help you is important.

The Ever-Changing Zoning Code

The NSW Planning Scheme is a large, on-going project that is designed to address the issues that lead to the need for zoning. Whenever you are searching for information related to zoning codes and regulations, it is necessary only to trust the most up-to-date guidance.

You may want to find out where future schools are going to be built—yes, they are planned well in advance. You may need to know if medical assistance is minutes away—and if it is, is it going to stay that way. Or maybe you just want to have some assurance that nothing is going to change in that area for quite some time.

In order to accomplish that, one may have to read through pages of complicated data, which may or may not be outdated or incomplete. That can be confusing and extremely time-consuming, adding to the frustration of the home buying or building process.
When you are either building a new home, or buying an existing one, contact the Houspect team at our Sydney offices for advice and services.