Dwelling eligibility sunset clause
If you own a property in a rural or large lot residential zone, changes that came into force on 23 December 2021 may have resulted in your dwelling entitlement being lost. The sunset clause applies to lots below the minimum lot size in Large Lot Residential (R5), Environmental Management (E3), and Rural (RU1, RU2, RU3) Zones.
The council included this sunset clause to balance landowners’ rights to apply for a house on their land with the need to limit inappropriate development in our rural and environmental areas, prevent dispersed rural settlement and reduce land use conflict in rural zones.
Landowners in these zones can still apply for a dwelling by making a development application, which may be supported only if there are compelling planning reasons.
Changes to land dwelling eligibility
Published on 06 July 2021
If you own a property in one of the following zones you need to be aware that changes came into force on 23 December 2021 that may have seen your dwelling entitlement being lost.
This information applies to Large Lot Residential (R5), Environmental Management (E3), and Rural (RU1, RU2, RU3) Zones. This information does not apply to any other Residential zoned land.
• From 24 December 2021, the ability to construct a dwelling on a vacant land parcel that has an area less than the minimum lot size specified by the Clarence Valley Local Environmental Plan 2011 (CVLEP) has been lost, unless you submitted a Development Application (DA) for a house with us before 23 December 2021 or you have an existing approval for a house that hasn’t lapsed.
• If your vacant land parcel is above the minimum lot size specified by the CVLEP, it still retains its dwelling eligibility (note: approval of a house is still subject to consideration of a DA).
• How do I determine if I have a dwelling eligibility?
• You can check your land zoning and minimum lot size specified by the CVLEP by viewing our online mapping here. If your land area is below the specified minimum lot size and you do not have a current approval or made a DA for a house, you no longer have a dwelling eligibility.
• If you are unsure, you can confirm your parcels dwelling eligibility status by contacting our Duty Planner on phone 02 6643 0200 or visit our Grafton or Maclean Customer Centres between 8.30-11am weekdays.
• Note – rare exemptions apply to lots created under clause 4.1A(4) of the CVLEP (being former split zoned lots).
• What if my house was destroyed by bushfire or other natural disasters?
• Owners of land on which a lawful dwelling or secondary dwelling has been destroyed by bushfire or other natural disasters are still able to lodge a DA to rebuild within a 5-year period after the disaster event occurred, even if your land is below the minimum lot size.
Can I create a dwelling eligibility or build a house if I don’t have a dwelling eligibility?
• It is difficult to obtain approval for a house on a land parcel that does not have a dwelling eligibility, but there are possibilities.
• A dwelling eligibility can be created by consolidating neighbouring land parcels to create a larger land parcel that meets the minimum lot size in the CVLEP.
• If you cannot create a larger parcel, you can apply for a dwelling house on an undersized lot by seeking a variation to the planning standards (called a clause 4.6 variation). You will need to demonstrate why the minimum lot size provisions are either unreasonable or unnecessary in the circumstances. There is no guarantee that the variation will be supported. Please also note, any variation of the lot size by more than 10% will need to be assessed by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, and incur additional application fees.
• Please be aware that if you are creating a dwelling entitlement, you may be required to pay developer contributions (i.e. contributions towards community facilities, recreation facilities, roads, etc).
• You can discuss these options with our Duty Planner (contact details above) or seek your own independent planning advice.
• What is the background to these changes?
• Uniform planning controls and dwelling eligibilities across the Clarence Valley were introduced with a new Local Environment Plan (CVLEP) in December 2011 that replaced LEPs that applied to the former Council areas of Copmanhurst, Grafton, Maclean, Pristine Waters (formerly Ulmarra and Nymboida Shires) and part of Richmond River Shire.
• The former LEPs each defined what constituted a dwelling eligibility differently, and as such the CVLEP granted a 10 year grace period to allow landowners to seek approval for a house under the provisions of the former LEPs. The 10 year period has now lapsed, so only the provisions under the CVLEP apply.
• The CVLEP provisions for dwelling houses seek to limit inappropriate development in our rural and environmental areas, prevent dispersed rural settlement and reduce land use conflict in rural zones.
• How do I prepare and submit a DA for a house?
• Find information on how to prepare documentation and submit a DA here.
• Contact our Customer Services team on phone 02 6643 0200 if you need to know more.