Granny flats, also known as secondary dwellings, are becoming increasingly popular in Lake Macquarie. These versatile additions to properties offer numerous benefits, from providing additional living space for family members to generating rental income. The Lake Macquarie Council has released a comprehensive fact sheet detailing the guidelines and regulations for constructing granny flats in the area. This article will summarise the key points of the fact sheet, ensuring you have all the necessary information to consider adding a granny flat to your property. For detailed information, you can download the full fact sheet here: lake-mac-council-secondary-dwellings-fact-sheet.

What is a Granny Flat?

A granny flat is a self-contained accommodation unit within, attached to, or separate from the main dwelling on the same lot. According to the Lake Macquarie Council, a secondary dwelling must:

  • Be established in conjunction with a principal dwelling.
  • Be on the same lot of land as the principal dwelling (excluding strata plans or community title schemes).
  • Have a maximum floor area of 60 square meters or 25% of the principal dwelling, whichever is greater.

Granny flats are permissible with consent in the following zones under the Lake Macquarie Local Environmental Plan 2014 (LEP 2014):

  • R1 General Residential
  • R2 Low-Density Residential
  • R3 Medium-Density Residential

Key Regulations for Lake Macquarie Granny Flats

Eligibility and Zoning

  1. Property Size: To build a granny flat in Lake Macquarie, your property must be at least 450 square meters.
  2. Zoning: Granny flats are permitted in most residential zones, including R1 General Residential, R2 Low-Density Residential, and R3 Medium-Density Residential areas.

Design and Construction

  1. Size Limitations: The maximum floor area for a granny flat is 60 square meters. This limit ensures the secondary dwelling remains subordinate to the primary residence.
  2. Height Restrictions: The height of a granny flat must not exceed 4.5 meters. This helps maintain the aesthetic appeal and privacy of the neighbourhood.
  3. Setbacks: There are specific setback requirements from the property boundaries to ensure adequate space between structures and to maintain privacy. The standard setback is 3 meters from the rear boundary and 0.9 meters from the side boundaries.

Utilities and Services

  1. Independent Living: A granny flat must be self-contained, with its own kitchen, bathroom, and laundry facilities.
  2. Utility Connections: It should be connected to the same water, electricity, and sewer systems as the main dwelling.

Application Process

To build a granny flat in Lake Macquarie, you must either apply for a Development Application (DA) or use the complying development pathway, which is often faster. The complying development pathway is suitable if your project meets all the predefined standards set by the council.

Development Application (DA)

  1. Submission: Submit detailed plans and documents outlining your proposed granny flat to the Lake Macquarie Council.
  2. Assessment: The council will assess your application against local planning controls and regulations.
  3. Approval: Once approved, you can proceed with the construction, adhering to the conditions set by the council.

Complying Development

  1. Certification: Obtain a Complying Development Certificate (CDC) from a registered certifier.
  2. Fast-Track Approval: If your proposal meets all the necessary criteria, you can receive approval more quickly than through the traditional DA process.

Considerations for Bushfire and Flood Prone Lands

  • Bushfire Prone Areas: If your land is identified as bushfire prone, the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) may need to be consulted. The RFS may not support developments on land with high bushfire attack levels due to the increased risk.
  • Flood Prone Areas: The floor height of the granny flat must meet the specific planning level for flood-prone properties.

Developer Contributions – Section 94 Contributions

Council may levy contributions for various types of development, including granny flats. It is important to contact the Development Contribution team to determine if a Section 94 levy applies to your proposal. More information is available on the Council’s website or by contacting them directly.

Building Certification

The Council offers flexible and personalised building certification services. For more information about these services, contact Lake Mac Planning and Building Services.

Need Help?

Granny flats are an excellent addition to properties in Lake Macquarie, offering flexibility, additional income, and enhanced property value. By adhering to the guidelines set by the Lake Macquarie Council, homeowners can ensure their granny flat projects are successful and compliant with local regulations.

For over two decades, Acrow has been the trusted name in crafting exceptional granny flats in Lake Macquarie. As a family-run business, we take pride in our extensive experience and dedication to delivering high-quality living spaces tailored to your needs.

Acrow offer a diverse range of stylish granny flat designs and floor plans to suit every taste and requirement. From custom designs tailored to your specific needs to inclusive packages that exceed expectations, we’re committed to bringing your vision to life. Plus, with our price beat guarantee and unwavering support for property investors throughout the Lake Macquarie region, you can trust us to deliver results that exceed your expectations.

Whether you’re an investor seeking to maximise returns, a parent looking to accommodate a growing family, or a retiree planning for the future, Acrow Granny Flats is here to make your Lake Macquarie granny flat project a reality.

Download the granny flat design collection