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Wollongong City Council

Granny Flats

Granny flats are officially called ‘secondary dwellings’. They are an affordable way to create more housing.

Secondary dwellings are generally:

  • Self-contained, with a habitable room, kitchen area, bath or shower and toilet, and clothes washing facilities
  • On the same property as a single existing home, which has at least 450 square metres of land
  • Within or attached to the existing home, or freestanding
  • No more than 60 square metres in floor area.

You can only have one secondary dwelling on a property.

Secondary dwellings cannot be subdivided from the main house and sold separately.

Getting approval

Requests for approval to build a secondary dwelling are usually considered under the Affordable Housing State Environmental Planning Policy (AHSEPP).

There are two paths to getting approval:

Complying Development

You can get fast approval –  often in just a couple of weeks  – if your planned project meets the rules in the AHSEPP. This is called complying development. Information about building a secondary dwelling as complying development can be found on the NSW Planning Portal.

You can get a complying development approved by an accredited certifying authority. Council is an accredited certifying authority.

You can apply for a complying development certificate from Council using the form below:

Application for a Complying Development Certificate PDF, 246.12 KB

Development Application

If your secondary dwelling doesn’t fit the complying development rules, you will need to get approval through a Development Application.

Make sure you read the planning rules that apply to your land before you start this process.

Council can also help you by providing development advice.