Planning Changes

Territory Plan Variation 343 allows dual occupancy and unit titling rights for some 'Mr Fluffy' affected blocks surrendered as part of the ACT Government Buyback Program. These rights will be available to returning homeowners or new purchasers of the eligible remediated blocks.

As foreshadowed when the Loose Fill Asbestos Insulation Eradication Scheme was announced on 28 October 2014, the ACT Government is providing the opportunity for dual occupancy and unit titling on larger blocks in Residential Zone 1 (RZ1 suburban) in order to maximise the returns on sale of remediated blocks to assist in defraying the overall costs of the Scheme for the Canberra community.

The modest changes, which expand on existing development rights in RZ1, will also increase housing options in RZ1 areas whilst maintaining residential amenity and character.

Once affected houses are surrendered, demolished and contaminated soil removed, blocks will be resold at market value. Even after the sale of block, the cost of the Scheme to the ACT community is an estimated $400 million.

Key Changes

  • Building two houses on the same block of land is known as dual occupancy. This was already permitted on RZ1 blocks 800m2 or larger. The change to the Territory Plan reduces this minimum size to 700m2 for residential blocks surrendered under the Buyback Program.
  • The change also allows unit titling on these blocks. In most cases where two houses are built on a single block in an RZ1 area they are not unit titled and consequently they must be sold as one package.  The change will allow for two houses built on a remediated block subject to variation 343 to be sold separately.
  • The allowable plot ratios have also been revised to accommodate the reduction in block size and unit titling for dual occupancy development. The plot ratio applicable to these remediated blocks is consistent with plot ratios permitted in the RZ2 suburban core zone.
  • Additionally, building heights for dual occupancy development on the remediated blocks has been limited to single storey for any dual occupancy dwelling to which a 35% plot ratio will apply.
  • A design criterion for the redevelopment of remediated blocks subject to variation 343 has also been included to maintain and support amenity of existing streets and suburbs.

Note: The changes only apply to blocks in RZ1 suburban zone which are 700m2 or larger. There are no changes to heritage blocks, rural leases or blocks in RZ2 suburban core or above.

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