The Missing Middle - Medium Density Housing

The NSW state government has launched a design competition for architects to showcase their vision for the future of medium density housing in NSW.

Named ‘The Missing Middle’, the competition is seeking creative ideas for high-quality and innovative design solutions for low-rise medium density housing. The accommodation should provides an alternative residential housing option to bridge the gap between freestanding houses and residential flat buildings, such as terrace dwellings, town houses and dual occupancies. Read more about the design competition.

An estimated 4.7 million people lived in the Sydney Metropolitan area in 2016, which is forecasted to grow by 1.7 million in 20 years, to a total of over 6.4 million residents. The department of planning estimates almost 600,000 dwellings are required to be built by 2036 to accommodate the almost 40% population boost. Considering this, we seriously need to look at providing a broader range of medium density housing options.

In October 2016 the Department of Planning & Environment has also released a draft ‘Medium Density Design Guide’ which aims to improve the quality of design for low rise medium density housing across NSW. Read more about the draft paper or download the Medium Density Design Guide.

As outlined in the Explanation of Intended Effect, the new Medium Density Housing Code will enable the delivery of a range of low rise medium density housing as complying development. If finalised, this will allow complying development schemes for medium density housing, such as duplexes, terrace and manor homes. This will provide a straightforward and much faster approval process to assist with the demand for increased housing supply and choice.

KGA agrees with the need for planning reform in Medium Density Housing. We are currently working on a project to torrens title subdivide a large lot of land into small lots with quality architectural freestanding dwellings.