Design & Place SEPP on exhibition

One of the most important pieces of planning legislation released this year is currently on exhibition – the Design and Place State Environmental Planning Policy (DPSEPP), which consolidates and introduces new design and place principles for new developments. This legislation is important in the context of rapid development in NSW. We need to ensure this development is considered and meets a certain standard, to avoid a sprawl of cheaply built and low-quality housing.

In alignment with our advocacy priorities, we will be preparing a submission supporting the DPSEPP, and also raising some concerns we have.

Submission summary:

  1. Shelter endorses the DPSEPP, as it aims to deliver better quality apartments and communities that are more sustainable and future-proofed.
  2. We will be highlighting the benefits of the DPSEPP for low-income households, including raising the quality of lower-cost housing, and the long-term cost savings associated with energy efficient housing and walkable communities.
  3. We will be raising some concerns we have about the level of flexibility in the DPSEPP, and questioning what processes and safeguards will be in place to ensure all new development meets a baseline standard of amenity, especially with regards to solar access, cross-ventilation, acoustic and visual privacy, ceiling heights and unit size.

We will be critiquing from a regional perspective, and highlighting where the DPSEPP is too city-focused.

We are up against strong development industry lobby groups that argue the SEPP is unworkable and will cause housing costs to increase – of course, we know housing affordability is not primarily driven by construction costs.

To learn more about the DPSEPP, you can watch information webcasts here, or have your say here (closes 28 February). If any of our members have suggestions for what to include in our submission, please get in touch with Stefanie Matosevic (Policy Officer) via