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Gosford Granny Flat Regulations – The Definitive Guide

Gosford granny flat rules

If you have a property in Gosford, NSW, and are contemplating adding a granny flat to it, the question on your mind may be – what do you need to do first?


First, you must ensure your property meets Councils’ standards for a granny flat. Your Section 10.7 Certificate will let you know what you are able to build on your land, the zone you are in, and what your restrictions are. If you have land in a residential zone (R1, R2, R3, R4, and R5), and can meet the development standards set out in the Affordable Rental Housing SEPP, you’re eligible to be approved for a secondary dwelling in Gosford Council. 


Let’s move straight onto all of these rules and regulations below:


DON'T PAY A FORTUNE FOR YOUR GRANNY FLAT. Find out how to deal with council and build a granny flat for the lowest cost possible. Learn More.

Do You Need Off-Street Parking in Gosford?


Gosford is in the Central Coast Council, which runs under the regulations of the AHSEPP.


The AHSEPP’s regulations about parking are clear. On the Affordable Rental Housing SEPP it states a car space is not required at a granny flat:


“The consent authority cannot refuse the application if no additional parking is provided on the site.”


However, I recommend you think about whether it will be helpful for your future tenants to have parking. (More can be seen about your property on their mapping tool as well.)


mapping tool

Gosford councils mapping tool works well to dial into your address


As, if you’re thinking about renting your granny flat out, this is something that your competitors will often forget. So, it will make your granny flat stand out amongst the rental listings.


I will elaborate on the importance of this underneath the sub-heading, “Demographic of Gosford, & Who Would Be Your Optimal Tenant”.


Are There Council Contributions that Must be Made?


Yes, the Central Coast Council still levies development contributions as per the Section 94 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.


The amount you will be required to pay depends on your address, the number of bedrooms you are putting in, its size, and so on.


For a contributions quote, gather this information and lodge a request with the Councils’ Customer Service team on 1300 463 954.


I recommend doing this before you begin building, as Section 94 contributions can be costly.


Other fees and charges, such as what you will pay for a Council certifier to visit, and what you will pay for Certificates, can be seen here.


Land Size Restrictions for a Granny Flat


To gain approval to build, you can apply using an accredited certifier by Complying Development (CDC) if you meet the provisions of AHSEPP, or lodge a Development Application (DA) to the local Council.


The AHSEPP states that:


  • Site area: “The consent authority cannot refuse consent on the grounds of site area if the site area is at least 450 square metres. However, a consent authority can grant consent to development of a secondary dwelling on a site of less than 450 square metres.”


Meaning, to be approved by CDC your property must be at least 450sqm. However, if your property is less than 450sqm, you may still be approved by lodging a DA.


  • Total floor area: “Secondary dwelling is to have a maximum floor area of 60m². The maximum floor area of the principal dwelling and secondary dwelling is to be no greater than that permitted by the local council in that zone when the development is approved through a development application.”


Meaning, you’ll only be approved for a granny flat that is 60sqm or less by CDC. Wanting to build bigger? You can apply by lodging a DA. But take into account your property as a whole will be restricted by a floor space ratio, shown below:


  • 450sqm – 560sqm = Total sum of buildings must be 290sqm or less.
  • 560sqm – 600sqm = Total sum of buildings cannot equate to more than 25% of your land area, plus 150sqm.
  • 600sqm – 740sqm = Total sum of buildings must be 335sqm or less.
  • 740sqm – 900sqm = Total sum of buildings cannot equate to more than 25% of your block size, plus 150sqm.
  • 900sqm – 920sqm = Total sum of buildings must be 380sqm or less.
  • 920sqm – 1000sqm = Total sum of buildings cannot equate to more 25% of the size of your land, plus 150sqm.
  • 1000sqm plus = Total sum of buildings must be 400sqm or less.


To see whether your granny flat qualifies for a CDC or requires a full DA, as well as how to lodge a DA, visit the Central Coast Councils page.


A list of accredited certifiers who can assist with your CDC application is available here.


Can You Crane in a Modular Granny Flat?


If you want to put a prefabricated building on your property, such as a modular granny flat, there are some groundworks you must to do to have it transported there.


Hiring a crane is a necessary part of these plans – it’s needed to unload the modular building from the vehicle that has brought it to you.


So, are you able to hire a crane in Gosford? If so, how much will this cost?


Yes, there are crane operators that are based in Gosford who’ll perform this task. The cost, however, will vary, as it depends on how easy your site is to access.


blue crane

It is always worth shopping around for crane hire quotes, as their prices can vary a fair bit


So, I suggest you get at least 3 quotes. Every company should offer to assess your land, free of charge, to give their quotation.


Expect to pay around $220 an hour for smaller cranes. But if your land is not easily accessible – such as, if your footpaths are cracked where the crane needs to sit – you’ll need a larger crane. The hourly rate for these is $400 or more.


So, hiring a crane can easily equate to over $1000 – another reason why I suggest you get a minimum of 3 quotes.


Some companies around Gosford that come highly recommended are:



Does Your Granny Flat Need to Fit a Certain Design for the Suburb?


A Local Environmental Plan (LEP) is the main legal planning document used by Council. Using zoning and development controls, it lets Council manage how the land is used to shape the look of local regions.


The Central Coast Council is currently running under the below EPI’s:



They’re working to integrate these three EPIs down to one plan, the Central Coast Local Environmental Plan (CCLEP).


But currently, an important factor to note about the design of a granny flat is in the GLEP 2014:


  • 5.6   Architectural roof features

(1)  The purpose of this clause is —

(a)  to allow for variations of the maximum building height standards for roof features of visual interest,

(b)  to make sure roof features are decorative, and that most of the roof is contained within the maximum building height.

(2)  Development that includes an architectural roof feature that goes above, or causes a building to go above, the maximum height limits may be approved, but only with development consent.

(3)  Consent cannot be granted to any such development unless the consent authority is content that—

(a)  the architectural roof feature—

(i)  consists of a decorative element on the highest point,

(ii)  isn’t an advertising piece,

(iii)  doesn’t include floor space area and cannot be easily modified to include floor space area,

(iv)  won’t cause much overshadowing, and

(b)  any building identification signage or equipment for servicing the building (i.e. fire stairs) contained in or supported by the roof feature is fully consolidated into the design.


If you still need help understanding Councils’ regulations, you can arrange a pre-development meeting with the Council itself.


For a fee, you can meet with Council at their Gosford administration building (49 Mann Street, Gosford), usually on Thursdays.


You’ll get detailed advice on engineering, flooding, ecological or other concerns such as potential bushfire issues. This may help you to avoid encountering any delays or pitfalls when building.


Complete this form, upload all necessary documents, and Council will contact you to arrange a meeting time.


Demographic of Gosford & Who Would be Your Optimal Tenant?


A Census conducted in 2016 showed that 169,053 people live in Gosford. 


Families make up a big part of the demographic, 70.1% of the population being family households.


Of these, 42.6% were couple families with children, 38.7% were couple families with no children, and 17.4% were one parent families.


Focusing on couple families with children, 18.3% had both partners employed full-time, 4.1% had both employed part-time and 23.1% had one employed full-time and the other part-time. This was enough to cover the median rental price of $360 weekly.


However, in roughly 88.8% of households, the rent payments were roughly 30% or more of an imputed income.


So, a larger granny flat for a family is a wise investment. You can make good rent from what they’ll see as a more affordable rental.


For instance, if you have the room, you can get a good rental return from a 3-bedroom granny flat.


For this demographic, it’s a good idea to include some parking, as most families have cars. See some ideas on how to integrate a garage into your granny flat.


You can save money by leaving the granny flat unfurnished, as most families have their own furniture. All you need to put in is an air-conditioner and some blinds, and separate gas, electricity, and water flow meters, so you can better control the costs and offer split billing.


This will help your dwelling appeal to families, bringing you in a good rental income.



In Gosford you can be approved for a granny flat either through a CDC or DA. You can begin submitting your application using the NSW Planning Portal.


You can contact the Central Coast Council on:


  • 1300 460 954.
  • By visiting them at 49 Mann Street, Gosford.
  • Or view their website.


If ready to begin building, read about DIY’ing your granny flat.