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Tweed Shire Granny Flats – The Rules Explained

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If you reside in a suburb that is in the Tweed Shire Council, and are wondering whether you can build a granny flat – Here we have summed up the Tweed Shire Council granny flat requirements:


  • One space for residents or visitors to park is required.
  • You will need to pay a contribution to the Council, after a pre-lodgment check of your submission has been performed, and your application has been lodged. This will determine the cost of the contribution, as it is based on your area, your zone, and the size and cost of the granny flat.
  • Tweed Shire Council acts in accordance of the rules in the State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP), so you must have a minimum lot size of 450sqm and can gain approval by either a CDC or a DA.
  • Specific design regulations for granny flats can be seen in the Tweed Development Control Plan.


Today I will cover how you can make Council contributions, and the Tweed Shire Councils land size restrictions for granny flats.


I will also cover if your granny flats design needs to ‘fit’ in with a particular look for your suburb, and who your perfect tenant is – that is, your target demographic, if you are wanting to rent out your granny flat and get the maximum amount for rent.

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 the Tweed Shire Council?


The Tweed Shire Council has a DCP – Site Access and Parking (required parking) on their website that discusses car parking in detail.


It clearly states that for a secondary dwelling (a granny flat) that 1 parking space must be provided for residents / visitors.


But if for any reason you can not provide this parking space, the DCP also states that if you submit a Development Application (DA) seeking an alternative solution, you must document this in your Statement of Environmental Effects (SEE), justifying why this can not be met, and more.


So they may consider accepting a contribution of cash in lieu of the car space that is not supplied.


If you are having a car park, there are regulations about where and how you can design this, which can be seen under the sub-heading “Does Your Granny Flat Need to Fit a Specific Design for the Shire?”.


Are There Necessary Council Contributions to be Made?


Yes, these contributions to Council are called Developer Contributions.


They are payments made by developers to allow the Council to accommodate for new residents by supplying new public amenities and services, such as parks, roads, and other community facilities new residents need. Develops pay these contributions so the Council’s current residents and ratepayers are not weighed down by the financial burden that comes with providing this extra infrastructure.


The decision your family makes about your granny flat must include the rules below


You are considered to be a property developer if you are a resident who is developing your property by adding more bedrooms or dwellings – so yes, if you are building a granny flat, you are a developer, and have to pay Developer Contributions.


The main regulation that enables the Council to charge these fees is the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 – Section 7.11.


This regulation applies to specific areas of the Tweed Shire Council – these areas can be seen within the plan.


How much is the contribution? The amount to be paid for building a granny flat depends on several factors, including your area, your zone, and the granny flat itself, such as its size and cost.


Your certifier is in charge of deciding what is the necessary cost. However the Council has a DA Fee Calculator which may help you get some idea of your payment.


You can pay the contribution in several ways:


  • Deferral – The Council has a policy which may allow for the deferral of contribution payments prior to them issuing your Occupation Certificate (OC), instead of your Construction Certificate (CC). However this is for some new developments only, so I suggest that you speak to the Council to find out if your granny flat is included.
  • Dedication of land.
  • The obvious – a monetary payment.
  • A material which is of benefit to the public, or
  • A combination of some or all of land, money and materials.


Monetary payments can be made several ways:


  • Via credit card (a surcharge will be applied to all credit card payments).
  • In person, by visiting Council’s Tweed Heads or Murwillumbah office. Here you can pay using cash, cheque, money order, EFTPOS, Visa or Mastercard.
  • Mail, by making a cheque payable to the Tweed Shire Council, and sending to PO Box 816, Murwillumbah, NSW 2484.


It is important to note though, that payment can only be made after a pre-lodgement check of your submission has been conducted, and your application has been lodged.

More information about the Developer Contributions can be found on the Tweed Shire Councils website.


Land Size Restrictions for Your Granny Flat


You can gain approval for a granny flat through the Tweed Shire Council by either Complying Development (CDC) or a Development Application (DA).


You can now submit your applications for CDC or a DA through the NSW Planning Portal.


You may be eligible for a Complying Development for your granny flat if your application meets all the standards in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009.


If you are not able to meet these standards, this means that you will have to submit a DA.


The Tweed Shire Council has a helpful Development Application Preparation Guide which discusses how to make a Development Application, and all the paperwork you need to submit with your DA.


Before making the decision to gain approval via a DA, be sure to understand everything that is involved


Granny flats are only allowed on particular land zones. Refer to the Land Use Table (Tweed Lep 2014) to see if you are eligible.


The total floor area of your granny flat (except for any space that is used for parking) must not be greater than whichever of the below is the biggest:


  • 60sqm, or
  • 20% of the total floor area of your main home.


As a general rule, you must also have a minimum block size of 450 square metres.


Are You Able to Crane in a Modular Granny Flat?


If your preferred style of granny flat is prefabricated, such as a modular home, there are certain preparations that you must go about first, so that you are able to relocate it on to your property.


An essential one of these is to make sure you have a crane hired – this is necessary, as it will have to be on site to remove the granny flat from the back of the vehicle it was delivered on.


So, are you able to hire a crane in the Tweed Shire Council area, and how much will this cost?


Yes – there are crane operators located in many areas of the Council, who are willing to take on this job. The cost though will vary – a big factor is how easy it is to access your site. As such, we suggest that you should get at least 3 quotes before choosing which one you will hire.


Every company should come to your site, assess it, and give you their quote, free of charge.


Expect to pay between roughly $210 – $260 an hour to hire a smaller crane.


But if your property is harder to access – for example, if the footpaths out the front of your home are cracked, so the crane cannot drive on them – you will need to hire a large crane. Expect to pay approximately $400 or more an hour. So, simply hiring a crane can easily end up costing you over $1000 – again why why suggest you get at least 3 quotes.


Just one company that you are able to give a call and ask for a quote is:



For other companies, just do a Google search for your suburb, and “crane hire”.


Does Your Granny Flat Need to Fit a Specific Design for the Shire?


Specific design requirements for granny flats in the Tweed Shire Council are covered in the Tweed Development Control Plan.


Some important facts to note are:


  • Dwellings must be compatible with the scale and character of surrounding dwellings.
  • Roof colour should remain in line with the existing locality.
  • Carports and garages seen from the public street must be compatible with the building design, including roofs, and treated with materials and colours and windows which make sure that the garage or carport that does not intrude as visibly on the streetscape.
  • Design must consider the contribution of façade elements on the streetscape, such as coordinating and integrating building services (i.e. drainage pipes) architectural features (i.e. stairs and ramps), and garage/carport entries with the overall facade design, and
  • Locating car parks on secondary streets when possible.


If you still need a little assistance in getting your head around the Councils regulations, you can always contact granny flat builders or town planners, as they will have great knowledge of your area.


As it’s such a big area, it’s hard for us to point you in the right direction, but again just do a simple Google search – your suburb, and the words “town planner” or “granny flat builder”.


Demographic of the Tweed Shire Council & Who Would be Your Optimal Tenant?


The Tweed Shire is situated in the north-east corner of New South Wales, roughly 100km south of Brisbane’s CBD, and 860km north of of the heart of Sydney. The Shire has many suburbs, all of which can be seen here.


A report in 2021 – the Estimated Resident Population – showed there were 97,151 people living in the Tweed Shire.


While a lot of the land in the Tweed Shire is rural, there is also North Coast TAFE (Kingscliff and Murwillumbah Campuses) and the Southern Cross University (Riverside Campus) within the Shire.


With rental prices increasing by the day, a bigger granny flat for TAFE or university students to use for shared housing is a great investment.


For example, if you have the space to use, a 3-bedroom granny flat can bring you fantastic rental income.


If this is your target demographic, it is also a good idea to furnish your granny flat, as many students do not yet own furniture. This includes things such as blinds, an air-conditioner for the heat in the area, and a laundry with a washing machine they can use.


You can save money on the carport – not all students have cars, or at least expensive ones. Though a separate car park is necessary for Council, it can be outside, it does not need to be undercover. This, with a separate driveway, will also allow the tenants and their visitors to come and go as they please, and not disturb the residents of the main home when they do.


Also, make sure that you have separate gas, electricity, and water flow meters. By installing these, you can control the costs best, and offer split billing.


All of these things will catch the eye of students and attract good rent in return.




As per SEPP, in the Tweed Shire you can get approval for your granny flat through either Complying Development or a Development Application.


Your property must be at least 450sqm, and you must meet your calculated floor space ratio.


Your granny flat design standards are covered in the of the Tweed Development Control Plan. This has an objective to ensure that the elements of your building, such as its’ external facade and appearance, all complement those of your existing neighbourhood.


It is likely you will need to make a contribution to Council after a pre-lodgment check of your proposal has been done, and your application lodged – the cost will be determined based on your suburb, zone, and size and cost of building. Your certifier will decide this cost.


The Tweed Shire Council can be contacted on;


  • (02) 6670 2400
  • tsc@tweed.nsw.gov.au


Or if you want to book an appointment with them to discuss any enquiries about your granny flat, or get development advice, you can do so via their website here.