If you’re thinking of building a granny flat in Wollongong, to help, here are the Wollongong Council granny flat regulations:
- There is no obligation for off-street parking.
- You will be required to pay a contribution to the Council.
- You are allowed to build a granny flat as long as it’s compliant with the SEPP (more below).
- Your land size must be at least 450sqm, and the granny flat no bigger than 60sqm.
- All buildings on your land must add up to, and comply with, a set floor-space-ratio.
- You must have at least 24sqm of private open space directly in between your primary dwelling and secondary dwelling.
- The Council is quite open-minded when it comes to design.
Today I will delve deeper into the Councils’ contribution requirements. As well as lot more below:
Do You Need Off-Street Parking in Wollongong?
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.
The Wollongong City Council is quite clear about this – there’s no need for off-street parking at a granny flat.
Meaning, you don’t need to install a car park for your tenants. I do, however, suggest you consider it, especially if you’re thinking about renting out the granny flat. You must think of the needs of your occupants – one of which might be a place to park their car.
So, think about who will be living there, both now and in later years, and where they will be able to park.
If your land size allows for it, consider adding a garage or carport. This addition will make your granny flat legally bigger, and make your it stand-out against others in your area, as can be seen in these designs.
So, it’s worth considering.
Are There Council Contributions that Must be Made?
The Wollongong City Council does ask for Contributions for all developments.
To see my costs for building a granny flat click on the image above
This is used to assist them with funding any infrastructure projects that are in the best interests of the community, such as:
- Recreational centres.
- Parks, and
- Sports grounds.
They have 2 different Contribution plans, the:
To see which plan applies to your property, search their online map.
However, the exact amount you will have to pay as a Contribution will be determined based on your location, and what your granny flat costs.
This will be decided by your certifier when they visit your property and assess your land and plans. The Council will then give you a precise amount, which they will include as a condition in your development consent.
To get a basic idea of what you might have to pay, view details of previous Contributions made. If you need further advice on this, I suggest giving the Duty Planners a call on (02) 4227 7111.
Land Size Restrictions for a Granny Flat
The Wollongong City Council runs under the regulations of the SEPP.
This means that the Council cannot disallow you to build a granny flat in any residential zone in Wollongong, as long as you meet the below standards:
Additionally, the conditions on the “NSW granny flat fact sheet” state that the granny flat floor space ratio mean that, when calculating all of the main home and the granny flat, the total of this cannot be greater than:
- 50% on a block that’s 450sqm – 900sqm.
- 40% on a block that’s 900sqm -1500sqm.
- 30% on a block that’s 1500sqm +.
Can You Crane in a Modular Granny Flat?
If your choice of a granny flat is prefabricated (i.e., a modular home), you must arrange to have this relocated from the manufacturers’ site to your property.
A part of this process involves preparing to have a crane at your site, to unload the modular home from the transport vehicle. So, can you hire a crane in Wollongong, and if so, how much should you budget for this?
Cranes can be expensive, but for modular granny flats they are a necessity
The first answer is simple – yes, crane operators will drive out to Wollongong and perform this job. The price, however, will vary. It depends on how easy it is to access your property, and how heavy your granny flat is.
If you have a site that is easy to access, you may only need a standard crane. This might cost about $150 per hour.
But if your block of land is not so easy to access (for example, if your footpaths are cracked), then you will need a large crane. For this, you will pay $400 or more an hour. My advice is to make sure that you get quotes from, bare minimum, 3 – 5 different companies.
Just have the weight of the granny flat before you call. With this information, most will visit your property, checking to see how complicated your block of land is, and give you a free quote. Others might even just do a quick search on Google maps, verifying the price with you on the phone.
Keep in mind that, when craning in a granny flat, you might also have to make more ‘contributions’ to Council – these are actually a bond. This is used as protection for any damage that the crane might do to the roads or the footpaths, when working close to your land. Almost like an insurance you have to pay for any possible damage which might be caused.
Below are a few companies you can call in Wollongong for a quote to hire a crane:
Does Your Granny Flat Need to Fit a Certain Design for the Suburb?
Wollongong, lovingly referred to by locals as “the Gong”, was rated in 2016 as the 3rd most expensive city in Australia.
So, the Council has noticed they need affordable housing options.
As a result, they are accepting of those who want to build a granny flat, particularly if you place it in your backyard. For example, the use of a shipping container as a granny flat is allowed.
Though, it’s important to note you do have to meet the regulations of the SEPP, which states that:
The Council cannot approve the development if it has not considered its’ compatibility with the style of the local region.
So, your granny flat does need to, at least somewhat, look like it ‘matches’ the surrounding neighbourhood. You cannot go too excessive with your design – if it’s deemed too inappropriate for the region, it may not be approved.
Some granny flats completed in the area can be viewed at:
Demographic of Wollongong, & Who Would be Your Optimal Tenant?
A Census conducted in 2016 showed Wollongong’s population was 128,301.
33.1% of the population were studying at an educational institution. 33.1% of those were attending a tertiary/technical institution. The University of Wollongong is quite large – in 2017 over 32, 000 students were enrolled.
Median rental prices in Wollongong are fairly costly, with houses currently renting for $515 a week, and units for $430 a week.
Due to this high rental price, and the high enrolment figures at the university, a bigger granny flat for students to use as shared housing is a wise investment opportunity. For example, if you have the land space, a granny flat with 3-bedrooms can get you a great rental return.
For this demographic, I suggest:
- Fully furnishing your granny flat – many students don’t own furniture. Include blinds, air-conditioning, and a washing machine.
- Having a separate entry/driveway. This way, the students and their visitors can come and go as/when they wish, and won’t bother any occupants of the primary dwelling.
- Including a separate gas, electricity, and water flow meters, so you can manage the costs of bills appropriately, offering split billing.
These things will interest students, attracting you a good rental income. You can save on your costs by not adding a garage/carport (many students don’t own a car, so don’t need somewhere to park).
Wollongong City Council runs off the regulations of the SEPP.
So, you can be approved for a granny flat if you meet the standards for Complying Development, or otherwise, by submitting a Development Application.
It’s worth noting that the terrain of Wollongong is quite special, with its’ long stretch of beaches, and steep slopes and mountains. So, most primary dwellings in Wollongong differ in size and shape, which can make building a granny flat more challenging.
Pages that may help you are:
- Applying online for a CDC or DA at the Wollongong City Councils’ website.
- Getting advice on your development from the Wollongong City Council.
- Their fees and charges (i.e., for your CDC/DA).
- The greatest granny flat builders in Wollongong.
Or, if you’re ready to begin building your own granny flat, here’s a good place to start.