Journal - Smith & Tzannes


On the 12th October the NSW Minister for Planning released for comment the Draft Medium Density Design Guide.

Smith & Tzannes were engaged by the Department of Planning & Environment to carry out research and prepare the design guide providing a new consistent approach for the delivery of quality low-rise medium density housing. The guide sets out design standards for a range of medium-density housing types including terrace houses, townhouses, villas, dual occupancies and semi-detached dwellings, and manor homes. 

The draft design guide and the accompanying Medium Density Design Code, which will be inserted into the State Environment Planning Policy Exempt and Complying Codes, will allow complying development for dual occupancies, terrace houses and manor houses in areas permitted under a council’s local environment plan.

This has been a really exciting project for us bringing together our expertise in architecture, strategic planning, urban design, statutory planning and our work as experts in the Land & Environment Court. Medium density housing is not new to Smith & Tzannes - over the past year we have delivered and had approved over 500 dwellings in medium density development across Sydney and Newcastle and are excited at the opportunity to deliver more in the future.

We invite your review the Design Guide and the Explaination of Intended Effects and provide feedback on a very important polcy area.

Download the exhibition documents.

Over the next few weeks we will provide you with some insights into the ideas behind the Design Guide.

In the release of this work we would like to thank the team here at Smith & Tzannes led by Peter Smith, including Andrew Nicolle and Emilie Almstrup and Catherine Smith, the team at the Department of Planning & Environment, Anthony Nolan from Kennedy Associates and Ben Pomrey from Rotheloweman and the many other people who's brains I have picked and have provided advice.

Published in Journal
Friday, 19 December 2014 00:00

Faster approvals for mid-rise apartments

With the high demand for mid-rise apartments to house Sydney's growing population, Peter Smith has been working with the Urban Taskforce to develop a Mid-Rise Apartment Complying Code. 

The proposed planning reforms that the NSW Government championed had a strong focus on complying development. The proposal was that communities should be mainly involved in the early strategic planning stage that set overall character. An area could be zoned for 6 or 8 storeys residential buildings at the strategic planning stage but then individual development applications that comply with an apartment code would get quick approvals within 30 days.

For more information visit


Published in Journal
Thursday, 06 December 2012 22:33

Status of DCP's changed

New amendments to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act) passed through New South Wales Parliament on 15 November 2012 (the amendments).

The bill changes the key purpose of DCPs. In short, the new principal purpose of a development control plan is to provide 'guidance' to development proponents and consent authorities. Provisions of a DCP are not to be thought of as 'statutory requirements'.

Published in Journal
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 13:40

Electronic housing Code launched

EHC_formlogoOn the 28th October 2011, the NSW Government launched the Electronic Housing Code. This portal provides a web-based facility to assist with the creation of complying development applications under the NSW Housing Code.

Visit the EHC site.

Published in Journal
Wednesday, 19 October 2011 19:04

Peter Smith speaks at 2011 EPLA Conference

On October 14, Peter Smith spoke at the NSW Environmental Planning and Law 2011 Conference as part of a panel of distinguished speakers discussing the interaction between Heritage and Exempt and Complying Development. Peter discussed the role of planning reform, and the need for better upfront strategic planning to provide more certainty in the community in relation to heritage conservation areas. 

Published in Journal