Assisted Living design secondary dwelling designed and constructed by East Coast Granny Flats..
Assisted Living design secondary dwelling designed and constructed by East Coast Granny Flats.. Photo courtesy Peter Pappalardo,

Granny flats are proving to be a hit in Coffs Harbour

MOVES to make a granny flat an affordable addition to the family home are proving a hit in Coffs Harbour.

COFFS Harbour City councillor Mark Sultana, who moved to introduce a trial of reduced council fees for the small-scale housing on May 14, 2015, said it had been a big success and several companies had set up specific operations in the area to build them.

The two year trial begun on July 1, 2015 is now almost at the half-way mark.

A report on the trial will come before the councillors in the next term of council, but before the trial period ends on June 30 2017.

"I have had numerous people come up to me around the traps and say 'thank you, mum's living with us now and we are really happy' ," Cr Sultana said.

"It only goes for another 12 months but there is a third year option. - it is such a good thing and we are seeing the benefits of it. Whoever is on council next time around would be crazy not to continue it."

Cr Sultana said the council was now receiving one to two applications every week from right across the city.

The trial removes Section 64 developer contributions (water and sewer) for secondary dwellings, reducing the cost by about $8000, from about $10,000 to $2000 for a one-bedroom dwelling. It retains about $2000 in Section 94 contributions (parks and garden, roads, surf clubs).

Clarence Valley Council's Residential Zone Development Control Plan exempts bona fide secondary dwellings from both head works and Section 94 developer contributions.

A spokesman for Clarence Valley Council said they had received about 30 applications for these in the last 12 months.

Nambucca Shire Council has now followed the Clarence model and dropped both sets of developer contributions.

Among local companies offering specific designs for secondary dwellings under 60 square metres in internal floor area is Coffs Harbour based East Coast Granny Flats.

ECGF principal Peter Pappalardo was part of the push for Coffs Harbour City Council to reconsider development application costs for secondary dwellings after the NSW government introduced the Affordable Rental Housing SEPP.

He said the majority of clients wanted the small dwellings for family members, others for investment or holiday rental and the original council contribution fees in Coffs Harbour had represented 12-14% of the total cost. .

His company's range of designs, about to be expanded, includes a dwelling designed for assisted living which has a large bathroom, wide double sliding doors to the outdoors and other special features.

"One thing we are careful not to build is little pokey things that may appeal initially on cost." he said.

"These are really well thought out, eco-friendly designs."

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