More ‘missing middle’ council protests in growth backlash: Urban Taskforce

More ‘missing middle’ council protests in growth backlash: Urban Taskforce
More ‘missing middle’ council protests in growth backlash: Urban Taskforce


Eight more Sydney councils are protesting about moves to simplify terrace house approvals.

What began as only two councils protesting about medium density plans for Sydney’s suburbs has now grown to ten concerned councils and more are likely to come.

Canterbury BANKSTOWN and Ryde councils have now been joined by Georges River, Sutherland, the Hills, Randwick, Strathfield, Lane Cove, Hawkesbury and the Northern Beaches councils all protesting about the NSW Government’s ‘missing middle’ medium density code.

The amazing thing about this is that the code is only for two storey homes and can only be applied where council plans allow medium density homes to be built.

Strathfield Council, for example, does not allow any medium density housing so clearly the code is not relevant but the council is still out to protest. What seems to be happening is that councils are using the missing middle code as a proxy for over development and championing its rejection to save their residents from change.

With an election only ten months away the mood of the electorate is developing into an anti-growth, anti-change position with pressure from councils onto the state government.

The Urban Taskforce is concerned that years of planning by the state government and the Greater Sydney Commission could all be overturned as the tensions from change make people nervous. But the city must change and we must not throw out long term planning because of short term tensions.”

Sydney has a diverse community and this calls for a diversity of housing types from detached houses to town houses, terrace houses, low rise apartments to apartment towers. There will be different lifestyles related to each of these housing types and the state government must support all of the housing types in the most appropriate location for each type.

The Urban Taskforce believes the NSW Government should not back down on its planning policies as this will only encourage more councils and community groups to want further back downs. The government must support long term planning over short term back downs in a pre-election environment.

CHRIS JOHNSON is the Urban Taskforce CEO.

Terrace House Council Approval

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