What to Look Out for Before Buying a Dual Occupancy Development Site




Harriet Lammin

Every developer’s dream is to find a site for their next dual occupancy development in the perfect location – close to amenities, in a growing suburb with a council that encourages development. Before buying any property, though, it is important to do your due diligence to ensure that it ticks all the right boxes.

If you are an investor or a first-time developer, it is best to get familiar with the area and the council development guidelines before jumping into your dual occupancy development. However, without an understanding of how these controls affect your specific site, it can be difficult to interpret these guidelines.

If you do not have a solid understanding of the guidelines and how they will affect your development from design to construction, it can lead to costly mistakes and setbacks. Some limitations are readily apparent – others less so. If you are not an experienced developer, it is essential that you get professional advice to make the development process a smooth one.

Because design and town planning are so fundamentally connected, new developments should be individually designed to suit their location and site, complying with all development requirements. For example, a north-facing window on a neighbouring property will determine the height and distance from the boundary of a new wall opposite to it. 

When you incorporate this information into a development’s design at the early stages, you can prevent costly mistakes and poor property design. By sticking to the council guidelines and getting the design work done right early, you will be able to make sure your dual occupancy development meets your needs.

Ignoring design concerns and council guidelines could mean you run into issues such as a greater side setback having an impact on the width of your second storey, limiting space and even the number of rooms. Another possibility is that you have to sacrifice extra accommodation space or the garden area, in order to comply with site coverage limitations.

Solving multi-residential development problems is always about dealing with neighbours while using the land to get the best possible yield. To get the most out of your dual occupancy development, you need to achieve the maximum possible house size in order to meet the expectations of your buyer when it comes to quality and amenities.

Responding to the constraints of a site without compromising the design takes skills architects have spent years studying and practising to perfect. Even if a property seems suitable in its design, only specialised assessment will determine if the development is practical and feasible. Early research will minimise the risk that your proposal won’t stack up, ensuring that you make a solid return on your investment.

Clear thinking at the design stage increases the chances of enduring quality – efficient designs make the best use of the available space, work their way through the council and permit application process more smoothly, and have strong street appeal and resale value.

If you are ready to start your next dual occupancy development, get in touch with JDA Lammin by calling 0439991887. Alternatively, complete our simple contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Want to learn more about how town planning works? Use this email link to request our free e-book: The Ins and Outs of Town Planning.