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Small second dwelling (granny flat/dependent persons unit)

A small second dwelling is a building with a gross floor area of 60 square metres or less, on the same lot as an existing dwelling and used as a self-contained residence, which must include a kitchen sink, food preparation facilities, a bath or shower, laundry facilities, a toilet and wash basin.

Gross area is defined as the total floor area of a building, measured from the outside of external walls or the centre of party walls, and includes all roofed areas.

Some of the key features of a small second dwelling include: 

  • Sited on the same lot as an existing dwelling
  • No car parking required
  • Anyone can live in it or rent it out 
  • Must not be connected to reticulated natural gas
  • Must meet the siting requirements, including minimum garden area
  • Can be attached, detached or a conversion of the main primary dwelling
  • Must have an access path from the front street.

Is a planning permit required?

In determining whether a planning permit would be required, we must be satisfied that the proposed building complies with the definition above.

Provided the proposed building meets the above criteria, in most residential zones under the Casey Planning Scheme a planning permit may not be required – as long as there are no overlays applying to the land.

If you would like written conformation if a planning permit is required, please submit a planning enquiry.

Can I subdivide my small second dwelling?

Subdivision cannot be granted which would allow a separate lot to be created for land containing a small second dwelling.

Can I build a small second dwelling?

A small second dwelling can have a gross floor area of 60 square metres or less. Anything over is not considered a small dwelling and requires a planning permit and compliance with the relevant zones and provisions of the Casey Planning Scheme.

Existing dependent persons unit (granny flat)

If you have an existing dependent persons unit (granny flat) constructed before 14 December 2023 (approval date of Amendment VC253), the requirements of the planning scheme that applied to the use or development of land for a dependent person’s unit (granny flat) at the time continue to apply.

This means that you must continue to ensure the dependent person’s unit is moveable from one place to another, it is used to provide accommodation for a person who is dependent on a resident of the existing dwelling and it can not be rented out or lived in if the person living in it is not dependent on a resident of the existing dwelling. A dependent person is incapacitated by medical, economic or social disadvantage and is therefore dependent on the person in the main dwelling for their accommodation.

If you have an existing dependent persons unit and it is no longer being used by a dependent person, it must be removed, unless it is converted to a small second dwelling.

Find out more

More information about the requirements of small second dwellings can be obtained from:

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