Granny Flats in Bushfire Zones – Affected properties now comply for 10 Day Approval

Granny Flats in Bushfire Zones

Did you know that granny flats in bushfire affected properties are now allowed as fast, 10-day Complying Development approvals? This is achievable under the NSW ‘Affordable Rental Housing SEPP’.

granny flats in bushfire zones

granny flats in bushfire zones

Previously all properties in a bush-fire zones were disqualified from approval under the SEPP. Now, as long as the property is not in a designated ‘Flame-Zone’ or ‘BAL-40’ bushfire zone, it does qualify for fast approval.

Do Granny Flats in Bushfire Zones need Fire-Rated-Walls?

There’s a lot of confusion as to whether granny flats in bushfire zones need a fire rated wall. The short answer is no. Fire rated walls are a requirement if you’re building too close to a boundary or the main dwelling. This is required under the Building Code of Australia. You can read more about fire rated walls HERE. That particular article is about fire rating granny flat conversions, but the same rules apply for newly built granny flats. Please read on to learn about bushfire protection for granny flats.

Granny Flats and ‘Bushfire Attack Level’

The NSW Rural Fire Service categorises bushfire risk based on proximity and steepness of a property from various vegetation. Their regulations require us to assign a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) to your granny flat project. If the BAL is 40 or the highest risk, Flame Zone, we cannot get approval under the SEPP. Instead we must do a DA at your local Council.

If the bushfire attack level is less than this (BAL-Low, BAL- 15 to BAL-25), we can now definitely get your granny flat approved as fast 10 day approval under the State SEPP. There are some other requirements as follows:

1. If the BAL is low, we don’t need to do anything except pay for a Bushfire Assessment form a qualified assessor. This costs $400.

2. If the BAL is 15 to 29, we need to implement various protection measures into your granny flat design. This may include toughened glass and corrosive resistant shutters to all glazed windows and doors.

3. For higher attack levels (BAL-40 and BAL-FZ) the current position of the NSW Bushfire authority is that they wont support granny flats in these two highest-rated zones.

4. There are other granny flat bushfire protection measures depending on attack level which we will implement as cheaply and efficiently as possible.


Not sure? Just ask us!

If your property is in a bushfire zone, feel free to ask us about the various bushfire mitigation options available to you. We’re more than happy to help with your strategy. When it comes to granny flats, no one knows the legislation better than we do. This includes bushfire regulations, fire-separation regulations, drainage codes, flooding regulations and many other mandatory Australian standards. This allows us to plan your project and minimise any costs. This is part of our growing granny flat guide series focused on helping our clients cut through the legislation. We are able to take care of your Planning for Bushfire requirements right here and its FREE, so feel free to Contact Us to find out more.

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2 replies on Granny Flats in Bushfire Zones – Affected properties now comply for 10 Day Approval

  • Cherie Merrett says:

    A business associate referred me to your site because I was looking for a builder with integrity and transparency. Great information on this site! It will save a lot of mistakes. Thank you

  • Serge Panayi says:

    Hi Cherie,
    I’m glad our blog helps people get info on how to design, approve and buid granny flats in NSW. Glad you like it! Thanks so much 🙂

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