Tiny Houses and Camping Grounds

‘Tiny houses’ or ‘tiny homes’ are common name for a type of moveable dwelling which also include tents, caravans and campervans and have become an attractive form of accommodation for landowners looking to generate income from their property.

A moveable dwelling is defined in the Local Government Act 1993 as:

  1. Any tent, or any caravan or other van or other portable device (whether on wheels or not), used for human habitation, or
  2. A manufactured home, or
  3. Any conveyance, structure or thing of a class or description prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this definition

Do I need approval?

Yes. The use of any moveable dwelling for habitation on land requires development consent from a consent authority and usually requires a separate approval to install under the Local Government Act 1993.

Despite some conditional exemptions under clause 77 of the Local Government Regulation (Manufactured Home Estates, Caravan Parks, Camping Grounds and Moveable Dwellings) 2021 being available, these do not give an exemption from the requirement for development consent under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 for land use.

Furthermore, the exemptions provided for short-term rental accommodation of lawful dwellings under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Housing) 2021 do not apply to moveable dwellings.

Do I qualify for a Complying Development Certificate?

This can depend on the proposed use (eg. family members, permanent rental, tourist and visitor accommodation or camping grounds) and zoning permissibility, but generally a Development Application will be required and often requires concurrence from external agencies such as the NSW Rural Fire Service.

I need a Development Application (DA). What do I do?

Council recommends property owners seek planning advice from Council's Duty Planner or Town Planning Consultant prior to purchasing a moveable dwelling or using their land for this form of accommodation.

If your proposal does not qualify as Complying Development, you will need to lodge a Development Application with Council.

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has a useful guide to the DA process.