Secondary dwellings: self contained studios and granny flats

Extend your house with a self contained unit or granny flat.

The NSW Government supports the development of secondary dwellings that are self contained such as granny flats describing them as being:

  • established in conjunction with the principal dwelling
  • on the same land lot as the principal dwelling (and not an individual lot in a strata plan or community title scheme)
  • possibly within, attached to, or separate from the principal dwelling.

You can configure your independent dwelling by:

  • extending your existing home in an attached addition
  • building above an existing garage, or
  • as a separate independent structure.


Accommodate teenage children, grandparents, guests as well as work, projects and hobbies.

Your independent studio can provide:

  • a home office
  • Airbnb rental accommodation
  • a grandparent dwelling
  • a teenage retreat
  • a creative art or craft studio
  • a gymnasium.

Related legislation

The NSW Government: State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009

More information

NSW Planning: Affordable Rental Housing SEPP


Randwick subtle studio - garden view

Subtle studio addresses heritage location

A subtle studio nestles beneath an attic styled roof atop a rear lane garage. 

Low, flat styled dormers, a pallet of light, mid and dark greys, simplicity of horizonal lines, green foliage screening the lower levels that face the main house, all ensure an architectural language subservient to its heritage conservation area.

Own laneway entrance, kitchenette, dining, living spaces, main bedroom with study nook and storage, bathroom, laundry cupboard and oodles of storage within adjacent roof spaces.

Darley Road, Randwick 

Photographer: Estefania Turner

Bronte Beach duplex houses with granny flats

These duplex houses each has a lane-way access garage, separate from the main house, with a granny flat on top. Each of the main dwellings also has a large attic.

Two new luxury duplex houses, each with: 2 levels plus an attic, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and a garage with granny flat (on top)
Read Street, Bronte
Complying Development plus Development Application approval

Photographer: Andrew Sheppard

Call Michael Grimshaw

directly to discuss your project

0412227024 / 02-93155833

Email directly

Rammed earth Coogee house with granny flat

Finalist in Randwick Council Urban Design Awards

A central requirement of this new house was to reinforce the idea of the family home through considered planning arrangements and the use of raw materials, natural colours and textures.

Contained within the naturally higher level of the property to the east is a granny flat. It is screened and private from the main house and yet included in the circulation movements around the site via an existing curved, stone stair.

Evelyn Street, South Coogee
4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, 2 living rooms, dining room, swimming pool; and detached granny flat unit with 2 bedrooms, living room, kitchen, bathroom.

Photography: Peter Endersbee

Carrington studio Randwick

A teenager retreat above a rear lane garage with entry stair and atrium leading from the courtyard garden. A louvered clerestory window provides maximum light and cross ventilation. Storage is at garage level as well as a built-in wardrobe in the bedroom.

Bedroom, kitchenette, bathroom, built-in wardrobe and study nook.

Photographer: Estefania Turner

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