What is a Clause 4.6 Variation

What is a 4.6 Variation and How Can It Unlock Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars?

Unlock the potential of your property project with our expert guide on Clause 4.6 Variation. Learn how a Clause 4.6 variation request can offer flexibility in property development and planning regulations. Watch this master class video by Colin Fragar, Co-founder of Council Approval Group.

Or for those that prefer to read, here is an abridged transcript of the video…

Have you ever been frustrated by a planning law that is holding you back and restricting your project the way you want to have it built, and maybe there’s a standard that you just can’t get around?

Well, here today, we’re going to talk about what we call a 4.6 variation, which applies in the state of New South Wales. And it allows you to part from many of these standards in the local planning laws.

So this project would not have been possible without a 4.6 variation, it didn’t have the minimum lot size to be able to do a dual occupancy. And the difference is probably worth about $400,000.

A report by a savvy Town Planner

$400,000 by the one little report that a savvy town planner can do. This is an attached dual occupancy, which means we’re retaining the existing dwelling and putting a new one on the side, which allows for them to be subdivided. And it turns out, Council Approval Group was the difference between doing this project or not. The reason is, we required a minimum lot size to be able to do this project. It’s a dual occupancy subdivision, and we were below the minimum lot size.

Minimum Lot Size

So the minimum lot size is often prescribed by the LEP, or local environmental plan. And if you don’t meet that requirement, the basic rule is that you can’t get the approval, except for a 4.6 variation. At Council Approval Group we have a report, which has been developed my father, Max Fragar, who has over 50 years in the game. Plus, we’ve got over a dozen town planners. And we’ve used this over and over again to depart from standards in these planning laws.

Floorspace Ratio

So another example might be the floorspace ratio. It’s kind of a techie term, but it basically means how big can the dwelling be on a given allotment size, and you might not just have a big enough allotment to be able to do the project you want to. But with a 4.6 variation, it can mean the difference of getting the project done or not, or be able to have the dream dwelling that you want to on the site or not.

Building Height

A third example, is building height. And so sometimes building heights are prescribed and you’re just hitting that building height. And it’s just, you know that you could just go a little bit higher, you’d be able to create a better project, a better livable outcome for the end occupant, and better for the overall streetscape, depending on the design.

So all of these are examples of standards which can be departed from using a 4.6 variation. The way I would describe 4.6 variation is to see it as a key that unlocks possibilities to be able to create projects, which are better for the community, better for the end occupant, and also better for you as the owner of the property or developers.

However, the rules about 4.6 variations are not static

In fact, as of the 1st November 2023, the rules have changed yet again. And so it’s really important that you have a very savvy town planner by your side to be able to do these variations because the probability of success and it’s a high stakes game and it can mean the difference of hundreds of 1000s of dollars, literally weigh on your decision about which consultant you use, and whether or not you use this 4.6 variation.

So make sure you get the right advice…

Where we step in at Council Approval Group in managing development applications for our clients, is that we meticulously craft our planning reports, we make sure that the plans through our architects are looking really good and onpoint that everything else is aligned perfectly and ideally, we try not to depart from too many standards at once, we try to make sure that for the most part things are compliant.

But then we go to town on the arguments as to why we should depart from these minimum lot sizes or building height or floor space ratio through the 4.6 variation. We want to make sure that the 4.6 variation we write for you is very compelling, and has some very robust planning arguments within it.

We would love to be able to talk about your project

Please book in a time to talk to one of our team, we’d love to be able to have a free consultation with you if we’re not already one of if you’re not already one of our clients, we’d love to be able to partner with you so that we can create the positive outcomes that you want to see with your project and in your life.