From 1 June 2021 Council will apply the following standards when calculating Gross Floor Area (GFA).

This page has been developed to help you understand how Council calculates Gross Floor Area (GFA) of developments. Then you can ask questions of our Planning team! Use the question tool below and one of our team will respond.

A dwelling's GFA is used to determine the Floor Space Ratio (FSR), which ensures that the size of buildings is appropriate for the land size and compatible with the surrounding neighbourhood.

Included in GFA calculation, to the extent that fire rated/party walls are internal to the built form of an attached dwelling, dual occupancy, multi dwelling, residential flat buildings, commercial developments or other similar developments.

Included in GFA calculation, regardless of whether they are proposed directly off garage areas.

The car parking requirements outlined in the ‘requirements of the consent authority’ are the maximum amount that will be excluded from the GFA calculation. The exclusion will be the sizes outlined below, or the size of the proposed garage, whichever is smaller:

  • Single residential dwellings - 18.6sqm, which must be provided as 3.1m wide x 6m long for single garages; and 42sqm, which must be provided as 6m wide x 7m long for double garages.
  • Dual occupancies, multi dwelling housing or residential flat buildings - 17.05sqm, which must be provided as 3.1m wide x 5.5m long for single garages; and 31.9sqm, which must be provided as 5.8m wide x 5.5m long for double garages.

Multi-dwelling housing developments

The ‘requirements of the consent authority’ as outlined within the Shellharbour Development Control Plan 2013 outline how many resident spaces (and their associated area as outlined above) will be excluded from the GFA calculation. Where that required number results in a fraction, Council will round up to the nearest whole number, i.e. if the development requires 5.5 car parking spaces, then the area requirements for 6 car parking spaces will be excluded.

The Australian Standard 2890.6:2009 outlines the minimum dimensions for disabled car parking spaces. Off-street parking for people with disability will be excluded from the GFA calculation in accordance with the AS. The current version of the AS requires a total area of 5.4m x 4.8m (25.92sqm) for the dedicated space and adjoining shared area.

Storage and vehicular access, loading areas, garbage and services are only to be excluded from the GFA calculation where they are provided in a basement arrangement.

When calculating GFA for individual dwellings, vertical circulation is included as part of one of the floor level areas. On upper floors, the areas of the circulation spaces can be excluded. See yellow areas on Figures 1.2, 2.2 and 2.3.

Where areas of vertical circulation are common (i.e. within a residential flat building or commercial development with different tenancies on different floors), the area of any vertical circulation spaces (lifts or stairs) will be excluded from GFA calculation on all floor plates.

Voids are only to be excluded from GFA calculations where they serve no function associated with vertical circulation. See blue areas at Figure 1.2 and 2.3 on the right.

The principles for calculating GFA apply to all development types. Examples for common development types, dwelling houses and dual occupancies are in the sidebar 'GFA Calculation - Example Figures'

Our City Development Planning Team were online during the first two weeks of May to answer questions. These can be seen below. If you have any additional questions, please contact Council on 4221 6111.

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City Development Planning Team

Shellharbour is experiencing rapid growth in the development industry. In response, our City Development Planning Team has a commitment to strengthening service delivery in processing Development Applications and improving customer experience.

Answering your questions will be:

  • Jasmina Micevski - Manager Planning
  • Jessica Saunders - Principal Planner
  • Madeline Cartwright - Principal Planner
  • Jennifer Southan - Urban Release Team Leader

This leadership team is supported by seven planners and an engineer.

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