Hornsby Housing Strategy

Supply & Demand Analysis

HIllPDA was engaged by Hornsby Council to undertake an evidence based assessment of the demand for, and feasibility of, medium density housing in Hornsby. The review aimed to identify the key demographic and economic drivers for providing medium density housing in Hornsby that would inform an issues paper to be prepared in-house.

Our value add

HillPDA investigated the existing and likely future demand for medium density housing within Hornsby Shire with a specific focus on villa and townhouse typologies. The study also investigated the factors influencing the supply of this dwelling type to better understand how Hornsby Council’s existing planning controls could be amended to support the diversity of housing choice for Hornsby’s residents. Recommendations included:

  • Additional residential land to be zoned R3 Medium Density
  • Remove RFBs as a permissible use
  • Increase building heights to benefit from a 2.5-3 storey townhouses •
  • Relax preference for basement car parking
  • Look to make dual-occupancy a permissible use.

Extensive research was also undertaken in to the role and function that dual-key development could play in providing more flexible housing options. Advice to Council was provided on the demand for, and public benefit and feasibility of dual-key units, and appropriate development controls.


The spatial limitations of R3 zoning was minimal and impacted the capacity to deliver the product typologies.

RFBs were a permissible use and offered more opportunity for higher yields, therefore they were the preferred development choice.

The incentive to develop villas and townhouses was reduced on account of the comparative cost of purchasing and demolishing existing residential properties. This cost tended not to sufficiently outweigh the end sale value of townhouse development.


  • Policy review
  • Demographic analysis
  • Market demand and supply analysis
  • Housing affordability modelling
  • Policy and planning control recommendations
  • Stakeholder engagement

Client: Hornsby Shire Council
Project date: 2015


For more information, contact Elle Clouston, Principal 

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