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Latest News

2020

Amendment to Brisbane City Plan 2014 – v20.00/2020

 

On 30 October 2020, the Brisbane City Council adopted amendment v20.00/2020 which comprises Citywide Update – Major amendment Package C and Citywide Update – Major Amendment Package E. The amendment supersedes the previous version of the planning scheme, being v19.00/2020 (more information on this below).

 

V20.00/2020 includes major amendments to the following existing planning scheme policies:

  • Air quality planning scheme policy
  • Structure planning planning scheme policy
  • Transport, access, parking and servicing planning scheme policy
  • Transport air quality corridor planning scheme policy
  • Vegetation planning scheme policy

 

Brisbane City Council lists the following aims which are sought to be achieved by the amendments:

  • Maintain the diversity of Brisbane’s habitat, plants and animals through strengthening waterway provisions.
  • Ensure that the locations of Brisbane’s waterway corridors are accurately reflected in the planning scheme using the most up-to-date information.
  • Support Brisbane’s subtropical lifestyle through the identification of significant landscape trees in the planning scheme, incorporating vegetation protected under Vegetation Protection Orders and significant trees identified through the neighbourhood planning program.
  • Ensure that the planning scheme appropriately zones land.
  • Support economic need and employment growth by refining provisions for appropriately zoned industrial land and discouraging development of industrial land for uses that are more appropriately located elsewhere.
  • Ensure a diversity of housing choice for current and future populations, through the coordination of infrastructure and land use planning for new development in emerging community zones, facilitating and guiding residential growth at appropriate densities and locations.
  • Provide a variety of housing options to meet diverse community needs, and achieve housing choice and affordability, while ensuring that the design of Brisbane’s buildings and spaces maximise the region’s climate and lifestyle attributes, through improvements to the multiple dwelling and subdivision provisions.
  • Maintain and enhance Brisbane’s character by updating the city’s Traditional building character overlay.
  • Incentivise the expansion of car sharing schemes in Brisbane within off-street car parking in new developments.
  • Ensure the long-term future of the music-based entertainment industry in Fortitude Valley by amending the Newstead Teneriffe neighbourhood plan to expand the special entertainment area to incorporate additional live music venues.
  • Clarify the requirements for air quality modelling.
  • Protect community health and liveable communities by ensuring that sensitive development within transport air quality corridors is appropriately sited and designed to mitigate adverse impacts of road traffic air emissions.

 

Superseded Planning Scheme Request Deadline

 

The Planning Act 2016 provides a mechanism for a land owner to make a request to the Council that a development application be accepted, assessment and decided on the basis of a superseded planning scheme (SPS Request). An SPS Request must be made within 1 year of the planning scheme becoming a superseded planning scheme, however it is recommended that any SPS Request be made as soon as possible after the change to the planning scheme takes effect.

 

For example, if the planning scheme is amended to reduce the development potential of land, there is a one year window to seek to take advantage of the previous, more favourable planning scheme provisions. Accordingly, the deadline to make an SPS Request to the Brisbane City Council is 29 October 2021.

 

If the Council agrees to the SPS Request and an SPS application is made, the Council must assess the application as if the superseded planning scheme is in effect, instead of the new or amended planning scheme. In this case, it would mean Amendment v20.00/2020 would be ignored.

 

If your SPS Request is refused, there is a process which may allow you to claim compensation from the Council for an “adverse planning change”. Whether you can claim this compensation is a complex question.

 

These changes may also impact the assessment of change applications or extension applications for current development approvals, where relevant.

Please contact us if you would like advice about whether you should consider lodging an SPS Request in relation to this amendment or any other planning scheme amendments. We can also provide advice and assist you with lodging an SPS Request.

 


TOWNHOUSE BAN

 

On 1 May 2020, Amendment v19.00/2020 came into effect in relation to Brisbane City Council’s City Plan 2014. This amendment is referred to as “Major amendment package H – Restricting townhouses from single-home areas and associated consequential amendments to the balance of City Plan”.

 

The primary impact of this amendment is that multiple dwellings, such as townhouses and units, are no longer permitted in areas in Brisbane zoned as low density residential.

 

The reason for this amendment, provided by Brisbane City Council, is “to ensure the location of multiple dwelling development is consistent with community expectations”.

 

Superseded Planning Scheme Request Deadline

 

Within 1 year of a planning scheme becoming a superseded planning scheme, a person may make a superseded planning scheme request (SPS Request) to a local government. 30 April 2021 is the deadline to make an SPS Request to Brisbane City Council in relation to Amendment v19.00/2020.

 

An SPS Request must include all the relevant documentation as if it were a development application.

 

If the local government agrees to the SPS Request and an SPS Application is made, the local government must assess the application as if the superseded planning scheme is in effect, instead of the new or amended planning scheme. In this case, it would mean Amendment v19.00/2020 would be ignored.

 

Contact us

 

Please contact us if you would like advice about whether you should consider lodging an SPS Request in relation to this amendment or any other planning scheme amendments. We can also provide advice and assist you with lodging an SPS Request.

 

If your SPS Request is refused, there is a process which may allow you to claim compensation from the local government for an “adverse planning change”. Whether you can claim this compensation is a complex question. Please contact us if you would like further information about this.

 

These changes may also impact the assessment of change applications or extension applications for current development approvals, where relevant. Please contact us if you would like further information about this.

 

Please contact us if you would like further information or assistance with this.

 


UPDATE TO QLD KOALA MAPPING

 

Since coming into force in February 2020, part of the mapping which supports the South East Queensland Koala Conservation Strategy 2020-2025 has been updated, primarily in relation to the “locally refined koala habitat” (LRKHA) mapping. This update has included an additional 24,467 hectares of land in the LRKHA mapping.

 

Development in areas delineated as koala habitat areas in the mapping may be prohibited, require a development approval, or be exempt from koala conservation requirements under the Planning Regulation 2017.

 

You are able to check whether your property is included in this mapping by requesting a free vegetation map here.

 

Please contact us if you would like to discuss how the koala mapping may impact your property.

 


New Koala Conservation Policy 

The Nature Conservation and Other Legislation (Koala Protection) Amendment Regulation commenced on 7 February 2020. Changes to a number of planning laws in Queensland have occurred as a result, including: 

  • the commencement of a new Koala Conservation Plan Map;
  • changes to the Environmental offsets Regulation 2014, the Vegetation Management Regulation 2012 and a new version of the Queensland Environmental Offsets Policy (Version 1.8); and 
  • changes to the Planning Regulation 2017 (Qld) (Planning Regulation), to provide increased protection to koala habitat areas.

Schedule 24 of the Planning Regulation 2017 sets out the full list of exemptions to the koala habitat planning protections. Exemptions will apply to certain types of development, for necessary activities (emergency response), for a once-off 500m² allowance per premises, and clearing in accordance with relevant Assessable Development Vegetation Clearing Codes under the Vegetation Management Act 1999. 

 

These changes are supported by new Koala habitat mapping, which can be accessed on the Queensland Government website.

 


Brisbane City Council – Biodiversity and Car Parking Planning Scheme Amendment

 

On 29 November 2019, Amendment v17.00/2019 came into effect in relation to Brisbane City Council’s Planning Scheme, City Plan 2014. Whilst there have been a number of amendments made to City Plan since this date, this amendment in particular includes some changes to be aware of.

 

Biodiversity

 

Amendment v17.00/2019 brought “Major amendment package B” into effect. This amendment included changes to the Tables of Assessment for the Biodiveristy Area Overlay, certain Neighbourhood Plans, the Biodiversity areas overlay code, the Wetlands overlay code, the Biodiversity areas planning scheme policy, Infrastructure design planning scheme policy, Offsets planning scheme policy.

 

Perhaps most importantly, the amendment also introduced new mapping for the Biodiversity areas overlay.

 

Carparking Requirements

 

Amendment v17.00/2019 also brought “Amendment Package J Increased car parking for suburban multiple dwellings”.

 

This amendment changed the car parking standards in specific circumstances, in relation to multiple dwellings. The reason given for these amendments was that the amendment included “revised parking rates to better accommodate parking demand on-site”.

 


Brisbane City Council – Adoption of the Banyo-Northgate Neighbourhood Plan 

In 2016, the Brisbane City Council began community submissions to prepare a neighbourhood plan for the Banyo-Northgate area. The Plan was adopted into the Brisbane City Plan on 26 November 2019 and is now effective as part of City Plan Amendment v18.00/2020.

The Plan is designed for of local businesses and jobs, particularly in Northgate and Virginia; to expand local services and extend protections to traditional building character of properties. Key features of the Plan include: 

  • extending protections for properties to maintain traditional building character
  • creating more space for businesses to expand and provide more local services
  • supporting two future employment precincts at Northgate and Virginia (around Bindha station)
  • increasing opportunities to provide for housing diversity.

You can view more information about the City Plan Amendments on the Brisbane City Council website.

 


Changes to Koala Conservation Strategy

The Queensland Government has developed the Draft South East Queensland Koala Conservation Strategy 2019-2024. The strategy responds to recommendations from the Koala Expert Panel in 2016 as an approach to protect the State’s vulnerable koala population. New Koala Habitat Mapping supports the strategy, and identifies priority areas where the Queensland Government aims to restore habitat through clearing controls. The new Draft Strategy addresses the following areas:

  • Restrictions on land clearing and development – including prohibited clearing of koala habitat in Koala Priority Areas (KPA), unless otherwise exempt;

  • Continued monitoring to improve the quality of Koala mapping and planning, which ensures regular updates on clearing controls for landholders; and

  • Improve community engagement and education at a regional level.

The Conservation Strategy intends to balance the need for improved koala habitat conservation with development to support SEQ’s growing population. The Queensland Government provides factsheets here to explain the effect of this reform.

 


Brisbane City Council – Kangaroo Point Peninsula Neighbourhood Plan effective

BCC Neighbourhood Plans guide the development of local areas and involve community input. On 19 November 2019, Brisbane City Council adopted the Kangaroo Point Peninsula Neighbourhood Plan. The Neighbourhood Plan is now effective as part of City Plan Amendment v18.00/2020. The amendment now regulates building height controls, land use under the Story Bridge, mixed-use development in Main Street to promote new businesses and services, as well as protecting heritage properties and significant trees. 

 


Brisbane City Council – Traditional Character Housing Design Guide

The Traditional Housing: Alterations and Extensions Design Guide aims to protect Brisbane’s unique character and ensure best practice design that complements the character of the city. Following community consultation in 2018-2019 as part of Brisbane’s Future Blueprint, the Council has developed design principles for homeowners and professionals to positively contribute to neighbourhood character. This document provides guidance only; it does not have any regulatory effect.

The guide is not intended for application to Heritage listed buildings or Pre-1911 buildings as identified in Brisbane City Plan 2014 or to the development of new dwelling houses on sites in the Traditional building character overlay. To find out whether you need building or planning approval, contact the Brisbane City Council. 

 

 


2019/2018

Brisbane City Plan Amendment v17.00/2019

Amendment v17.00/2019 of the Brisbane City Plan 2014 came into effect on Friday, 29 November 2019. This update includes the Citywide update – Major amendment package B – Biodiversity and associated consequential amendments to the balance of City Plan, adopted on 22 October 2019. Updates to the biodiversity provisions have now amended the biodiversity overlay areas of the City Plan interactive mapping, which can be accessed here.

The Planning Act 2016 enables development applications to be lodged or developments to be carried out under the planning scheme immediately before the amendments were made (a superseded planning scheme). The application must be made to Council within one year of the new planning instrument taking effect.

The deadline for a request under the current City Plan amendment is 29 November 2020.

 

Changes to vegetation management laws

On 8 March 2018 the QLD Government introduced a bill which proposes amendments to the Vegetation Management Act 1999 (“the VMA”), the Planning Act 2016, the Planning Regulation 2017 and the Water Act 2000 (“the WA”). The Vegetation Management and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2018 (Qld) was passed late on Thursday, 3 May 2018.

These amendments relate primarily to the reinstatement of responsible clearing laws. This is done namely by:

  • Extending the protection of high value regrowth vegetation (for example, high value regrowth is to be regulated on further land types, including freehold land);

  • Removing high value agriculture and irrigated high value agriculture as a relevant purpose under the VMA (and accordingly, the ability to lodge development applications which propose the clearing of such land is removed);

  • Providing for the consistent protection of regrowth vegetation near relevant watercourses in all Great Barrier Reef catchments;

  • Reintroducing the requirement under the WA to obtain riverine protection permits for clearing vegetation in a watercourse;

  • Providing enhanced compliance measures;

  • Providing land owners with the option to request that their land (mapped as category X) be converted to category A in certain scenarios; and

  • Providing support for the implementation of the revised accepted development vegetation clearing codes.


2017

New Planning Legislation in force

On 3 July 2017 the Planning Act 2016, the Planning and Environment Court Act 2016, and the Planning Regulation 2017 commenced.

Accordingly, an appeal or application filed in the Planning and Environment Court on or after 3 July 2017 will be brought under the Planning Act 2016, instead of the now superseded Sustainable Planning Act 2009.

The Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning has produced a guide to the Planning Act 2016 which provides a comparison of the new planning system with the previous planning system. The guide can be accessed here.

Contact us for further information regarding how these changes may affect your land.

 

The SPP and the SEQRP

With the new planning laws, came new statutory planning instruments. These are the State Planning Policy (SPP) and Regional Plans.

The current State Planning Policy 2017 can be found here. The SPP 2017 contains state interest statements and policies for seventeen State interests which includes agriculture, biodiversity, and natural hazards, risk and resilience.

The South East Queensland Regional Plan (“the SEQRP”) which is also referred to as ShapingSEQ was given effect on 11 August 2017 and is available here.

The introduction of this new framework also transitioned the regulatory provisions out of the SEQRP and into the Planning Regulation 2017.

The Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning have also updated their mapping systems to align with the amended statutory instruments. The mapping functions can be accessed here and can help determine how the SPP 2017 and the SEQRP apply to your land.

 

Amendments to City Plan 2014

On 3 July 2017, the Brisbane City Council amended the City Plan 2014 to align with the new planning laws. On 16 February 2018 the new City West Neighbourhood Plan came into force.

There are also a number of amendments to the City Plan 2014 that are currently in progress. These amendments include altering biodiversity provisions, making changes to encourage the expansion and development of residential aged care facilities, and preparing a Draft Local Government Infrastructure Plan 2016 – 2026.

 

Getting ready for a new planning system

With the commencement of a new planning system confirmed for 3 July 2017, the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning are delivering a series of workshops, live streamed events and community information sessions for interested Queenslanders, to help the community understand and prepare for the new system.

To ensure a smooth transition to the new system, workshops will be held for practitioners to discuss key transitional matters relating to the old and new legislation.

Support materials and demonstration videos will be available in June to showcase the new features and operations of the State’s renewed development application system, MyDAS2, which will become available upon commencement of the new planning system.

The first live streamed information session will be hosted on 19 July 2017.

A learning hub has also been launched on the DILGP website to provide a suite of information to the public on key features of the new laws.

See the DILGP website for more information: http://www.dilgp.qld.gov.au/

 

Heritage buildings protected for future generations

The Queensland Government has ensured heritage buildings in Queensland will be better protected by imposing tighter laws and tougher penalties, under legislation passed by Parliament on 10 May 2017.

Under the new laws, local government planning approval is required before building approvals can be issued in respect of renovating or demolishing character houses. The legislation also allows for local councils to issue Temporary Local Planning Instruments to have immediate effect to protect heritage buildings from inappropriate demolition.

The tougher legislation also raises the maximum penalty for development offences to almost double at $548,550, intended to deterred unlawful approvals being issued without local government planning approval.

The new legislation also reverts the costs policy so that parties bear their own costs of an appeal, unless otherwise ordered by the Court on exceptional grounds. This will encourage legitimate community appeals against developments that threaten heritage buildings, without the applicant fearing that a costs order will be made against them.

These changes come with the passing of the Local Government Electoral (Transparency and Accountability in Local Government) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016.

Under this same legislation, government candidates are required to provide full disclosure of campaign donations during local government elections to ensure that the public are better informed in placing their votes. This is passed pursuant to a report on transparency and accountability in local government given by the Crime and Corruption Commission in 2015.

 

New Planning Law to Commence 3 July 2017

The final versions of the Planning Act 2016, the Planning and Environment Court Act 2016 and the Planning (Consequential) and Other Legislation Act 2016 are due to commence on 3 July 2017. This legislation supersedes the current Sustainable Planning Act 2009.

The Queensland Government claims that “the new Act cuts through the complexity of the current legislation and will ensure Queensland’s planning system is fair, open, transparent and easier to navigate for planners, developers, local government and the community.”

According to the government, key features of the Planning Act 2016 include:

  • A requirement for assessment managers and referral agencies to publish reasons for their decisions during the procession of development application;

  • Reinstated public access to information

  • Public notification is now required for all impact assessable developments

  • Streamlined development assessment processes

  • New terminology categories of development and levels of assessment

  • Code assessment decision rules now explicitly recognising a presumption in favour of approval for code assessment

  • Reinstated requirements for regular review of local planning schemes and infrastructure plans

  • Automatic indexing of infrastructure charges; and

  • Clear transitional arrangements to facilitate moving from the old legislation to the new.

Of particular importance are the changes made to the costs provisions, which have reintroduced the position whereby each party bears their own costs, subject to some exceptions, where the court may impose a costs order.

Clients should be aware that due to the application of transitional provisions, appeals which have been commenced under the existing legislation may now be governed by rules under the Planning Act 2016.

Clients with general queries regarding the new Planning Law and how it may impact their matter are encouraged to contact Milne Legal.

More information regarding the new planning law is available from the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning website at <http://www.dilgp.qld.gov.au/planning-reform>.


2016

Release of the Draft South East Queensland Regional Plan

The Draft South East Queensland Regional Plan (SEQRP) was released by the Queensland Government on the 20th of October 2016. The Draft SEQRP updates the current ‘South East Queensland Regional Plan 2009-2031’ and aims to deliver more than 30,000 new dwellings each year in response to the regions continual growth.

 

Planning Bills passed

On 12 May 2016, the Queensland Parliament passed the Planning Act, the Planning and Environment Court Act and the Planning (Consequential) and Other Legislation Act, to replace the current Sustainable Planning Act 2009.

The new legislation will commence in 2017 and is promised to create a more efficient system of regulating planning and development across Queensland.

The legislation is available from the Queensland Legislation website, which will be soon be accompanied by supporting materials to help the public understand the new framework.

A media statement made by Jackie Trad, Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Trade and Investment, outlined the key features of the new legislation, including:

  • A requirement for assessment managers and referral agencies to publish reasons for their decisions on development applications

  • Reinstated public access to information

  • Public notification for all impact assessable developments

  • Reintroduced costs provisions whereby each party bears their own costs

  • Streamlined development assessment process

  • Clearer, simpler categories of development and levels of assessment

  • Code assessment decisions rules explicitly recognising a presumption in favour of approval for code assessment

  • Reinstated requirement for regular review of local planning schemes and infrastructure plans

  • Automatic indexing of infrastructure charges

Visit the Queensland Government’s planning system website for more information about the new planning system.