Archive for development application

Changing land development scheme in the Gympie Region

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Superseded Planning Scheme can no longer be requested after 1 July 2014

The Gympie Regional Council adopted the current 2013 Gympie Regional Planning Scheme on 1 July 2013, and as such, the one year anniversary for the take effect date is fast approaching – in less than a month from now.  Developments lodged to the Gympie Regional Council after 1 July 2014 will no longer be able to request assessment under the superseded 2005 Cooloola Scheme.

In some instances, this can significant affect the viability, profitability and design outcomes for the development of land.  It is suggested that even if you are considering developing land in the next 5-10 years time, that you urgently contact Martoo Consulting to conduct a due diligence exercise.

Our planners have the requisite experience to promptly provide advice on whether your approvals for possible future development should be started today – to avoid missing out.

Existing landholders, potential purchasers, and developers take note – this is an exercise which simply must be undertaken for anyone considering developing land in Gympie.

Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014 commences

SC Planning Scheme 2014

The new Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014, prepared by the Sunshine Coast Regional Council officially takes effect from today, Wednesday 21 May 2014.  This new scheme had previously been adopted by Council on 14 April 2014, and gazetted on 2 May 2014, however today is the official day in which the new scheme supersedes the previous Maroochy Plan 2000 and Caloundra City Plan 2004.

Over the next twelve months, it will be possible to lodge applications under either the new Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014, or the superseded schemes depending on where a particular site lies. During this time it will therefore be critical to review development proposals against both schemes to ensure the best outcome for a particular site.

Martoo Consulting actively consults in the Sunshine Coast region, and has been involved in development and planning on the Sunshine Coast and in Gympie for over a decade.  Our planners consider the new scheme will present many opportunities for sustainable and suitable development of the region, and can assist anyone in interpreting and analysing the impact of the new Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme.

SUNSHINE COAST COUNCIL ADOPTS NEW PLANNING SCHEME

Coolum

The Sunshine Coast Council has, at a Special Meeting on Monday 14 April 2014, adopted the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme.  The adoption comes after the Draft Scheme was signed off by the State Government Minister, subject to conditions which are to be incorporated by Council.

The Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme will replace both the Caloundra City Plan 2004 and the Maroochy Plan 2000, providing a level of consistency across the Sunshine Coast whilerecognising the unique character of local communities.

It is intended that the new planning scheme will commence on 21 May 2014, heralding in a new era for planning on the Sunshine Coast.

Should you wish to know of your opportunities for development either before or after adoption of the new scheme, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.

Regional and Rural Development focus of The Queensland Plan: a draft vision for the next 30 years

Shaping fundamental aspects of how our cities and regions might operate for the next few decades

The Queensland Plan

The Queensland Government has been busily and publicly active in the past twelve months, showcasing and shaping its new vision and strategy document;The Queensland Plan.  The widely-consulted strategy has just completed its community review stage.  The document largely centres on the State’s normative interests and portfolios, such as the economy, infrastructure, health and education.  This update focuses upon targets within The Queensland Plan relating to planning and development, giving an insight into how the Queensland Government is planning to shape our State’s built environment over the next few decades:

  • Regions – half of Queensland’s population lives outside South East Queensland.
  • Environment – Queensland has the best balance of environmental protection and economic development in Australia.
  • Infrastructure – the right infrastructure is delivered at the right place at the right time.

The balance of environmental protection and economic development is covered in greater detail in a previous post, and will not be discussed in any depth with this update.  The discussion of infrastructure delivery is indirectly given within this article’s focus upon the “Regions” element of the strategy directive.

Regions – half of Queensland’s population lives outside South East Queensland (by 2044).

At first glance, it may seem that this statement is easily achievable without much direct policy intervention.   However, for a population estimated at 4.66 million at the June Quarter of 2013, South East Queensland makes up approximately 70% of Queensland’s entire residential population.   Further, an assessment of Queensland’s broad hectare land supply, which is greenfield and brownfield land suitable for residential development greater than 2,500m2 in size, provides that South East Queensland holds an expected future dwelling yield of 450,000; accounting for 75% of dwelling yield across the entire State.

So, with a large population base, strong recent population growth, and the potential for a significant amount of future dwellings to be sited within the region, it stands to reason that it may be difficult redirect the inertia behind the steady trend of population growth within South East Queensland.  Once the logistics and cost that would underpin the sufficient and timely construction of public and community infrastructure is taken into account, which would be provided against the current trend of population growth, the scale of the commitment behind this strategy statement becomes more fully realized.

This strategy direction, if carried to fruition, would likely stimulate a large number of infrastructure upgrade projects across the State to support this growth.  Without already large rate bases, these infrastructure investments are not likely to be able to come from smaller Councils outside South East Queensland; limiting significant growth to areas within the larger regional areas of Mackay, Rockhampton, Cairns and Townsville, and undoubtedly with the added help of significant State or Federal regional infrastructure funding.

The far more difficult query relates is how the Government plans to stem the tide of greenfield, and indeed brownfield or infill development, in the burgeoning South East Queensland region, against the apparent momentum of this popular region?

Or is the plan to outstrip the long-standing growth trend in SEQ, with astronomical injections of funds to stimulate growth and infrastructure development in regional and rural areas of Queensland?  Will this come at the cost of those in the State who choose to settle in well-serviced and affordable areas of SEQ?  The finer points of this rural and regional revitalization are not known, and it is impossible to say how exactly such a plan would be delivered at this point in time.

The move by the Queensland Government to focus population growth, and hence economic growth, outside SEQ is a significant undertaking.  To limit impacts upon fringe agricultural lands in SEQ from our ever-expanding city centres, it could be a welcome development.  And so too for towns across Queensland which have been struggling in recent times with the pressures of metropolitan-focused population and societal growth, the “two-state” economy problem introduced by regional mining and gas projects, and fluctuating weather and commodities prices.  The growth would not come without the announcement of many and varied infrastructure projects across the State, which could be a welcome move for the construction and manufacturing sectors.

And it certainly would mean that developers looking to capitulate on this focus should start looking far and wide for opportunities to develop land across Queensland; as the growth in population in these areas will not occur entirely off the State’s back; and not without a concerted push from the urban development industry.

Planning reform in Queensland

Updates on the Newman Government’s State planning reforms

If you’ve been active in the development space over the last few years, you may have noticed the incremental roll-out of the Newman Government’s policy and planning legislation reform, significantly changing the game for developers in Queensland.

This newsletter will chronicle the release of reforms as they are announced and as they come into force, helping distil what the changes mean for those in the industry, and what could arise out of the various shifts in focus which have been set in motion by the Newman Government.

So far we’ve seen significant changes from 2013, including the following:

  • Installment of the State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA) and online myDAS portal;
  • State Development Assessment Provisions (SDAPs)
  • Single State Planning Policy;
  • Queensland Planning Provisions;
  • Sustainable Planning Act and Other Legislation Ammendments (SPOLA) Act 2012;
  • Environmental Protection (Greentape Reduction) and Other Legislation Amendments Act 2012; and
  • Vegetation Management Amendment Act 2013 (and self-assessable codes)

With the following milestones yet to come in 2014 and 2015:

  • Changes to infrastructure charges framework – mid 2014
  • Planning for Queensland’s Development Act (to replace the Sustainable Planning Act) - late 2014-mid 2015
  • Updating regional plans - to the end of 2014
  • Updating of local planning schemes – ongoing

All of these changes have a significant impact upon the development application process involving almost every type of conceivable type of urban land development in Queensland.

Accordingly, certain types of development activity regulated under planning or environmental legislation, which was previously unviable, may now be achievable with the effects of the reform.  Conversely, these changes may impose different or further challenges or restrictions upon land use matters in Queensland.

Time is the critical element here, and finding out where your development stands sooner rather than later could add significant advantages and save you time and money through the concept design and assessment stages.

If you would like to discuss a particular development with us, and how it’s status may change with the roll out of State legislation or policy, get in contact with our Gympie or SunshineCoast office and one of our staff will assist with your enquiry.

 

 

Noosa Council and Sunshine Coast Regional Council– what it means for the Sunshine Coast

Two new local governments, two distinct and fresh approaches -

Noosa

On January 1, 2014, the local government conglomerate of Maroochy Shire Council, Caloundra City Council, and Noosa Council, known since 2008 as the Sunshine Coast Regional Council, ceased to exist.  In its place rose two new Council configurations; a reinstatement of the Noosa Council, and the Sunshine Coast Regional Council comprised of the former Maroochy Shire Council and Caloundra City Council areas.  This change was one fought for a long time by residents of Noosa, seeking de-amalgamation from the broader local government of the SunshineCoast.  While the reformation will ultimately allow Noosa Shire residents to solely direct their Council’s future, both Councils have exciting new paths and challenges ahead of them, in order to select and set the scene for living and working on the SunshineCoast over the next decade and beyond.

The draft Sunshine Coast Regional Council planning scheme has gone through public consultation and review, with the scheme currently with the State government awaiting Ministerial sign-off for implementation.  The new scheme is expected to be endorsed around March 2014, according to the Sunshine Coast Regional Council’s (SCRC) website.  The new SCRC planning scheme has been drafted utilizing the Queensland Planning Provisions; the State’s template for local governments preparing planning schemes in order to encourage a consistent approach to scheme layouts, wording, and particularly land use definitions.

The new SCRC planning scheme, as a QPP plan, will look and feel like other new planning schemes in Queensland.  This means that zone types and land use definitions will be the same state-wide.  A number of facets of the new SCRC planning scheme are specific to the Sunshine Coast region, including a declared activity centre in Maroochydore (the Principal Regional Activity Centre – PRAC), a lenient change in residential dwelling density tests (“equivalent dwellings per hectare” as opposed to “dwelling unity factors”), and significant changes both encouraging and prohibiting duplex development in low density areas.  The introduction of the new scheme will inevitably change the direction of development in the SunshineCoast, regardless of what form it ultimately takes.

Noosa Council currently regulates development under the 2006 Noosa Planning Scheme (‘The Noosa Plan’), which was also the relevant document for the area while Noosa Shire was part of the Sunshine Coast Regional Council.  This 2006 scheme will remain in force until such a time that a new scheme takes effect.  Our planning team has been working with The Noosa Plan since its inception in 2006, and can accordingly provide an experienced service to those seeking advice on matters within the Shire of Noosa.  We look forward to helping our clients both presently with the current scheme, and also into the next phase of Noosa’s planning and development progression.

Lord of the Regions: Queensland’s Single State Planning Policy

 

The Newman Queensland Government’s approach to the State’s planning policy has been revealed as one of consolidation; introducing a single state planning policy (SPP) to replace the multiple policies previously in existence.  The SPP has two important roles; in guiding local governments to identify and implement state interests, and also for applicants in formulating their development proposals.

Lord of the rings

Aside from governmental functions including making or amending planning schemes or regional plans, the SPP has two important applications being for:

  • the designation of land for community infrastructure (CID) for things such as:
    • hospitals;
    • educational facilities;
    • railway facilities;
    • parks and recreational facilities; and
    • government administrative offices and works depots.
  • Assessment of a development application according to the interim development assessment requirements until the SPP is integrated into planning schemes (any scheme made after the SPP came into effect on 2 December 2013)

Some state interests have supporting mapping to assist in spatially representing policies or requirements outlined in the SPP. There is mapping for both local government plan making and development assessment purposes. This mapping is contained in the SPP Interactive Mapping System.

The SPP is set out according to five core themes, under which sixteen (16) interests are grouped.  The themes and their respective interests are the following:

1.    Liveable communities and housing

1.1. Liveable communities

1.2. Housing supply and diversity

2.    Economic Growth

2.1. Agriculture

2.2. Development and Construction

2.3. Mining and Extractive Resources

2.4. Tourism

3.    Environment and Heritage

3.1. Biodiversity

3.2. Coastal environment

3.3. Cultural Heritage

3.4. Water Quality

4.    Hazards and safety

4.1. Emissions and hazardous activities

4.2. Natural hazards

5.    Infrastructure

5.1. Energy and water supply

5.2. State transport infrastructure

5.3. Strategic airports and aviation facilities

5.4. Strategic ports

Not all of the interests listed above are relevant to development assessment, even in the interim until the SPP can be integrated into planning schemes and the interim development assessment provisions apply.  Only the following interests apply, according to how they are set out in the new interim development assessment requirements in the SPP:

  • extractive resources;
  • biodiversity in relation to a matter of state environmental significance;
  • coastal environment where on land in a coastal management district;
  • water quality;
  • natural hazards;
  • emissions and hazardous activities;
  • state transport infrastructure; and
  • strategic airports and aviation facilities.

With a number of planning schemes under review, or scheduled for review in the near future, the Single SPP along with the ever-updating Queensland Planning Provisions, and other relevant planning instruments, are sure to be cornerstones of the Newman Government’s planning legacy, as it is constructed and unfolded before our very eyes.

It remains to be seen whether the level of change from a planning framework perspective is having an effect upon the simplicity and warranted success of development applications; it should be said though that the distinctive move from ad hoc and numerous, toward consistent, consolidated and duly iterative, is a welcome directive in spite of the short term complexity it presents.

New Gympie Regional Council Planning Scheme: six months on

Time running out for assessment under the old Cooloola Shire Planning Scheme

Gympie Town

The Gympie Regional Council adopted its new planning scheme a little over six months ago, on 1st July 2013.  The new planning scheme applies over areas under the old Cooloola Shire, Tiaro Shire, and Kilkivan Shire planning schemes, taking into account the Gympie Regional Council’s plan for development and the new requirements from the State with regards to land use planning.  Accordingly, the zones, levels of assessment, use definitions, infrastructure plans, and other key aspects of any planning scheme have been updated in the new scheme, meaning that a development can be considered differently between the old schemes and the new Gympie Regional Council planning scheme.

An application can be made under the old planning scheme for a period up until twelve months after the new scheme came into effect.  This means until the 1st July 2014, an applicant considering developing their land can still apply to have the application assessed under the old scheme.  This provision exists State-wide, and is intended to allow flexibility for landowners who may have their plans for development seriously affected or altered due to the effect of a new planning scheme.

It is essential to contact one of our experienced planners in order to determine whether there is any benefit in lodging your application for development under an old scheme.  The difference between schemes can be quite substantial, with changes to land zonings, minimum lot sizes for subdivision, levels of assessment for land use changes and other development, and use definitions being typically the key applicable changes.  This can have bearing upon any application, including primarily;

  • Subdividing small blocks or subdivision for an estate, or other reconfigurations of a lot; and
  • Changing the use for commercial, industrial or residential purposes (eg. Shop to factory, house to workshop, café or restaurant to tourist accommodation, etc.).

The new Gympie Regional Council Planning Scheme has also been extensively utilized in applications prepared by Martoo Consulting in the latter half of 2013, and in to 2014 as well.

For more information on our experience and capabilities in our Gympie region, please get in contact.  Our Gympie office is located in the centre of town, and we’d be only too happy to discuss your development opportunities.