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Infrastructure Charges for Developments to Change

State-wide framework to potentially alter local authorities’ infrastructure charges for new developments

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New developments increase the demand on local infrastructure such as roads, water and sewerage. Developments can range from homeowners subdividing their block to major developers building a whole new community.

When local authorities approve a development application, the applicant may be required to pay an infrastructure charge to the local authority. Local authorities use this money to upgrade infrastructure and make sure neighbourhoods have the services they need.

Proposed Infrastructure Planning and Charging Framework

The Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning has produced an Infrastructure Planning and Charging Framework that is intended to be fair, clear and simple, striking a balance between local authority sustainability and development feasibility.

The draft framework incorporates four key elements:

A Fair Value Schedule of charges that encourages local authorities to apply fair infrastructure charges.

  • A Priority Development Infrastructure program that will see the state co-invest in development and economic growth in local communities.
  • An investigation into sensible infrastructure standards set by the state.
  • Transparent and consistent legislative changes.

The draft framework was presented to industry representatives and then presented to State Parliament in May.

Should you want to discuss what the change to infrastructure charges may bring for a development in a particular area, please do not hesitate to contact Martoo Consulting to have a planner assist with your development enquiry.

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months, it will be possible to lodge applications under either the new Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014, or the superseded schemes depending on where a particular site lies.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

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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.

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.