Archive for reconfiguring a lot

e-Newsletter Spring 2017

Welcome to our spring newsletter providing insights into local planning and development happenings in and around the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay Regions.  Topics for review include:

  • Can Airbnb be Regulated?
  • From Cootharaba to Coolangatta – Shaping SEQ
  • Cross River Rail Project – What About the North Coast Line?
  • Summer Bushfire Hazard
  • Be Warned! Planning Schemes Have Been Amended
  • Other News

We would love to hear any feedback about the articles and any suggestions you may have for future articles.

Regulating Airbnb

Airbnb has turned sharing our homes and living spaces with strangers from a fringe idea into an income. Much has been written in the media about this disruptive land use change, with most knowing somebody who is making a bit on the side by renting their house out during holiday time to fund their own holiday.

Over the last 5 years Council’s have taken a hands off approach to this disruptive land use change, however is this all about to change?

airbnb

The Noosa Plan currently requires an impact assessable planning application for a bed and breakfast use, while the Sunshine Coast Council Planning Schemes is more self-regulating allowing for up to 6 people stay for no more than 14 days, so long as the resident owner manages the stay and is reserved a room. However, with more than 1,000 listings on the Coast for short stay accommodation, there have been only 6 applications approved for a ‘bed and breakfast’ use in the last 5 years by both Councils.

Rather, Council has taken a ‘hands off’ approach only responding to complaints from neighbours when the temporary AirBnB residents get out of hand (i.e. party houses). In which case, the owner stops advertising, or buys a house nearby with more understanding neighbours.

Local Councils are having to respond to the other neighbours having to put up with the amenity impacts (noise, car parking, rubbish etc.). Academics and strategic planners have been complaining about the societal concerns associated with the impacts on the local rental market and social cohesion in these transient tourist areas. And now the tourism lobby are now complaining AirBnB is impacting on hotel chains bottom lines. Concern is raised about the lack of regulation of people running hotels out of residential buildings, and highlighting how Airbnb hosts do not collect hotel taxes, tourism levies and are not subject to the same health and fire safety regulations that hotel operators must follow.

In response, Noosa Council recently announced they are looking at ways to formalise AirBnB’s by creating a management policy (and a way of taxing) for the use within the new planning scheme. They have also asked LGAQ to lobby the State government to develop a policy response.

Considering other State Laws recently brought in to control ‘disruptive’ changes such as Uber (as a result of the Taxi Industry lobbying), which include the requirement for licences and annual fees – could this be the start of regulation for this disruptive land use change?

 A new plan for South East QLD – ‘From Cootharaba to Cambooyah to Coolangatta and everywhere in between’

SEQ plan and statistics

SEQ Plan and Population Statistics
Click on image to view larger size

Shaping SEQs is the third ‘big’ regional plan for South East Queensland and sets the parameters for land use planning to grow from 3.5 million to 5.3 million people in the next 25 years.he plan uses all the modern planning terms including responding to ‘global megatrends’, ‘missing middle housing’, ‘sweating our assets’, ‘inter urban breaks’, ‘place making’,  ‘disruptive technology’. However, what is much different from the previous plans to this version is the more collaborative approach the State are proposing to ‘work with’ the 12 local governments, which make up the region. 

What does it mean for the Sunshine Coast?

  • More development towards Brisbane with the expansion of ‘Beerwah East’ as a Ministerial Designated Area. Giving it special status as a large growth area requiring significant state infrastructure investment for its urban development.
  • Halls Creek (south of Stockland’s Aura development) is identified as a potential ‘Future Growth Area’. This means the land has at least been shown on a map for expansion in time the next update of the plan in 5 years.
  • The Sunshine Coast is required to accommodate 53,700 new ‘infill’ unit developments, and 33,300 new ‘greenfield’ developments over the next 25 years. Equivalent to 2,148 new units & 1,332 new detached house lots per year.

Opinion – A lot of the new detached house growth and development will be focussed on the southern end of the coast. Although ambitiously targeting more unit developments, the plan is for more quarter acre block on the outskirts of greater Brisbane.

What does it mean for Noosa?

  • No expansion of the urban footprint for the next five years.
  • The State want to see more consolidated development with 4,800 new ‘infill’ units, and 1,600 new ‘greenfield’ houses over the next 25 years. Equivalent to 192 new units & 64 new detached houses per year.

Opinion – These are fairly low and unambitious targets for growth in Noosa. Even with many sites being zoned for higher densities it is the individual landowner who is deciding whether it is worth building another 10 bedroom house on their unit zoned land near the river/beach.

What does it mean for Gympie?

  • Despite having a new 4 lane highway connecting Gympie to Brisbane making travel times less than 2 hours, there are no State urban footprint restrictions.
  • Gympie Council is planning for the overflow of South East Queensland and recently endorsed the Southside Local Development Area Structure Plan to accommodate a further 1,200 dwellings in an emerging uan area.

Opinion – Considering the greater connection with Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, as well as the cheap cost of land in the area it will be interesting to watch Gympie’s growth over the coming years.

Regional plans are reviewed generally every five to seven years. Feel free to come in and speak to our qualified and experienced planners, who can provide greater insights into the opportunities and constraints for appropriate land development within the region.

 seq plan southseq plan north

legend seq

All Aboard the Cross River Rail Project! What about the North Coast Rail Line?

By Jack Lewis

The South East QLD transport network connects the region from Gympie to the Gold Coast. As a sometimes user of the network, I can attest to the fact that the network is pretty efficient, air conditioned and modern compared with other regions and countries.

transport

However in South East Queensland the car is still the dominant form of travel, and while I can get a train from Gympie to Varsity Lakes that takes just under 5 hours, I predominantly choose to drive the 3½ hours, endure the tolls, roadworks and the overcrowded Nudgee service centre toilets.

Brian Feeney from the University of Queensland recently commented that the push by the QLD State government for the Cross River Project (reinforced by the Shaping SEQ plan) provides for a second railway connection through the Brisbane CBD, but at the expense of decentralisation. He argues this large infrastructure spending will serve areas that already have comparatively good public transport services, whereas the suburban and coastal areas where most people live would continue to have limited transport options.

Give most people a proper rational choice between driving and catching good public transport, and the decision will be between what is cheaper, more efficient and more environmentally sensible. If driving to Brisbane from the coast for and having to be somewhere by a certain time, most still choose driving.

The big growth for the coast in the Shaping SEQ plan document is to open up the southern end of the coast with new Stockland houses. Isn’t it time the State also pushed for a large infrastructure announcement for the North Coast Rail Line?

Fire Noosa North Shore

Fire Noosa North Shore – August 2017

Summer Bushfire Hazard

Spring is bushfire season in our region. We have already had some intense bushfire’s early in the season with houses being lost on the Noosa North Shore and evacuations at the southern end of the coast. Bushfire hazard planning is of critical importance to any new development.

Noosa Council recently refused an aged care facility on part of the Noosa Civic site, with the bushfire hazard risk likely to unduly burden disaster management response and recovery capacity and capabilities. New developments on the south end of the coast also forced residents to flee from their new estate houses.

Come and speak to our experienced and qualified planners who can assist in providing you the upfront information to avoid a costly Council refusal, or appropriate design responses to help manage bushfire risk.

Be Warned! Check how Existing Planning Schemes Have Been Amended To Align with New Planning Act

The new Planning Act commenced in July and introduces new terminology, processes and procedures.  Most local governments have also amended their plans to align with the new Planning Act.  However, there is no need for local governments to advertise or identify the amendments made to the plan.

Certain local governments have taken this opportunity to improve and clarify their previous local planning instrument/scheme without the need to undergo public consultation.  It has been discovered that one such Council has amended the following requirements:

  • Reducing the number of lots that can be developed for dual occupancy by over 50% (not allowing them to be located next to one another);
  • Introduced a maximum height in metres across all zones, rather than the previous and admittedly vague reference to height in storeys; and
  • Further restrictions on the subdivision of rural land for primary production (which is undefined).

Anyone who was considering to proceed with a development application under the previous Sustainable Planning Act is advised to check with a consulting planner to clarify the changes which may have resulted with the introduction of the new Planning Act.

Other News

The Sunshine Coast Council just can’t catch a ‘break’. With the Halls Creek expansion included within the Shaping SEQ Plan, despite Mayor Jamieson being vehemently opposed to Halls Creek being a potential Growth Area. Considering the break is currently approximately 20km wide, at least it’s not as narrow as the 2km between Ormeau and North Coomera on the Gold Coast.

Gympie is still on track to utilise more ‘Sun’ than the ‘Sunshine’ Coast, as a massive $2 Billion dollar solar farm on the outskirts of Gympie is in the approval process. If completed, the solar farm will power over 315,000 homes.

All the good weather has resulted in Section C of the Bruce Highway upgrade nearing completion, with the real possibility of the highway being opened before Christmas.

Note: If you’re having trouble downloading the links – Right Click the link and ‘Open in Incognito Button’ (Google Chrome) or Right Click the link and ‘Open in New Window” (Internet Explorer).

Contributors:
Jack Lewis B.Sc Hons UNSW, M.Plan OTAGO
Greg Martoo, B App Sc (Surv), Dip URP, M App SC (Urban Design), MPIA, MSIA
Certified Practising Planner, Registered Cadastral Surveyor
Nadine Gorton  BRTP, Grad Cert. Mgmt
Sarah Cole  BA (Pol Sci), LLB, L5B (Grad Cert Legal Prac)

 

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.

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.

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.

 

 

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.

The changing face of development in Queensland: Vegetation Management

New regulations govern the use of vegetated land balancing economic and environmental outcomes

Vegetation Management

The legislative and policy framework governing vegetation clearing in Queensland for a range of land uses and development scenarios has changed, with aims to balance good environmental outcomes with correspondingly appropriate development proposals.  Accordingly, development that was previously prohibited or difficult to carry out due to the structure of the previous framework may now be possible, providing that a good case be made for the development against the criteria of the new framework.

The assessment of clearing generally still depends on the following considerations:

  • the type of vegetation (as indicated on the new regulated vegetation management map and supporting maps);
  • the tenure of the land (e.g. freehold or Indigenous land);
  • the location, extent and purpose of the proposed clearing; and
  • who is proposing to do the clearing (e.g. state government body, landholder).

The recent shift provides a raft of significant changes, including different exemptions for clearing purposes, new self-assessable codes, and a new simplified mapping of regulated vegetation over lots in Queensland.  The vegetation categories on the new map are:

  • Category A (red): areas subject to compliance notices, offsets and voluntary declarations
  • Category B (dark blue): remnant vegetation
  • Category C (light blue): high-value regrowth vegetation
  • Category R (yellow): regrowth vegetation within 50m of watercourses in priority reef catchment areas
  • Category X (white): areas not regulated under the Vegetation Management Act 1999.

A significant change for most of the developments Martoo Consulting has experience in gaining approvals for – being small subdivisions to large estates, duplexes to multi-storey complexes and shopping centres, schools to marinas and community infrastructure, and even backpackers and bed and breakfasts – is the change in level of assessment from 2 hectares to 5 hectares.  This means that lots less than 5 hectares in area will not be assessed for clearing proposed as part of a development.

The new self-assessable codes and clearing exemption purposes will also likely provide for some significant changes in terms of level of assessment; however these purposes and exemptions tend to be more circumstantial and applicable on a case-by-case basis.

In terms of the outcomes required of developments assessed against the State’s development assessment for vegetation matters, a renewed focus has been cast upon “environmental offsetting” as an acceptable outcome for some clearing that cannot be avoided or minimised.  Offsets can be made either through direct offsets (suitable land with good quality vegetation under an on-title security such as a covenant) or indirect offsets (the payment of an appropriate sum to the government), means that the environmental impact may be considered economically quantifiable and financial penalties enforced accordingly,  instead of the environmental damage being unequivocally prohibited.  The process is somewhat complex, requiring typically an amount of field surveying to determine the ecological equivalence of both the land to be cleared, and in the case of direct offsets, the land provided as an offset.

Martoo Consulting has experience in managing offsets for properties in Queensland, though a significant change to the Queensland Biodiversity Offsets Policy (QBOP) has been earmarked by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection for early 2014, which will also require consideration upon publication for any significant changes affecting industrial, residential, commercial and agricultural land uses in Queensland.

To find out more about your property or development, and how it fits in with the changes in the environmental planning space, get in contact with Martoo Consulting and one of our experienced planners can talk you through the options you have at your fingertips.