Council’s attempt to ban Apartments in Brisbane’s Suburbs

As reported in the industry publication Urban Developer (see the link: ) Friday 22 November, BCC has decided to seek a Temporary Local Planning Instrument restricting town-house and multi unit developments in precincts that are predominantly Urban Residential ie detached residential. The TLPI has been anticipated for a while now and is in addition to other measures being taken by BCC to rein in town house/multi-unit development across the BCC area. The proposed amendments to City Plan 2014 are to:

  • remove provisions in zone codes, development codes and neighbourhood plans supporting Multiple dwellings (townhouses and apartments) in the Low Density Residential zone
  • amend other relevant provisions in City Plan to align with this change, including amendments to the Strategic Framework, and make necessary consequential amendments. 

The proposed TLPI has major problems for any developer contemplating a development application for such a project. Although only “temporary’, it acts as a definite planning instrument, but only once it has received approval from the State. That hasn’t occurred as yet. So, a small window of opportunity remains. And it may be that the State refuses to support the TLPI (but unlikely). A TLPI, once approved by the State, has a life of two years and then will lapse unless formally adopted in the Planning Scheme. Objections against the TLPI can be made to the State.

BCC has been trying to rein in higher density developments, apart from residential towers, for a while now. Other measures include proposals to revert to a policy of requiring strict compliance with car-parking requirements, a policy it all but abandoned about 5 years ago on the basis that there was decreased reliance on motor vehicles for inner city residents, and Council was promoting the notion of decreased reliance on motor vehicles.

Although the limitation of higher density development in urban residential areas probably has great merit, the proposed TLPI is a blatant political measure in the lead up to Council elections next March. The fact that the Council believes it is appropriate to contradict its own Planning Scheme in such ad hoc fashion is appalling town planning practice.