Diversity in design drives Planning Scheme changes

An aerial image of houses built close together to illustrate that new minimum lot sizes will now apply to development and sub-division across City of Logan.
New minimum lot sizes will now apply to development and sub-division across City of Logan.

Visually appealing suburban streets with a range of housing choices will be encouraged under changes proposed to the Logan City Council Planning Scheme.

Requirements for developers to provide a variety of lot sizes and frontage widths are among the proposed new measures that it is hoped will stimulate housing design diversity.

The changes aim to deliver neighbourhoods where residents enjoy less design duplication, improved streetscapes and easier access to amenities and services.

The existing ‘average lot size’ method of sub-division will be removed from the Planning Scheme, based on research and community feedback in last year’s Logan Housing Study.

‘Average lot size’ allowed for flood-prone land as well as land allocated to roads, parks and easements to be included in determining the number of blocks on a sub-divided site.

That resulted in some subdivisions where lots were smaller than had been envisioned by potential buyers and the community.

Minimum lot sizes will apply under the proposed changes with a variety of block sizes now required in developments of 10 or more lots.

The new rules propose that no more than three adjoining lots would have the same frontage.

Other proposed changes to the Planning Scheme include two new ‘use’ codes covering healthcare services and childcare centres in, or near, residential areas.

The new codes feature approval criteria that considers location, building design, traffic volumes and the impact the service or centre might have on local amenity.

The proposed changes would not apply to any existing healthcare services or childcare centres.

Planning Chair, Deputy Mayor Jon Raven said it was important the city’s Planning Scheme was regularly updated to reflect the needs of our changing and growing community.

“These changes close loopholes that some developers have been using for years to increase their profits at the expense of our community,” Councillor Raven said.

“Getting rid of average lot sizes was one of the Mayor’s (Darren Power) first priorities after getting elected and I’ve been working closely with staff to make that happen.

“Last year’s Housing Study told us that City of Logan residents want diversity and choices on how and where they live.

“I want to thank the community members who took the time to provide feedback which helped us draft these proposed changes.
“The quality and volume of the responses shows how important it is for our Planning Scheme to be a relevant, practical and a clear road map for the future of our city.”

There are also 65 ‘operational’ changes proposed to the Planning Scheme, many of which address issues raised by the community.

These include:

  • New erosion and sediment control requirements to better manage the impacts of construction and minimise disturbance for neighbours
  • Recycled concrete can be used in the construction of new roads, minimising environmental impact
  • Removing the need for road-facing retaining walls to have coloured or textured finishes
  • Limiting the number of shipping containers permitted on a property
  • Expanding waste management requirements to ensure waste storage and collection does not impact residential amenity, including the option of communal bins in multi-dwelling developments
  • Amendments to implement Council’s employment lands strategy which includes precincts of preferred land use within mixed zones and the optimisation of industrial zoned land to support jobs growth

The proposed changes to the Planning Scheme were presented at Committee today and now go to the next Ordinary Council meeting (Wednesday, April 28) to be adopted. The changes then must be ratified by the Queensland Government.

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