Townhouses and apartment blocks are no longer welcome in Brisbane’s character suburbs after the Brisbane City Council voted to protect single house blocks under a two-year protection order.
The temporary local planning instrument, aiming to stop larger developments from moving into suburbs that are traditionally single houses with large backyards, was first raised in September last year.
The approved ban, designed to protect the city’s character, will now limit the rapid development of unattractive “cookie-cutter” townhouse and apartment developments from being erected in low-density residential suburbs.
Brisbane’s low-density suburbs are spread across the city, from Chapel Hill to Westlake, Holland Park and Salisbury, Wynnum West and Aspley.
Council engaged in community consultation before its decision, voting unanimously in favour of the temporary local planning instrument, provided for in the Planning Act 2016, in February.
Under the changes, developers will be unable to consolidate numerous smaller lots into mega lots of about 3000sq m for medium and high-density builds.
“We regularly see amendments to the plan come through and the plans are a living, breathing thing, so we will continue to see changes going forward,” lord mayor Adrian Schrinner said.
“These changes are based on the changing needs of the community, based on feedback, and also based on the need to provide more housing in Brisbane as our population grows,” Cr Schrinner told the chamber.
“It is my belief that low density should be low density, and that is exactly what we are putting forward.”
In May, nearly 6,000 properties around Brisbane's eastern suburb of Coorparoo were rezoned to character residential under Brisbane City Council’s latest neighbourhood plan.
The significant decision acted a precursor to council's impending changes, aiming to protect and retain the typical Queensland house from being demolished or altered significantly.
The Property Council of Australia, which has been a vocal opponent of the proposed planning instrument and amendment package, warned that the changes, even though temporary, could cause flow on effects to housing affordability and diversity.
The Property Council of Australia’s Queensland executive director Chris Mountford said the additional cost and space allocation required to meet the new standard would make it harder to get projects off the ground, with the additional cost ultimately to be passed on to buyers.
The PCA also highlighted the package could dampen residential development at a time when housing diversity is needed to keep pace with demand.
That amendment has identified and protected more pre-1,911 houses across the city, particularly within inner-city suburbs, and added 128 new sites to heritage mapping