The Queensland Government has approved an initial 480 lots at the controversial Cedar Woods development at Upper Kedron in Northern Brisbane while rejecting the original proposal for 1,350 lots.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Jackie Trad said she had made the decision after considering almost 1,600 submissions and weighing up best planning practice and the housing needs of Brisbane.
“Independent expert planning advice found that Brisbane City Council failed to properly assess this development application against their own planning scheme, and that only a partial approval could be justified when assessed against council’s plan,” Ms Trad said.
“As a result, I have provided a preliminary approval for approximately 480 lots to be developed over part of the site, while not allowing development within those areas zoned for environmental protection or rural uses.
“It has also become clear that the Brisbane City Council planning framework for the site has been fundamentally deficient and does not provide an appropriate basis on which to make long term development decisions for this area.
“As a result of council’s failure, I also intend to issue a formal Ministerial Direction under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 requiring council to undertake updated planning in the local area.”
This Ministerial Direction will require the council undertake appropriate land use planning and community engagement that considers the long term potential of this site, which has been fully included within the Urban Footprint of the South East Queensland Regional Plan since 2009.
“It’s vital that proper and integrated town planning is carried out so that the council’s planning scheme can accurately point to a well-considered long term future for this key site," Ms Trad said.
Independent land use planning and technical studies including transport, traffic and environmental issues, reveal the site has the potential for further residential development in addition to the initial approval. However, the current Brisbane City Plan does not adequately address these matters.
Independent expert planning analysis found that Brisbane City Council did not act reasonably in their assessment of the development, and that an Infrastructure Agreement negotiated in advance of the application was a significant departure from the zoning/land use intent for the site and overall conservation strategy as set out in the council’s city plan.
Environmental analysis also demonstrates that the city plan does not reflect the actual location of environmental values across the large site, and that a superior ecologically sustainable development configuration could be achieved rather than what is reflected in the city plan.
“Good planning and real engagement with the community is required to resolve these major deficiencies,” Ms Trad said.
“The community rightly raised concerns about inconsistencies with the proposed development and how it sat within the council’s planning scheme and the state’s regional plan urban development footprint expectations.
“If the developer had been given clearer signals about what was envisaged in council’s city plan 2014, then unnecessary angst within the community and uncertainty surrounding the development could have been avoided.”
The Cedar Woods call in investigated town planning, traffic, environmental and community concerns.
“I have consistently said that I intended to make a decision on this matter on planning grounds, and that is what has guided my decision today," Ms Trad.
The Queensland Government issued a call in of the proposed Upper Kedron master planned community for re-assessment earlier this year following an election commitment to the community. The Deputy Premier used her powers under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009.