Bundaberg Region's new Planning Scheme released

The Bundaberg Regional Planning Scheme 2015 commenced on Monday 19 October 2015.  It presents many new opportunities for developers and land owners.  It focuses on reducing the levels of assessment on some developments, while tightening up the provisions around flood hazard mitigation.  Some of the key changes are—

  •  Changing the level of assessment on duplex developments, particularly in low density residential areas.     What does this mean?  Under previous planning schemes, applicants were required to lodge a town planning application (material change of use) for the construction of a duplex on land zoned for low density residential activities.  The new planning scheme has made duplexes in the low density zoned self-assessable.  As long as the proposed duplex complies with the self-assessment criteria, no material change of use application needs to be lodged with Council.  You will be able to go straight to a private building certifier to get your building approval.
  • Expansion of rural residential land.     The new planning scheme provides a significant increase in the amount of land included in the Rural Residential Zone.  It not only expands on already established rural residential area, but identifies new areas.
  • Introduction of new zonings including—
    • Emerging Communities Zone provides opportunities for future growth and expansion of the urban footprint.  These areas are supported by Local Area Plans which provide some guidance on the preferred settlement patterns.  The main areas of future growth are along the coast strip from Burnett Heads to Elliott Heads, Kalkie/Ashfield area, and Branyan.
    • Limited Development (constrained land) Zone, which is mainly limited to the flood affected areas over North Bundaberg and around Salter Creek in Bundaberg Central.  It identifies site which may also be constrained through mining, land contamination, defence requirements, or historical subdivisions.  As the name suggests, development opportunities in this zone are generally limited to pre-existing uses or new uses of low intensity.
    • High Density Zone, which captures the land along Quay and Bourbong Streets between the Tallon Bridge and the main railway line through town.  This zoning has been established to encourage a range of higher density residential developments in multi-storey formats.  It also supports mixed development opportunities where residential and non-residential activities interact and complement each other.
  • New Bundaberg West Medical/Health Hub Precinct (MDRZ1 of the Medium Density Zone) is established around the existing hospitals in west Bundaberg.  This area provides for a cluster of medical, health care and allied services and facilities (including short term accommodation) that compliments and supports the existing hospitals.
  • New Barolin Street Office Precinct (MDRZ2 of the Medium Density Zone).  This precinct formalised the already expanding office precinct along Barolin Street and supports the growth of small-scale businesses and community activities (predominately offices and health care services) along a major entry to the Bundaberg CBD.
  • Provision of a ‘Centres’ network that clear identifies the roles and functions of key centres —
    • Principle Activity Centre (e.g. Bundaberg CBD)
    • Major Activity Centre (e.g. Sugarland and Johanna Boulevard)
    • District Activity Centre – Urban (e.g. Bargara Central and Kepnock)
    • District Activity Centre – Rural (e.g. Childers and Gin Gin Town Centres)
    • Local Activity Centre (e.g. North and South Bundaberg, Ashfield and coastal town centres)
    • Neighbourhood Activity Centre
    • Specialised Activity Centre (e.g. Bundaberg Airport, Port of Bundaberg, Takalvan Street)

    As you might imagine, there are many other opportunities created by the new planning scheme.   It is expected that with these opportunities, there will also be some constraints.  We suggest you give us a call to discuss how to realise development opportunities out of the new planning scheme.

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