Why is a town planners job so hard? Multiple Dwelling edition

Brisbane City Council is constantly finding ways to introduce new provisions for assessment to better ‘control’ development but really it seems it is just continually overcomplicating the process. So we thought we’d have a little review of what targets you need to hit to obtain a planning permit for a Multiple dwelling in Brisbane.

Here we go:

The Multiple Dwelling Code alone is 54 Performance Outcomes (POs) long; most sites are now within a Neighbourhood Plan which on average has 10-20 POs; each property has at least 6 overlays which results in around 80 POs total; and, a Multiple Dwelling requires a response to the Secondary Codes which is approx. 120 POs.

In total, that is around 224-274 POs applicable to the assessment of a Multiple Dwelling proposal. As we know, as a standard, we respond to the Council Acceptable Outcomes (AO) to demonstrate compliance with the PO, and on average, for each PO, there are 2 corresponding AOs..

This means, there are around 448-548 site and development-specific codes directly relating to a Multiple Dwelling development. That is up to 548 times that Council control and shape the prospective multiple dwelling development even before it is run through the DA process and team of specialists in Council.

We will note that of those 548 provisions, countless of them also refer to a Planning Scheme Policy of which add another 300+ pages to the assessment of those 548 provisions.

On top of the AOs specific to the proposed development, we also need to address the Zone and Neighbourhood Plan that the site is located within. Most Overall Outcomes of Zones are 30-40 requirements long.. On top, the Neighbourhood Plan Overall Outcomes can also be up to 80 Overall Outcomes long.. so add those to the 548 provisions.

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In addition to responding to the above codes, the normal documentation relating to the lodgement of a Multiple Dwelling development application includes the following:

  • 20-30 page supporting town planning report;
  • Proposed Plans (Drawn by a registered architect)
  • Survey plan (prepared by a registered surveyor)
  • Stormwater Management Report (Prepared and signed by an RPEQ)
  • Stormwater Management Plan (Signed by an RPEQ)
  • Traffic Management Report (Prepared and signed by an RPEQ)
  • Traffic Management Plan (Signed by an RPEQ)
  • Concept Landscape Intent Plan (Prepared by a registered architect)

And this list does not include some of the other site-specific requirements such as Bushfire reports, hydraulic reports…etc.

In overview, just to lodge an application for a Multiple Dwelling development to Council for assessment, right now, you need the following: A response to 548 provisions (incl. ensuring that you can actually comply with those codes), a response to 120 Overall outcomes, ensure that your responses take into account 300+ pages of additional referencing material, summarise and detail compliance with the above in a 20-30 page supporting town planning report, and provide/prepare 7 supporting documents from 5 different registered professionals.

On top of all of the above, don’t forget that Council then has 45 business days to assess the application and deem the development to either comply or not comply with their codes with multiple opportunities to provide feedback and request changes.

Sound easy?

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