Council to scale back ‘targeted growth areas’ in City Plan

Council has been forced to rethink parts of their ‘targeted growth areas’ following an overwhelming response from locals over changes to the City Plan.

It comes after a lengthy Planning Committee meeting today, which saw the official unveiling of a 1,000 page report of the first consultation period.

There were 1,203 submissions, detailing a whopping 14,399 individual points.


According to the 1,000 page document put together by council officials, adjustments have had to be made to 11 of the 34 items following.

Of the responses, the largest amount of responses were in regards to building height (15 percent) and density zoning (14 percent), specifically within the ‘targeted growth areas’.

Labrador in particular – which was split into 17 sub areas – will now see the zoning, building height or density to be dropped in 13 of those.

Particularly, the area located north of Stevens Street and east of Loders Creek will be reduced from high density to medium density, dropping building height from proposed 53 metres to 33 metres.

Similarly, the area located north of Stevens Street and incorporating land beside the Chirn Park neighbourhood centre has been reduced from medium density to low-medium density, with proposed building heights dropping 26 metres to 12 metres.

And the area located north of Stevens Street and  to the west of the Chirn Park neighbourhood centre has been included in the medium density residential zone.

In what’s been hailed a local win for the suburb, the sub area 9 – between Wilson Street and Turpin Road – has been scaled back to low density, which will keep building heights at 9 metres rather than the proposed 16 metres, and allow the area to retain its detached dwelling character.

Similar scale backs have been suggested Biggera Waters though Southport West didn’t gain as much feedback.

Chair of the Planning Committee Cameron Caldwell says these changes have been in response to an outpouring of local submissions.

“The important take out from this is that we have made changes through those targeted growth areas that are very much reflective of what the community expectations are.

“We’ve taken a much closer on the ground look at those suburbs and we’ve been able to make changes that reflect the geographic locations, the community’s intent and the way the street layouts are for example.

“Moving from north to south, we’ve seen that areas in Biggera Waters have come down in height.

“We’ve seen areas through the northern part of Labrador reduce in height and density to reflect the geography of that particular neighbourhood.

“We’ve seen detached dwellings retained through the center of Labrador and I think that’s something the community were very strong on.

“In addition we’ve seen Chirn Park protected, we’ve seen that detached dwelling character retained through that area, Councillor Caldwell said.

However, the reductions in density zoning will lead to a six percent decrease across all three targeted growth area, compared to the initial proposed changes to the city plan.

Councillors are now questioning how the city can account for this loss across the rest of the city, particularly given our booming growth rate.

“This (targeted growth areas) is an opportunity to provide a concentrated area of dwellings and people… What’s the expectation of approvals we would then need to accommodate to address that shortfall? It’s going to be much more than the 3,000 (dwellings) we don’t have,” Cr Hermann Vorster asked during the meeting.

Councillor Caldwell says Council has been working hard to make sure dwelling numbers are on par with the state government’s requirements.

“We know that we’re a growing city, and we’re expected by the state to make sure that we’re providing the capacity for housing to be developed within our city.

“These changes provide for an extra uptake of development activity as a potential through these targeted growth areas in particular.

“Because at the moment we are falling short of our required level of dwellings per annum, and if that were to continue then yes we would reach a figure that ultimately might become insurmountable for years to come,” Cr Caldwell told reporters outside chambers.

It took Councillors around three hours to get through the presentation from town planners, with a number of other changes proposed as well.

The 1,000 page report also proposes gathering more up to date vegetation data around the city, particularly in Upper Coomera.

Meterage terms will be retained in building height categories to ensure development applications can’t justify greater heights under just the ‘storey’ measurement.

And roof forms will also be regulated to limit building heights in certain zoning areas as well.

Councillors will likely vote to have a town hall type meeting for Labrador residents, ahead of the second round of consultation which is set to begin in the new year, though this is to be voted on in full Council on Friday.