Application – Integrated Planning Act 1997 - Minor
Change - Meaning of Minor Change – Flooding Impacts –
Facts: This was an interlocutory application by
the Appellant for an order that proposed changes to its development
proposal constituted a minor change within section 4.1.52(2)(b) of
the Integrated Planning Act 1997
(Qld)(IPA) and section 821 of the Sustainable
Planning Act 2009 (Qld) (SPA).
The development proposal related to a residential housing estate
at Todds Road, Lawnton which involved the development of 216
allotments over 12 stages, including the development of 79
allotments on a created island known as the "Island
Platform". Access to the island was by way of a bridge. The
proposal was impact assessable.
The matter was decided under the IPA (by operation of sections
802(2), 819(5)(a) and 819(6) of SPA), however under section
821(2)(b) of SPA, the relevant definition of "minor
change" was that set out in s. 350 of the SPA.
The proposed changes to the proposal consisted of raising the
level of the Island Platform (an area of 8.9 ha) and the height of
the access bridge by 1.1 metres and changing the island bridge
design from a BEBO Arch bridge to a Land bridge involving ten
culverts. There had been two previous minor change applications
regarding the project, one granted and one dismissed.
The main question for the court was whether the proposed changes
amounted to "substantially different development" and
therefore were not a "minor change" under s. 350 of the
Statutory Guideline 06/09 set out when a change may result in a
"substantially different development". It was common
ground that the two relevant criteria to the application related to
whether the proposed changes:
dramatically changed the built form in terms of scale, bulk and
appearance; and / or
introduced new impacts or increased the severity of known
The application was opposed by the Council on the basis
the new plans represented a substantial change from a flood
risk perspective; and
the proposed changes included unacceptable visual amenity
Much of the decision turned on the evidence of the engineers.
The Appellant's flood expert engineer focussed on storm and
flood events and concluded that the proposed changes did not
introduce new flooding impacts. The Council's expert disagreed
and said the plans represented a substantial change in flood risk.
The Appellant's visual amenity engineer said there would be not
be a significant change in visual appearance however the
Council's expert said there would be as the new bridge was
significantly different and there was a lack of screening.
Decision: The Court held, in granting the
the proposed changes must be considered in light of the entire
the proposed changes did not dramatically change the built form
in terms of scale, bulk and appearance or introduce new impacts or
increases the severity of known impacts
the increased elevation of the island platform, bridge and road
approach would not introduce new flooding impacts
the difference in the visual impact of the development between
the two plans was not significant so far as the vegetation
screening was concerned. The increase in the height of the bridge
and road or its design would not have a greater visual impact than
the structure proposed under the original plan
the changes proposed were considered minor changes within the
meaning of that term in the SPA s 350(1)(d).
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