The Queensland Government has recently announced major initiatives to improve housing affordability and reform urban land development. This includes the introduction of a new Urban Land Development Authority to take over planning and development control in key areas of the State.
Queensland Housing Affordability Strategy
The Queensland Housing Affordability Strategy seeks to improve the planning and development system, land supply and infrastructure funding systems to assist in improving housing affordability. The Strategy includes actions to:
Establish an Urban Land Development Authority;
Improve planning and development assessment under the Integrated Planning Act;
Increase the supply of land for development;
Regulate infrastructure funding and charging;
Allow local governments to facilitate private sector financing of infrastructure.
To implement these reforms the Queensland Government is introducing a new Urban Land Development Authority Act with a Bill recently passed by Parliament.
Urban Land Development Authority Bill
The Urban Land Development Authority Bill seeks to establish a new Urban Land Development Authority to plan, undertake, promote, coordinate and control the development of certain areas of land in Queensland.
The Authority will effectively take control of planning and development for selected areas of the State which will become "urban development areas". Under the Bill the Authority will assume responsibility for land use and infrastructure planning and development assessment in urban development areas.
The Authority will have the power to resume and amalgamate land and on-sell land and development rights to private sector developers. The Authority will also have the power to attach conditions of sale to land to require a set contribution of affordable housing.
No appeal rights will apply to development within urban development areas. Applicants will therefore be unable to appeal against refusals or conditions on approvals and submitters will have no right of appeal.
Urban Development Areas
The Government has identified the following areas which will initially be declared urban development areas for affordable housing:
For urban development areas, the Authority will prepare a "development scheme" which will include:
A land use plan regulating development in the area;
A plan for infrastructure in the area;
An implementation strategy to achieve the purposes of the Act.
A new development assessment and approval process is established for development in urban development areas which will be administered by the Urban Land Development Authority with various Ministerial reserve powers.
The Bill also proposes a range of other major changes to the Integrated Planning Act in relation to:
State planning regulatory provisions; and
State infrastructure agreements.
Master Planned Areas
New powers to be added to the Integrated Planning Act include the introduction of "master planned areas" which will allow State and local governments to declare master planned areas which will be subject to new planning controls setting out development entitlements and obligations.
Each master planned area will be subject to a "structure plan" prepared by local and State government. Structure plans will become part of the local government’s planning scheme. More detailed plans known as "master plans" may in some cases be prepared by private developers for specific parts of a master planned area. Development within master planned areas must be undertaken in accordance with approved structure plans and master plans.
The Bill has been passed by Parliament and it is expected that the Act will commence by the end of the year.
The Act will have far reaching implications for planning and development in Queensland and will fundamentally affect future development in urban development areas and master planned areas.
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