A Flood of Development in South Brisbane

May 26, 2011

Celebration for some and frustration for many as South Brisbane’s Riverside Neighbourhood Plan is released.

After years of pain and delay, South Brisbane is one step closer this week to becoming the vibrant, cultural urban hub that it has long deserved.

Landowners are breathing a collective sigh of relief as the South Brisbane Riverside Neighbourhood Plan finally brings certainty to their development timetables. The Local Area Plan will be adopted this Friday the 15th April, taking densities up to 30 stories in some areas on complying sites.

The area has been waiting for this plan since mid-2006 when changes to development in the region were first proposed.  The process of preparing this plan has been long, drawn out and involved lengthy community consultation, at great cost to landowners in the area contemplating development.

In fact, the West End Community Association on their website has called this “the largest, longest neighbourhood planning exercise in Brisbane.”

And it has caused massive delays in development throughout the area. “No landholder is going to build a three story building on their land if the proposed local area plan indicates they will be able to achieve to 6 stories if and when the plans are adopted… are they?” said Scott Whiteoak from Ellivo Architects.

But Scott is also the first to complement the potential of the new plan, “The plan provides a framework for a world class cultural district, and if interpreted correctly, will deliver an affordable, vibrant, mixed use precinct of appropriate heights and densities – everything the industry and residents had hoped.  But it has been a long time coming.”

During the 4-5 years of waiting, the timeline for completion has been modified several times, increasing the shadow of uncertainty over the timing of potential development in South Brisbane every time.  And, as it has dragged on it has slowed development applications in the wait for new frameworks.  Similar pain is being felt all over Brisbane in the 32 local areas still waiting for their plans to be prepared and formally adopted.

“We celebrate the achievement of this new plan, but find it timely to point out the enormous stress this delay to Local Area Plan adoption is placing on the development industry as a whole all across the city of Brisbane”, said Scott.