Brisbane City Scape - Benefits of Development

We understand development is seen by some as an unwanted process that is thrust upon them with no explanation and no care for the community or surrounding environment.

Based on our experience and different research available, it is clear that some of this angst stems from members of the community:

  • not knowing or understanding the zoning of their property and local area. Therefore, they are often unaware of what type and form of development is supported by their local Planning Scheme(i.e. use, maximum building height, minimum lot size).
  • not understanding the development assessment process (i.e. when they can object) and therefore nottrusting the current consultation process as they find it to be bias or a simple box ticking process for developers to move forward.

It is also clear many are unaware that:

  • all developments (big and small) are conditioned to provide external infrastructure i.e. street trees, footpaths, building awnings, public art.
  • all developers pay infrastructure charges. On average, a developer pays $29,000 in infrastructure charges for the creation of every additional lot or 3 bedroom dwelling.  This money is then used by Council and the relevant water distributor-retailer (i.e. Queensland Urban Utilities, Unitywater) to upgrade local roads, parks, water and sewer infrastructure.  Without this contribution, many upgrades wouldn’t happen or some Council rates would increase.
  • the property industry:
  • currently creates 240,000 direct jobs in Queensland and supports another 168,000.
  • directly accounts for 11.4% of Queensland’s economic activity.
  • pays 49.8% of Queensland taxes, local government rates, fees and charges (source: Property Council of Australia, 2019).

Given this, were believe there needs to be greater dialogue between the industry and community so both understand each other’s objectives and our cities can continue to prosper and enjoy the benefits of well-considered development.  Our key recommendations to achieve, include:

For developers / the industry:

  • If a significant or, number of performance outcomes are proposed, we recommend engaging with the site’s neighbours and local community before lodging an application with Council and continuing to engage with them throughout the application process and construction i.e. be a good neighbour.
  • Prepare all development application material with the community in mind i.e. avoid planning jargon, clearly explain the development, its benefits and whether or not is complies with the relevant Planning Scheme.

For the community:

  • We recommend checking your site and local area’s zoning and familiarising yourself with what is and isn’t permitted under the Planning Scheme. You can do this yourself online, by visiting or calling your local Council or Councillor or getting in touch with a private town planner.
  • Know that when a development is publicly notified, this consultation period is not only for objections.You can express your opinion whether it be positive, negative or neutral via your local Council’s online submission tools i.e. Brisbane City Council encourage this via their PD Online
  • Before submitting your opinion on a development, ensure your information is up to date and you have researched both the impacts and benefits of the development.Also, rather than simply object, try to explain what your exact concerns are, what you are supportive of and/or what you would like to see instead i.e. You are not opposed to the development in principle but you believe the proposed building is set too close to a shared boundary and will impact on your dwelling’s privacy.  Accordingly, you would like it setback an extra 0.5m or additional landscaping or screening provided.
  • If you have specific question in relation to a development, reach out to the developer directly. They are usually always happy to assist you with your queries.

If you want to know more about any of the projects we are currently working on and why we believe they encompass planning with purpose, or whether you need some advice or know how for an upcoming development, get in touch with us today by calling 0401 349 601 or send an email to

Rhiannon Smit

Author Rhiannon Smit

Rhiannon has been with Hickey Oatley Planning & Development since 2018 and has been instrumental in establishing the HOPD brand. Rhiannon holds tertiary qualifications in media communications with a Bachelor of Creative Industries.

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