[Video]It has been a significant day for the Sunshine Coast with council delivering its new planning scheme for the region, helping to strike the right balance between a sustainable economy, environment and community.
Launched today at the Lake Kawana Community Centre, Mayor Mark Jamieson described the plan as a key tool to help council provide the right conditions for business to prosper on the Coast.
“The new planning scheme delivers one plan for the region—giving the property industry, investors and residents one clear set of rules for development across the Coast,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“The Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme is also the first in Queensland to fully incorporate the new Single State Planning Policy. This means that the new planning scheme offers an integrated planning framework that reflects both local and State interests.
“The scheme has also been aligned to the goals of the Regional Economic Development Strategy to encourage the right businesses to operate in the right locations across the Coast.
“One of the ways we’ve achieved this is by altering assessment levels for a range of uses to make it simpler and cheaper to set up a new business. Many new uses will have a lower level of assessment compared to the existing planning schemes”.
“For example, a home based business like bed and breakfast, home office and home based childcare may be able to set up in the right zones without a development application—saving time and money.
“And more flexibility has been given to changing from one tenancy to another in existing buildings in commercial centres without the need for approval— say if a shop closes down, an office or food and drink outlet could be set up in its place, without lodging a new development application to council.
“This gives business more freedom to change to meet different market and community needs.”
Regional Planning Portfolio holder Christian Dickson said significant improvements to the document have made it easier to use and simpler to navigate, with a new electronic lodgement ability coming soon to save applicants time and money.
“Residents can interact with the scheme on council’s website and very simply find their block of land to see its zoning and what the development opportunities are via the improved interactive mapping tool,” Cr Dickson said.
“The new web-based interface will continue to improve with another upgrade planned for the middle of 2014—to further enhance the useability of the new scheme for consultants and other regular users.
“This final plan is the culmination of a lot of hard work and input from not only councillors and staff, but also our residents, business and industry—and I thank everyone for their involvement.”
“Sunshine Coast is the first of the larger council’s in Queensland to deliver a new scheme—and that is something to be proud of.”
Mayor Mark Jamieson said the Minister for Planning attached a number of conditions on our planning scheme under his statutory obligation to ensure consistency between the Planning Scheme and the SEQ Regional Plan.
“Council has accepted those conditions so the Planning Scheme can start – but it will use the review of the South East Queensland Regional Plan to continue to advocate for some changes,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“It will continue to emphasise the unsuitability of Halls Creek as an Identified Growth Area and the more appropriate opportunity provided by the Beerwah to Caloundra South Corridor.
“Council will also continue to advocate the protection of the Sunshine Coast-Moreton Bay regional inter-urban break as an important feature for South East Queensland.”
The new Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme will take affect from today (May 21) with applicants having one year to lodge a development application under the old Maroochy or Caloundra schemes.
Visit www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/planningscheme for a full copy of the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme.