Shaping SEQ

2017-11-22T06:21:06+00:00 November 22nd, 2017|Industry Update|

Shaping SEQ, also referred to as the South East Queensland Regional Plan 2017, is the new regional plan for the South East Queensland region. It came into effect on 11 August 2017, and replaces the former South East Queensland Regional Plan 2009 – 2031 (SEQRP 2009). Over the coming 25 years, SEQ will require an estimated 800,000 new dwellings and 950,000 new jobs to support an anticipated population increase of 3.5 million people, to a total of 5.3 million people.

Regional Growth Pattern

Shaping SEQ defines desired future settlement patterns, and designates land into one of three land use categories, consisting of the Urban Footprint, Rural Living Area, and Regional Landscape and Rural Production Area. This is consistent with the former SEQRP, and provides the spatial context for the regulatory provisions contained within the Planning Regulation 2017.

  • Urban Footprint (UF) identifies land within which urban development needs to 2041 can be accommodated, and where growth is encouraged:
    • The new dwelling supply ratio has been revised to indicate generally that 60% of new housing development should be contained within the existing urban areas (previously referred to as ‘’infill’’), and 40% of new housing should be accommodated within expansion areas (previously referred to as ‘’Greenfield’’);
    • Consequently, there has been an increase of 6.5% of land included in the Urban Footprint (additional 19,980 hectares), to represent approximately 14% of the region;
    • Where have the changes occurred? The 2016 urban Footprint contains a single major new expansion area located at Beerwah East in the Sunshine Coast Council area, however also includes additional smaller, existing development areas such as Flagstone, Yarrabilba, Park Ridge and Caboolture West.
    • No new areas have been added to the Urban Footprint within the Brisbane City Council area.
  • Rural Living Area (RLA) is comprised of key locations that are currently, or are intended to be, used for rural residential development, which account for approximately 2% of the region. Shaping SEQ seeks to restrict new residential developments, such as retirement facilities, to limit the inefficient use of land;
  • Regional Landscape and Rural Production Area (RLRPA): comprises approximately 84% of the region, and supports crucial functions that the regional plan seeks to protect from development, particularly those of an urban and rural nature (with some exceptions such as Service Stations, Tourist Activities, Sport and Recreations Activities, Retirement Facilities, and other Urban Activities of a limited scale).


The regulatory provisions specify the circumstances where certain development is assessable development or prohibited development, and identifies the relevant applicable thresholds, such as lot size or gross floor area for example, where appropriate.

Relevant Changes & Opportunities – what does this mean for you?

We have reviewed the Shaping SEQ regulatory provisions, and have identified a number of relevant matters, including (but not limited to) –

  • No change to the thresholds for Reconfiguring a Lot (ROL) in the RLRPA with respect to prohibited development (minimum lot size remains 100 hectares in the RLRPA), and there are no provisions for ROL in the RLA – this is regulated by local government planning instruments (planning schemes);
  • Subtle adjustments to thresholds and consolidation of specific uses for a Material Change of Use (MCU) in the RLRPA or RLA;
  • A Residential Care Facility is now specified as a new and separate assessable Community Activity in the RLA or RLRPA, which is prohibited development where GFA is more than 5,000m² and not identified as excluded development. For other types of Community Activity, the provisions relating to triggering referral to SARA, where GFA exceeds 5,000m², or where GFA of any ancillary commercial or retail component exceeds 250m², or where accommodation is provided for more than 300 persons, has been maintained.
  • Classification of Residential Development within the RLRPA or RLA as prohibited development, unless MCU is ‘excluded development’ (i.e. if on premises included in an urban zone under a planning scheme) or an ‘exempt MCU’ (i.e. for a dwelling house or secondary dwelling) as defined in the Planning Regulation 2017;
  • Biotechnology Industry is now included as a new assessable Urban Activity in the RLA or RLRPA, which triggers Impact Assessment and requires referral to SARA where GFA is more than 800m², the total area of all outdoor areas associated with the use is more than 1,500m², and any ancillary retail activity has a GFA of no more than 50m²;
  • The thresholds for a Service Station as an assessable urban activity has been adjusted if within the RLA or RLRPA. Impact assessment and referral to SARA are triggered if within 25m of a State-controlled road; and the use results in a GFA of more than 1,250m²; and total area of all outdoor areas on the premises associated with the use is more than 2,000 m². The State-controlled proximity criteria is new, while the GFA threshold has been increased from 1,000m².
  • New triggers for combined uses to be made Impact Assessable and requiring referral if involving two or more of the uses listed below; and resulting in a GFA of more than 5000 m² on the premises (excluding any part of the premises that is used for tourist accommodation or accommodation for employees), or provides accommodation for more than 300 persons.
    • Tourist Activity;
    • Sport and Recreation Activity;
    • Community Activity;
    • Indoor Recreation; or
    • Urban Activity.

BCC City Plan amendments update

Brisbane City Council have provided recent updates on the progress of the amendments to the City Plan. These updates include the Brisbane_Industrial_Strategy, the Kangaroo Point Peninsula draft renewal strategy, Banyo-Northgate draft renewal strategy and The Gap draft renewal strategy.  If you own land in one of these areas, we suggest you review the draft strategies to see if there are any implications for your property. Submissions are now open until 8 December 2017.

Want more information?

For more information contact Doug from our office on (07) 3876 0533.

To view this blog in PDF, click here: 171106_Shaping SEQ Update

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