Secondary Dwellings - Planning Amendments

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Redland City Council has resolved to commence a major amendment to City Plan relating to secondary dwellings. Changes will also be made to the Amenity and Aesthetics Policy and Guideline and the Adopted Infrastructure Charges Resolution (No. 3.1) 2020.

Council has identified the need for the amendments following the State Government's announcement of changes to the Planning Regulation 2017 (the Regulation) relating to secondary dwellings. These changes came into effect on 23 September 2022 via the Planning (Secondary Dwellings) Amendment Regulation 2022.

The impact of the change to the definitions is that the occupants of a secondary dwelling no longer need to be related to or associated with the household of the principal dwelling. Secondary dwellings can therefore be rented out to occupants who have no connection with the occupants of the principal dwelling house. The definition of secondary dwelling requires that the secondary dwelling should be used in conjunction with but subordinate to another dwelling on the lot.

While supportive of the intent of this legislative change, Council has identified concerns relating to potential unintended impacts of the changes especially on amenity and infrastructure provision. Unlike other Local Government planning schemes in South-East Queensland, City Plan does not include specific provisions to restrict the size or siting of a secondary dwelling to ensure it remains ‘subordinate’ to the principal dwelling on the lot. Without appropriate benchmarks, the State Regulation changes may result in:

  • A substantial increase in secondary dwellings and potentially a reduction in the number of dual occupancies being delivered, given that Council currently levies infrastructure charges for dual occupancies but not for secondary dwellings.
  • Secondary dwelling developments that resemble dual occupancies in size and operation.
  • Impacts on residential amenity and infrastructure, both in newly developing areas (where all new dwellings could be constructed with a secondary dwelling) and existing suburbs (where large secondary dwellings may be constructed in back or front yards).

Proposed amendments

Amendments to City Plan

In response to the Planning Regulation 2017 changes, there is a need to make changes to City Plan to regulate secondary dwellings. A proposed major amendment to City Plan has been drafted (see Attachment 2 on this page) to identify acceptable planning outcomes for the gross floor area of secondary dwellings and compliance with the relevant parts of the Queensland Development Code (QDC).

Major planning scheme amendments require State Government approval and can take a considerable time before they are in effect.

Amendment to Amenity and Aesthetics Policy and Guidelines

As a short-term solution, Council has resolved to amend its Amenity and Aesthetics Policy and Guideline to include provisions relating to secondary dwellings. These provisions are similar to those proposed through the major amendment process and are outlined in Attachments 3 and 4 on this page.

Changes to Council’s Adopted Infrastructure Charges Resolution

Council has decided that partial infrastructure charges will be levied for secondary dwellings that do not adopt the new acceptable outcomes which limit the gross floor area of a secondary dwelling. This approach is intended to ensure that charges are only levied where the size of the secondary dwelling is larger than what was expected for a typical secondary dwelling. Without these changes to infrastructure levying, all rate payers will ultimately pay for the additional load on infrastructure created by large, secondary dwellings which resemble dual occupancies.

To give effect to the proposals above Council has agreed:

  • To commence a major amendment to the City Plan as outlined in the Minister’s Guidelines and Rules under the Planning Act 2016 and to submit the proposed amendment to the Minister of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, for State Interest Review.
  • To adopt the updated Amenity and Aesthetics Policy and Guideline in Attachments 3 and 4 to take effect on 1 February 2024.
  • To adopt the Redland City Council Adopted Infrastructure Charges Resolution (No. 3.2) 2023 replacing Resolution (No. 3.1) 2020 to take effect on 20 September 2023.

The amendment has been submitted for State Interest Review.

Further updates will be provided once the State Interest Review has been finalised and Council has approval to commence public consultation. Through this formal public consultation period, the community will have the opportunity to have their say on the amendment. All properly made submissions will be considered by Council. If, after considering all submissions Council resolves to progress with the proposed amendment it will be returned to the State Government for final Ministerial consideration and Council adoption.

When the City Plan amendment commences in the future, the provisions relating to secondary dwellings within the Amenity and Aesthetics Policy and Guideline will be removed.

Redland City Council has resolved to commence a major amendment to City Plan relating to secondary dwellings. Changes will also be made to the Amenity and Aesthetics Policy and Guideline and the Adopted Infrastructure Charges Resolution (No. 3.1) 2020.

Council has identified the need for the amendments following the State Government's announcement of changes to the Planning Regulation 2017 (the Regulation) relating to secondary dwellings. These changes came into effect on 23 September 2022 via the Planning (Secondary Dwellings) Amendment Regulation 2022.

The impact of the change to the definitions is that the occupants of a secondary dwelling no longer need to be related to or associated with the household of the principal dwelling. Secondary dwellings can therefore be rented out to occupants who have no connection with the occupants of the principal dwelling house. The definition of secondary dwelling requires that the secondary dwelling should be used in conjunction with but subordinate to another dwelling on the lot.

While supportive of the intent of this legislative change, Council has identified concerns relating to potential unintended impacts of the changes especially on amenity and infrastructure provision. Unlike other Local Government planning schemes in South-East Queensland, City Plan does not include specific provisions to restrict the size or siting of a secondary dwelling to ensure it remains ‘subordinate’ to the principal dwelling on the lot. Without appropriate benchmarks, the State Regulation changes may result in:

  • A substantial increase in secondary dwellings and potentially a reduction in the number of dual occupancies being delivered, given that Council currently levies infrastructure charges for dual occupancies but not for secondary dwellings.
  • Secondary dwelling developments that resemble dual occupancies in size and operation.
  • Impacts on residential amenity and infrastructure, both in newly developing areas (where all new dwellings could be constructed with a secondary dwelling) and existing suburbs (where large secondary dwellings may be constructed in back or front yards).

Proposed amendments

Amendments to City Plan

In response to the Planning Regulation 2017 changes, there is a need to make changes to City Plan to regulate secondary dwellings. A proposed major amendment to City Plan has been drafted (see Attachment 2 on this page) to identify acceptable planning outcomes for the gross floor area of secondary dwellings and compliance with the relevant parts of the Queensland Development Code (QDC).

Major planning scheme amendments require State Government approval and can take a considerable time before they are in effect.

Amendment to Amenity and Aesthetics Policy and Guidelines

As a short-term solution, Council has resolved to amend its Amenity and Aesthetics Policy and Guideline to include provisions relating to secondary dwellings. These provisions are similar to those proposed through the major amendment process and are outlined in Attachments 3 and 4 on this page.

Changes to Council’s Adopted Infrastructure Charges Resolution

Council has decided that partial infrastructure charges will be levied for secondary dwellings that do not adopt the new acceptable outcomes which limit the gross floor area of a secondary dwelling. This approach is intended to ensure that charges are only levied where the size of the secondary dwelling is larger than what was expected for a typical secondary dwelling. Without these changes to infrastructure levying, all rate payers will ultimately pay for the additional load on infrastructure created by large, secondary dwellings which resemble dual occupancies.

To give effect to the proposals above Council has agreed:

  • To commence a major amendment to the City Plan as outlined in the Minister’s Guidelines and Rules under the Planning Act 2016 and to submit the proposed amendment to the Minister of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, for State Interest Review.
  • To adopt the updated Amenity and Aesthetics Policy and Guideline in Attachments 3 and 4 to take effect on 1 February 2024.
  • To adopt the Redland City Council Adopted Infrastructure Charges Resolution (No. 3.2) 2023 replacing Resolution (No. 3.1) 2020 to take effect on 20 September 2023.

The amendment has been submitted for State Interest Review.

Further updates will be provided once the State Interest Review has been finalised and Council has approval to commence public consultation. Through this formal public consultation period, the community will have the opportunity to have their say on the amendment. All properly made submissions will be considered by Council. If, after considering all submissions Council resolves to progress with the proposed amendment it will be returned to the State Government for final Ministerial consideration and Council adoption.

When the City Plan amendment commences in the future, the provisions relating to secondary dwellings within the Amenity and Aesthetics Policy and Guideline will be removed.

  • City Plan amendment to protect the amenity of Redlands Coast

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    Redland City Council is introducing provisions around the size and scale for secondary dwellings in its City Plan to protect the enviable amenity of Redlands Coast while continuing to support their use as affordable housing options.

    City Mayor Karen Williams said small-scale secondary dwellings will continue to not require Council approval and will not be levied infrastructure charges under the changes.

    “They can be occupied by family members or rented out. This amendment is not about stopping genuine secondary dwellings,” she said.

    “It is designed to ensure property owners who are taking advantage of the secondary dwelling definition changes made recently by the State Government are paying appropriate infrastructure charges if they are building large dwellings.

    Amendments to the Amenity and Aesthetics Policy and Guideline that were adopted by Council at yesterday’s general meeting, propose limits on the gross floor area of secondary dwellings (85sqm where the lot size is less than 1000sqm, 112sqm where the lot size is 1000sqm or more, and 160sqm in a Rural Zone where the lot is 6000sqm or more)

    Cr Williams said, in some cases, secondary dwellings resembling a dual occupancy in size and operation were being established and they had an impact on residential amenity.

    “This goes beyond the original intent where secondary dwellings were more commonly built as granny flats for elderly parents, or teenager retreats for adult children,” Cr Williams said.

    The amendment follows State legislative changes that came into effect on 23 September last year. The changes to the Amenity and Aesthetics Policy and Guideline will take effect on 1 February 2024, along with changes to the Adopted Infrastructure Charges resolution.

    In addition, Council resolved to commence a major planning scheme amendment process to introduce these changes into the City Plan.

    The State changes lifted restrictions around the relationships of occupants living in secondary dwellings, which now allow them to be rented out to anyone.

    Previously a dwelling house could include a secondary dwelling, however, the occupants of each dwelling had to be part of one household. They had to be individuals who intended to live together on a long-term basis and who made provision for food and other essentials for living.

    “The legislative changes were intended to provide people with more access to housing options and this was an excellent outcome,” Cr Williams said. “It dovetails into the body of work Council is doing to respond to the unfolding national housing crisis.

    “Council supports the renting out of secondary dwellings more widely to increase the supply of dwellings available immediately during this crisis.

    “Infrastructure charges have been minimised under this amendment to encourage this additional housing in our city.

    “However, unlike other councils in south-east Queensland, our City Plan does not contain provisions to ensure secondary dwellings do not negatively impact on the amenity and character of the surrounding neighbourhood.”

    Cr Williams said the proposed changes would mean larger secondary dwellings are triggered for assessment by Council and levied infrastructure charges where required.

    “If these more significant homes are not paying infrastructure charges, it means the wider community are picking up the bill for infrastructure upgrades required to service large secondary dwellings,” she said.

    “These proposed amendments are about putting a definition around what is considered ‘subordinate’ in terms of a secondary dwelling to the main dwelling.

    “The State Government changes will have some unintended outcomes for Redlands Coast if these changes are not made.”

Page last updated: 28 Feb 2024, 03:21 PM