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Logan Developers Beware - Updates To Planning Scheme

Logan City Council office
Wednesday, July 6, 2016 - 07:56

Image of Logan City Council office courtesy of Wikimedia creative commons - https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3c/Logan_City_Council_O...

The Queensland Planning Provisions (QPP) are the Queensland government’s template for planning schemes that includes some standard definitions so that we all have a common understanding of what we are talking about. Logan, in its recent planning scheme, has convinced the Queensland government that it needed a new use that is not included in the standard definitions – a “dual occupancy (auxiliary unit)”.

What is an auxiliary unit?

The QPP would class them as a “secondary” dwelling and it is unclear why Logan simply didn’t go with that. One aspect is that being a “dual occupancy” you can rent it out to a second family unlike a secondary dwelling.

The definition for this type of use in the scheme stipulates that the units are to be owned by one person. In other words you cannot create a community title and sell them separately. They have made the use “self-assessable” so it is unlikely that the developer will get any planning advice and may not find out about this until they go to council with their survey plans only to have them rejected.

So what can be done at that point?

Not a great deal unfortunately. You might decide to lodge a planning application for a full dual occupancy, but it likely that this would involve an “impact” assessable development application due to higher than anticipated densities, and thus has a low likelihood of gaining an approval. This is why it is an auxiliary unit in the first place and not a full dual occupancy.

Full dual occupancies (non-auxiliary units) can be self-assessable in the Logan scheme but if not they are “impact” assessable. It is not clear why Logan did not make these code assessable if not self-assessable which is the normal arrangement. It may be because the community made it clear they wanted a right to object or that the council simply doesn’t want dual occupancies that don’t conform to the scheme’s expectations with respect to size and density, or a combination of both.

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