Environment and Heritage Winners Under Amended Draft Plan

Environment and heritage outcomes for Redland City have been strengthened in the amended Draft City Plan.

The updated plan was endorsed by Council at a special meeting today (Tuesday 28 February), and will now be sent to the State Minister for Planning for review.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said changes included strengthening regulations around clearing of native vegetation of significance in waterway corridors and 15 open space, environmental management or conservation properties that were previously slated for sale by council remaining as they are rather than being zoned residential.

“The draft City Plan has been amended to apply a zero clearing threshold to areas covered by both the environmental significance overlay and the waterway corridors and wetlands overlay,” Cr Williams said.

“This strengthens the draft plan’s intention to establish waterway corridors as the key ecological corridors through the city and provides additional protection to vegetation in some areas that may not be protected by the State Government’s Vegetation Management Act.

“This means any potential removal of vegetation in a waterway corridor would in future require an application to Council and would need to adhere to very strong environmental provisions including contributing to the restoration of waterway or land-based ecological corridors, maximising retention of native vegetation and significant habitat features and retaining and protecting areas of high biodiversity or environmental significance.”

Cr Williams said the new Draft City Plan also included updated mapping of environmental values and ensured smaller properties were protected by environmental significance overlays.

“The environmental significance overlay will be applied on lots larger than 1000m2 rather than lots larger than 2000m2 under the previous draft of the City Plan.

“This is designed to protect vegetation on lots in the urban area that may have some development potential for small-scale subdivision or small unit development.

“The change will mean an additional 2800 lots will come under the environmental significance overlay, meaning environmental values will be considered as part of any application for development. Of the more than 2800 new lots that have been identified, more than 1000 of them have more than 500m2 of mapped vegetation on them.”

Cr Williams said a property Council purchased at 61 Macmillian Road, Alexandra Hills, for the purpose of delivering a better environmental outcome would be changed to conservation to ensure that houses could not be built there.

“There will also be better protection for vegetation in the area between Double Jump and Bunker Roads, Victoria Point, with a new zero clearing threshold on the area,” Cr Williams said.

“This will remove the risk of patches of native vegetation being pre-emptively cleared, eroding the value of the broader area. Under the amended draft plan, any clearing of vegetation in this area will now require Council approval.”

Cr Williams said the Draft City Plan aligned with the Redlands Rural Futures Strategy that identified over-regulation that was hindering establishment of rural businesses in the city.

“Rural enterprises are one of eight key economic sectors identified for future job and business growth in the Redlands,” Cr Williams said.

“The Draft City Plan aims to unlock rural land for rural enterprises that will diversify the city’s economic base and create jobs in areas such as agriculture, horticulture, rural production, wholesale nurseries, aquaculture, animal industries, farm-door sales, outdoor recreation and bed and breakfasts with limited building footprint.

“To do this the Draft City Plan allows three threshold levels for clearing on rural zoned properties.

“On vacant land, up to 2500m2 can be cleared without approval, while properties with an existing house can only clear up to 500m2 without approval.

“Clearing between 500m2 and 2500m2 where there is an existing house will be self-assessable and require compensatory plantings on the site.

“This is intended to facilitate rural enterprises and to stimulate the rural economy without significantly disturbing the rural amenity or landscape character of the area.

“It is important to note that this will not allow properties in the rural area to be subdivided for housing.”

Cr Williams said the updated Draft City Plan also specifically referenced the importance of heritage values of Commonwealth land at Birkdale that adjoins Willard’s farm at Old Cleveland Road East, which has recently been listed on the local heritage register.

“Council is also undertaking a comprehensive review of heritage in the city.”

Cr Williams said Council had taken on board feedback from those who provided submissions to Draft City Plan.

“I thank all those who took the time to provide their comments.”