Council decision reflects history of need for lot size caps

A development application in Birkdale has been cited as the perfect example of why Redland City Council tried to cap lot sizes in parts of the city.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the application for four lots on Haig Road Birkdale, showed why Council tried to limit lots to a minimum of 2000sqm when they drafted the new city plan in 2015 ahead of its adoption in 2018.

“When we drafted our new city plan we proposed this area, along with others, be included in the low density residential LDR1 precinct, with a minimum lot size of 2000sqm, to try and retain larger lots in the area,” Cr Williams said.

“If our request had been approved by the State Minister it would have given the community greater clarity and made this development highly unlikely, making our decision on this application much clearer.

“Unfortunately the Minister of the day directed Council to weaken our caps on lot sizes under the city plan, leading to this position where we now have to make a very difficult decision on this application.”

Cr Williams said despite the Minister’s direction, Council voted against the application at yesterday’s general meeting and additionally would write to the current Minister to outline the history of why Council wanted to cap lot sizes in the area.

“The Ministerial condition was made by the previous Minister and so we acknowledge the current Minister may not be aware of the history and why Council wanted to limit lot sizes in the area,” Cr Williams said.

“We think it is important the State is aware of this history and this application shows why we made this request originally; so we will write to the current Minister to confirm State Government planning legislation still prohibits us placing clear and absolute caps on lot sizes in the area.”

Division 10 Cr Paul Bishop said Council’s decision reflected the wishes of the community.

“When we reviewed our city plan we received submissions from residents concerned about this sort of development, so we listened and tried to limit lot sizes in key areas, including Haig Road,” Cr Bishop said.

“While the State directive means Council must consider eligible development applications and cannot reject them outright, it is important we take the opportunity to send a strong signal to our community, developers and the State Government to confirm Council’s position has not changed.”