The Planning and Environment Court
delivered a decision in the case of Loncor
Properties Pty Ltd v Redland City Council  QPEC 5 which involved an
applicant’s appeal against the Redland City Council’s refusal of the
development application for reconfiguring a lot (43 residential subdivision in
two stages) in respect of land situated at Wrightson Road, Thornlands.
The development site was appropriately
zoned and physically suitable for the proposed development. The primary concern related to the
acceptability of the proposed access arrangement (using the existing road
network to the east) particularly in the context of the planned road network to
the west under the Council’s planning scheme.
The proposed development was identified as
being in conflict with the Council’s planning scheme in various respects. The relevant conflicts which the Court found
to be substantial were that the proposed development “fails to maximise connectivity, permeability and ease of mobility”
and “is inconsistent with the functional
classification of the elements of the road hierarchy with which the proposal
would be associated.”
Whilst acknowledging that the proposed
development would bring some level of community benefits, the Court accepted
that the proposed access arrangement would detrimentally impact on the high
standard of amenity enjoyed by existing residents to the east (Caldwell
Given the level of detailed planning and
the likely amenity impact of the proposed development on the residents of
Caldwell Close, the Court did not consider the public benefit the proposed
development exhibited was sufficient to outweigh the extent of conflict with
the planning scheme.
The appeal was therefore dismissed.
of Court’s consideration and findings
The land is included within the Kinross
Road Structure Plan Overlay and is surrounded by housing development. The proposed development was intended to form
an extension or completion of the existing residential estate known as the
The Structure Plan contemplated that
residential development within the structure plan area (including the proposed
development) was to be serviced by a future residential collector road which
would connect to Kinross Road to the west.
However, Loncor proposed to convert the existing cul-de-sacs (Whitby
Place to the north and Caldwell Close to the east) into a loop road for access to
and from the proposed development.
The Council contended that the proposed
access arrangement was not acceptable and the proposed development was
premature until the access to the west was established.
In terms of the main areas of conflict with
its planning scheme, the Council focused on the Kinross Road Structure Plan
Overlay Code and Reconfiguration Code.
Two aspects of conflict were identified
which related to the interface of the proposed development with the greenspace
First, it was found that part of the
proposed new road would intrude into the greenspace precinct. However, as accepted by the Council, the
intrusion was limited and for good reason. The Court therefore held that it did not
warrant a refusal of the proposed development.
The second conflict arose by reason of the
failure of the proposed development to make provision for an esplanade road,
separating the greenspace precinct from the closest proposed lot. However, as Loncor proposed to provide a 10m
wide open space buffer, the Court did not consider the level of conflict was
The other two aspects of conflict, which
were identified to be of substantial, primarily concerned the merits of the
proposed access arrangement, having regard to the planned road network to the
west and the functional road classification of the Council’s adopted road
In particular, the Court had to consider
whether the proposed access arrangement would “maximise connectivity, permeability and ease of mobility” and it
was consistent with the adopted road hierarchy.
Having had the benefit of the evidence of
traffic engineers called by Loncor and the Council, the Court accepted that the
planned road network to the west “has a
distinct overall advantage particularly in terms of trips to and from planned
local and community facilities within the Structure Plan area.” As such the proposed access arrangement,
whilst not severely problematic, failed to “maximise” in the context of the
planning scheme which contemplated a future road connection to the west.
In relation to the consistency of the
proposed access arrangement with the adopted road hierarchy, the Court gave
consideration to the intended function of an “access place” and an “access
street”. Relevantly, it was noted that
an access place would provide “local access
to property via a single cul-de-sac” and have “a maximum traffic catchment of 15 lots”.
As noted above, in order to implement the
proposed access arrangement, the proposal involved a conversion of two access
places (Whitby Place and Caldwell Close) to a loop road access street.
Given that the proposed arrangement would give
rise to Caldwell Close giving access to 43 lots and connecting with Whitby
Place, the Court found that it would become inconsistent with its functional
road classification as an access place.
In addition to Whitby Place and Caldwell
Close, the proposed access arrangement also involved traffic movement affecting
part of Carlingford Drive. It was
relevantly noted by the Court that by reference to the limited designation of
Carlingford Drive as a residential collector, the Structure Plan intended to
restrict its residential catchment.
The Court found that the proposed
arrangement would be inconsistent with the adopted road hierarchy by giving
access to an additional 43 lots to that part of Carlingford Drive designated as
a residential collector.
Loncor sought to rely on several grounds
which it contended to be sufficient to overcome the identified conflict. They included the proposed development
represented a logical extension to existing residential development and was
consistent with SEQ Regional Plans target for infill development.
The Court accepted that the land was
appropriately zoned and designated for residential development and was
conscious of the express recognition for development under the SEQ Regional
Plan in relation to “Kinross Road and East Thornlands” local development areas.
However, the Court found that the conflict
of the proposed access arrangement with the Council’s planning intent for the
road network was substantial and the proposal would detrimentally affect the
high standard of amenity enjoyed by existing residents in Caldwell Close.
the Court was not persuaded the community benefits generated by the proposed
development were sufficient to outweigh the identified substantial conflict and
the likely adverse amenity impact.