Ban on High-Rise Development at The Spit

7 February 2020
Stafford Hopewell, Special Counsel, Brisbane

The Spit Master Plan in 2019 was adopted by the Queensland Government in 2019 after an extensive 18 month planning and consultation period, which attracted more than 23,000 pieces of feedback.[1]

The Spit Master Plan is a non-statutory document until introduced into the Gold Coast City Plan 2016, a process likely to take some time.  The Queensland Government has therefore acted to ensure that during the intervening period, statutory provisions are in place to ensure that future development complies with the height limits in The Spit Master Plan.


The amendment

On 6 December 2019, The Planning (Spit Master Plan and Other Matters) Amendment Regulation 2019 (Qld) (The Amendment Regulation) commenced which implements the new height prohibition.

The objectives of the Amendment Regulation are to provide appropriate statutory effect to The Spit Master Plan outcomes to ensure future development is in line with the vision in relation to the building height limit of no more than three storeys and 15 metres.

The Amendment Regulation inserts a new part 16A in Schedule 10 of the Planning Regulation 2017 (Planning Regulation) to:

  • introduce a prohibition on development over three storeys and 15 metres in height within ‘The Spit building height control area’, excepting theme park rides at Sea World and the general maintenance, upgrade and replacement of existing buildings and structures over three storeys and 15 metres; and
  • identify the master plan as a matter that the assessment manager must have regard to in assessing all code and impact assessable development applications within the area identified as the master plan area.

The Amendment Regulation has also inserted a new schedule 23A in the Planning Regulation to include a map depicting The Spit building height control area, set out below:





























Non-statutory documents can be given legal affect overnight which can significantly impact the development potential of landholdings.  The incorporation of The Spit Master Plan in the Planning Regulation is a timely reminder for landholders to be fully across any proposed changes in planning regulation.  Are you fully across the legal implications of any proposed changes to planning regulations affecting your property?



Authored by:

Stafford Hopewell, Partner
Sarah Day, Associate

This update does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. It is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest and it is not intended to be comprehensive. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content.

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