More greenspace for Brisbane

29 November 2018
Stafford Hopewell, Special Counsel, Brisbane

As part of the Brisbane City Council’s (Council) commitment to implementing ‘Brisbane’s Future Blueprint’, it has recently further announced its support for the implementation of rooftop gardens as part of new developments, to bolster inner-city greenspace through proposed amendments to the Brisbane City Plan (City Plan).

The proposed amendment to the City Plan, is to allow the addition of a ‘rooftop amenity space’ while not being included as a ‘storey’ for the purposes of assessing the maximum storeys allowable for proposed new development.

Under the current assessment regime for new development, any area that has a roofed structure on top of an apartment building is defined as a ‘storey’ under City Plan.

Storey is currently defined in City Plan, to mean the following:

(a) means a space within a building between 2 floor levels, or a floor level and a ceiling or roof, other than—

(i) a space containing only a lift shaft, stairway or meter room; or

(ii) a space containing only a bathroom, shower room, laundry, toilet or other sanitary compartment; or

(iii) a space containing only a combination of the things stated in subparagraph (i) or (ii); or

(iv) a basement with a ceiling that is not more than 1m above ground level; and

(b) includes—

(i) a mezzanine; and

(ii) a roofed structure that is on, or part of, a rooftop, if the structure does not only accommodate building plant and equipment.

At the moment, to avoid being caught in the situation of having a shaded rooftop amenity space being considered an extra storey to a new development, these spaces are presumably not being provided by developers or are not shaded / covered, reducing the effective utilisation of these spaces for greenspace and / or decreasing the level of amenity to occupants or visitors.

Brisbane’s Future Blue Print sets out to protect and create greenspace by making ‘it easier for new developments to include rooftop gardens and green open spaces’.

Other proposed amendments to the City Plan as part of the Council’s implementation of Brisbane’s Future Blueprint includes an increase in the requirement for deep planting areas from 10% of the site to 15%.

Click here to read the Lord Mayor’s media release in respect of this matter:

Key takeaway

The proposed amendments to the Brisbane City Plan will provide developers with greater opportunities to incorporate rooftop gardens and greenspace into development projects without adversely impacting on height limits.

Once the amendments have taken effect, developers may wish to review existing approvals to see whether changes can be made to take advantage of the new provision to provide additional greenspace and amenity without adversely impacting development yields.

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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