The draft planning scheme for the Southern Downs council region aims to make it harder for units to be built in residential areas further from the Warwick central business district, but they will be encouraged in streets in closer proximity to the CBD.
The draft planning scheme for the Southern Downs council region aims to make it harder for units to be built in residential areas further from the Warwick central business district, but they will be encouraged in streets in closer proximity to the CBD.

Zoning rules will mean fewer flats

NEW provisions in the draft planning scheme for the Southern Downs Regional Council area will make it harder for flats to be built in parts of Warwick away from the residential zone immediately framing the central business district.

Streets in close proximity to the CBD have been earmarked as a new “Residential Choice” zone where flats and townhouses will be encouraged, but in the proposed “Residential Living” zone they will be discouraged as much as possible.

The Residential Living zone includes parts of the “dress circle” area in the vicinity of Locke and Pratten Sts, most of the Rosenthal Heights and Glennie Heights areas and parts of east Warwick.

Maps showing the zones are available for viewing at council, with planner Jeanette Davis yesterday encouraging people to check which zone their property was in.

Ms Davis said the intent of the Residential Living zone was to preserve the older character of Warwick and typically larger blocks of around 1000 square metres.

But she reminded homeowners that while council could use its planning rules to discourage types of development the State Government’s planning act – under which council planning schemes sit – did not “prohibit” anything.

“It will still be possible to apply to develop units in the Residential Living zone, but what we are proposing are provisions which make it a less acceptable outcome,” she said yesterday.

Ms Davis pointed to provisions for the Residential Living zone which will require one-bedroom units with a maximum floor area of 60sqm to be built on at least 400sqm of “site area”, and units with more than one bedroom or with a floor area of greater than 60sqm to be on at least 500sqm.

In theory this should make it harder for property owners in the Residential Living zone to demolish or remove older homes to build flats, but only homes on the council or state heritage lists will be subject to public advertising if they are proposed to go.

The draft planning scheme will replace the Warwick and Stanthorpe Town Plans which existed before amalgamation.

Public comments on the draft scheme close on September 16. Documents and zone maps, are available for viewing at the Warwick and Stanthorpe council offices or online at www.southerndowns.qld.gov.au.



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