Today, Brisbane City Council released the revised Brisbane City Plan to the general public.
As developers and town planners review the implications of the new plan, leading planning and design firm Place Design Group provide their 7 first impressions below:
Impression # 1 – We are getting there
The Revised Draft of the City Plan is much closer to a scheme which is capable of taking Brisbane and its development forward for the next 10+ years. The Lord Mayor, Councillor Amanda Cooper and the City Plan Team within Council should be congratulated for their sensible revisions to the Draft Scheme.
Impression # 2 – Council is Listening
The industry was very vocal about some of the provisions or approaches contained within the original draft scheme, particularly in relation to changes which would affect project viability and affordability. We are pleased to see that Council has taken much of this feedback onboard and small and significant changes have been made throughout the updated draft to address these industry concerns.
Impression # 3 – Carparking Demand is not the same across the entire city and shouldn’t be provided this way.
Council has accepted the evidence and facts provided through detailed research (including work by PLACE Design Group commissioned by Council) and by the industry, in relation to car parking rates for multiple unit dwellings. Council has sensibly gone away from a blanket city wide parking rate, recognising that demand and usage of cars is less in the City Centre, City Frame and in proximity to public transport nodes. The revised scheme provides parking rates that are appropriate for their location and at rates that are equal or less than the City Plan 2000, which is a great outcome.
In addition, a reduction to the required visitor parking rates across the city to a rate of approximately 1 space per 7 units as opposed to 1 space per 4 units under the City Plan 2000 is a very positive step forward that will see improvements to how projects are delivered.
Impression # 4 – Front loaded community engagement is enough
Council has made a key step forward by making multiple unit dwellings code assessable in those parts of the city appropriately zoned for those uses and densification. Gone are the days of Council hedging their bets by saying units are encouraged but then still making them run the gauntlet of community objection and potential appeals. Providing the units comply with their nominated maximum building heights, developers will be able to take certainty in their projects and development rights conveyed by the actual Planning Scheme. Previous work by PLACE Design Group has illustrated that this change alone could see savings greater than $10K on the cost per unit, which is a big win for affordability.
Impression # 5 – Neighbourhood Planning is important, but not the only way for large scale brownfield or major projects to occur.
The strategic framework within the original draft of the City Plan 2014, placed significant emphasis upon Councils’ established Neighbourhood Planning processes as being the only way to facilitate new planning and redevelopment around the city. Now whilst their Neighbourhood Planning process is well recognised as being best practice, many examples were put up by the industry of major projects or precincts that have redeveloped over time, without the benefit of a preceding Neighbourhood Plan.
Council has reflected this fact by acknowledging that development may be able to proceed where a comprehensive planning process has been completed which has been undertaken on a precinct approach with community consultation and consideration of the planning matters consistent with the scope of a neighbourhood plan prepared by the Council. This is a great outcome and acknowledges that developer lead development and planning is a viable alternate to Council’s processes.
Impression # 6 – The KISS principle of Keeping it Simple
The updated draft of the scheme has consolidated a number of development codes that were previously quite repetitive or confusing as to which code to use where and when. This consolidation and simplification of the codes will aid in simplifying the application draft and assessment process.
Impression # 7 – Small Freehold Lots are a Viable Alternative to units or sprawl.
The Amended City Plan will facilitate new smaller freehold blocks of land to be created throughout the city. The amended plan has retreated somewhat from the original draft by now limiting those smaller blocks in low density areas to those areas within 200m of centres with a minimum area of 2000sqm, but the intention for the rest of the city is clear. That smaller freehold blocks of land with single detached houses can be delivered whilst retaining our suburban and subtropical character, and facilitating more affordable housing in our city.
PLACE Design Group is a leading international planning, design and environment consultancy with offices in Australia, China and South-East Asia.
Sinnathamby’s 52-Hectare ‘Health City’ Vision for Springfield
Singapore-based Broadway Malyan will design a 52-hectare “health city” in expanding Springfield, pegged to have a total end value of $6 billion if the development plan is fully realised.
The site, already home to the Mater Hospital and Aveo seniors’ accommodation, will be fully integrated with the masterplan encompassing education and research facilities, a 2500 apartment aged care facility, business facilities along with residential and retail offerings across the 52- hectare site.
A key feature of the project includes a Living Lab, which the urban planners say will act as a testbed for new technology related to smart living and healthcare.
Springfield founder and property mogul Maha Sinnathamby purchased the 7000 acre parcel of land no developer wanted to touch in 1992. Three decades later, Greater Springfield has transitioned from a completely undeveloped site to a residential population of 36,000 with estimates 150,000 will call Springfield home come 2035.
Broadway Malyan director Ed Baker says the health city masterplan will see the creation of a community that functions beyond the working day.
“We have used the concept of healthy living as our guiding design principle, focusing on a development that will support and encourage the wellbeing of the people who will live, work and visit Health City.”
Springfield’s Health City marks Broadway Malyan’s first appointment in Australia, after securing the project through an international competition working alongside local partner Conrad Gargett.
Located on Brisbane’s fringes, at 33-kilometres from the CBD, Greater Springfield sits among one of Australia’s fastest urban-growth corridors.
To date, more than $15 billion has been invested by public and private stakeholders into the masterplanned city, with estimates the area will be worth more than $85 billion upon completion.
Nearby development includes South Ripley’s $1.2 billion master planned community, which last month celebrated the opening of the $40 million first stage of its Ripley Town Centre, by developer Sekisui.
The state government has spent $1.5 billion on major infrastructure items in the western corridor since 2005, with an additional $500 million recently announced to further support the corridor’s growth objectives.
High-rise care for elderly in heart of Ipswich CBD
NEW ROLE: The Metro Hotel Ipswich International will undergo alterations in design and layout for aged-care facility. Rob Williams
IPSWICH is about to get another residential aged-care facility and this time it will be right in the middle of the Ipswich CBD. According to media articles the Metro International Hotel Ipswich is to be redeveloped into a residential aged-care high-rise facility by a company called Oracle Care.
The Queensland-based company is apparently a new operator in this market and is currently developing other facilities, three in Goodna, two others in Queensland and one in Western Australia, according to the Weekly Source.
The Queensland Times, Monday, May 7, in an article outlined the facility would “provide single ensuite rooms and double suites for couples”. The article commented further that the “existing building facade is to be retained but the hotel will undergo alterations to the existing layout and design”. Oracle will keep the ground-floor function rooms and dining areas for residents and the community alike.
Oracle Care was only incorporated in 2015 and the business is registered as an Australian Proprietary Company, limited by shares. This seems like a very large undertaking by such a young company and it makes me wonder just who is backing it.
Council of the Ageing Queensland, the sector’s peak body, has welcomed the proposed redevelopment as an efficient way to bring beds on-stream much earlier than building from scratch.
The question is, what is the cost to the short-term accommodation availability in this city. Ipswich does not have that much short-term accommodation as it is, especially when there are major events held in and around the city. So by reducing the accommodation rates by this redevelopment lessens that available space to cater for tourists and other visitors to our city.
The Metro International Hotel Ipswich is ideally located behind the Ipswich Civic Centre and caters to, or it did, patrons attending the many shows staged there. Many of the shows staged at the Civic Centre are very popular and much cheaper to attend than travelling to Brisbane. In fact many patrons to these shows come from other places and stay at the hotel behind the civic centre for the night.
According to Oracle, this redevelopment will create more than 200 jobs and if that is the case great. But realistically these types of developments start with this type of rhetoric which eventuates in much less than first anticipated. But what about the jobs that will be lost from the hospitality industry? What about the jobs lost by the cleaners and house attendants currently employed by the hotel? Is this development really only replacing jobs from one sector to another?
So, will hundreds of jobs be created or will they just be one industry replacing another. Will there be any benefit for Ipswich jobs? I really do not think so. I believe that discussion about jobs is just a smoke screen by another developer seeking to rip money out of this community as we have seen so many times before.
We, the community, need to stand up and let the elected and bureaucrats of council know that it is no longer accepted that they continue to rip the guts out of the CBD. And that is what this approval for this redevelopment is doing. It is not good enough to continue to blame another level of government. Our council needs to take responsibility for its own actions.
$1.5 billion town centre officially open for business
THE first stage of Ripley Town Centre officially opened on the weekend as the $1.5 billion precinct is expected to be a catalyst for major regional growth during the next decade.
The milestone marks one of the first major regional infrastructure deliveries in the Ripley region since October 2010 when the State Government nominated it as a priority development area to accelerate development for the growth requirements in South East Queensland (SEQ).
The Ripley population is tipped to soar by almost 28% each year during the next eight years, which will underpin the growth requirements in SEQ. Latest data from Urbis shows the Ripley catchment will be the fastest growing suburb in Queensland until 2026.
This pace makes it one of Queensland’s fastest-growing areas, with the district set to reach a scale comparable with Springfield or North Lakes in the future.
The State Government has spent upwards of $1.5 billion on major infrastructure items in the western corridor since 2005, and a further $500 million has recently been announced to support the corridor’s growth objectives.
These include the $366 million extension of the Centenary Highway, the extension of the passenger rail line from Darra to Springfield plus the Centenary Highway duplication to Springfield valued at $1.27 billion, as well as a $124 million extension of the Ipswich Hospital.
The $40 million first installment of Ripley Town Centre, developed by Sekisui House and constructed by Hutchinson Builders, is anchored by a Coles store.
The first stage reflects a marketplace theme and spans 9400sqm, including 20 specialty businesses, commercial office space and 360 car parks to support the growing Ripley community.
Among the retailers are BWS, Madhouse Discount Ripley, APAR Hair Studio, Gold Class Nails, Orion Massage, Eco Shot Café, Mum’s Bakehouse, Ripley News, Ecco Ripley Sales & Information Centre, The Discount Chemist, Ripley Dental Surgery, Ripley Veterinary Hospital and opening soon Ripley Medical Centre and Chinese Lor Restaurant.
Sekisui House Australia CEO Toru Abe described the town centre opening as a “game-changer” for the western growth corridor, noting it was set to become a vital commercial and community hub for southeast Queensland.
Mr Abe said the site would ultimately turn into a 25ha precinct offering up to 1,000,000sqm of planned commercial, office and retail floor space as well as a dining precinct, regional transit hub, community and entertainment facilities, health and education, open spaces and new inner-urban residential nodes.
“Ripley Town Centre will epitomize the 20-minute neighbourhood – with everything located within 20 walking minutes,” he said.
The eco-friendly town centre recently received a 5 Star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia, after complying with strict criteria for sustainable design and construction across nine categories.
Mr Abe said the rating showed that Green Star transformation of the built environment wasn’t confined to Australia’s capital cities.
“Regional projects can lead on sustainability,” he said. “This project is packed with intelligent design features such as the rooftop solar that doubles as carpark shading and reduces greenhouse gas emissions up to 15 per cent.
“Sustainability excellence was a primary objective of the Ripley Town Centre project and this required innovative design and management to achieve high indoor environment quality, energy and water saving plus a selection of low-impact materials to minimise the impact on local ecology.”
The heart of the centre offers a showpiece open air space, Satoyama Way. Landscaped with trees, green walls, water features and a range of seating areas, the design was based on the Japanese concept of Satoyama – harmonious interaction between nature and man-made environments. The area will be extended as the town centre grows.
Ripley Town Centre will hold a Main Street Festival on May 26, from 11am to 4pm, to mark the official opening and to celebrate growth and harmony in the region.
Celebrations will include sidewalk dining, live music, entertainment, kids cooking, kite flying, rock climbing, community displays, roving performers and a silent disco.
Mr Abe said the festival was designed to showcase