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Draft City Plan proposes inner city housing changes

One of the great opportunities for home buyers and investors in Brisbane’s inner-city might soon be older houses on large allotments. While we do sell places with less than 200m2 of land (especially in suburbs like Spring Hill) a lot of homes within easy walking distance of our CBD have upwards of 400m2 (or 16 perches if you’re still in the old measurements). To be on the doorstep of a major city, with a population over 1 million, that’s a big block.

Typically improved with houses built in the first half of last century they’re often great examples of our unique Queenslander architecture. And some local property owners argue that in protecting that history our current “Demolition Control Plan” limitations can mean precious spare land is underutilised. Brisbane City Council’s new draft City Plan might be about to tweak the rules, opening the way for more new dwellings in these areas.

According to a Courier Mail report the draft “proposes to make it easier for owners of pre-1946 homes to move the structures on their blocks to free up more land for development.” An old house on a big block might be shuffled over and restumped, the spare land then available for an extra inner-city dwelling. You can do this now but only with BCC approval, and many owners are unaware of the option or simply feel the time and expense of an application are unlikely to be rewarded. The proposal would allow home owners to make the change as long as they met BCC guidelines.

Our housing heritage needs protecting and there will be plenty of opponents to this draft idea. Council’s Opposition has already called it “slicing and dicing” of character homes. But if BCC’s population and workforce projections for our city are close to accurate this will be one solution to the need for more inner-city housing. Lord Mayor Graham Quirk says by 2031 approx 1.27 million people will call this city home.

Info on the draft City Plan can be downloaded at the BCC website. And please give us your thoughts by making a comment below.