Brisbane City Council is regularly undertaking initiatives that they call ‘neighbourhood plans’. These plans, as Council describes, are a tool to manage Brisbane’s constant change and accommodate growth and better protect valued environments at a local level. Neighbourhood plans also take Property developments in Brisbane into account – they prepare areas for the latest property developments and hopefully laying the foundation for a sustainable neighbourhood. Neighbourhood Plans are eventually incorporated into Brisbane’s planning scheme to guide new development and infrastructure.
Brisbane City Council has a number of neighbourhood plans in the works, and these plans are currently in key phases during 2017.
Newstead North Neighbourhood Plan
According to Brisbane City Council, the Neighbourhood Plan for Newstead has been made to help balance industrial, business and residential uses in Newstead North in order to help brand the area as a desirable inner-city precinct and support its economic growth. Once complete, the Newstead North Neighbourhood Plan will become part of Brisbane’s planning scheme to guide the newest developments and infrastructure in Newstead North.
The Newstead North plan area includes parts of Bowen Hills and Newstead and is approximately three kilometres north-east of the Brisbane CBD.
Prior to writing the draft for Newstead North’s Neighbourhood Plan, a draft strategy was developed which contains a number of key ideas that underpin the plan’s actions and policy decisions. These ideas are relatively simple and over-arching, but their concepts allow for a vast number of specific and pin-pointed moves in terms of zoning, property development and industrial activity.
Firstly, the Neighbourhood Plan intends to support the ongoing role and continued evolution of inner-city industry and business activity by:
- Retaining Newstead’s low impact industrial zoning to reflect the strategic inner-city industrial land designation.
- Reviewing on-street car parking timeframes
- Continuing to support ‘ancillary uses’ and creative industries which support evolution of industry, like local workshops and small local business manufactures that offer a range of handcrafted timber objects and furnishings
Breakfast Creek Wharf
Breakfast Creek Wharf has been identified as a key development site and local destination in Newstead, and part of the Neighbourhood Plan will focus on nurturing this area. The plan contains initiatives that will foster a redevelopment of Breakfast Creek Wharf, including:
- Connecting Newstead Park to Ross Street Park to enhance publicly accessible to the waterfront along Breakfast Creek
- Imposing development regulations that respect the ‘gateway experience’ from Breakfast Creek Road and its context to surrounding areas and views
- Facilitating high-quality mixed-use development along Breakfast Creek Road
- A high-quality urban edge to Breakfast Creek Road, and
- Creating additional supply of office and retail space.
According to Council, Breakfast Creek Wharf will be a convenience centre that includes a mix of uses including retail uses that will serve the local community of residents and workers. The mix of uses and their location within the development will encourage the public to use the site and enjoy the amenity of Breakfast Creek.
Breathing new life
The Neighbourhood Plan also includes policies and development concepts that aim to “breathe new life into public places, parks and streets”, in order to create a new sense of ease and enjoyment for people living in Newstead. While the ideas are yet to be implemented, they include:
- Implementing street tree planting and streetscape improvements along Breakfast Creek Road
- Implementing ‘City of lights’ along Breakfast Creek Road and Newstead Park
- Creating a small urban plaza along Breakfast Creek Road
- Optimising and connect the network of public spaces
- Revitalising Ross Street Park
- Implement streetscape works in alignment with the streetscape hierarchy to improve the pedestrian experience, and
- Improving current pedestrian and public transport connections.
Newstead’s Neighbourhood Plan will also implement the policies of the City Plan Flood overlay code in new “well-designed built forms” in response to the threat of flooding.
- Background research and community consultation was undertaken in 2015.
- Draft renewal strategy was released in mid 2016
- Council endorsed the draft Newstead North Neighbourhood Plan and was sent to the Queensland Government for the first State interest review.
- The freshly reviewed draft plan will be available to the public for consultation early 2017.
- Consultation will be complete and the plan will be adopted by the end of 2017.
Kangaroo Point Peninsula Neighbourhood Plan
Brisbane City Council is preparing an update to the Kangaroo Point Peninsula Neighbourhood Plan that will help shape the future of the peninsula. Similar to Newstead, once complete the updated Kangaroo Point Peninsula Neighbourhood Plan will become part of Brisbane’s planning scheme to guide development and infrastructure in the area once it’s complete.
The Kangaroo Point peninsula study area is bounded by the Brisbane River, Mowbray Park, Shafston Avenue and the southern boundary of St Vincent’s Private Hospital. The area is directly across the river from the CBD and has approximately three kilometres of Brisbane River frontage.
At present, the project is currently in the background research and community consultation phase until late 2016. By mid-2017, the draft renewal strategy aims to be ready for public feedback. The draft neighbourhood plan will be due for release and public feedback between mid and late 2017, with adoption of the neighbourhood plan provisionally scheduled for mid-2018.
The Kangaroo Point Peninsula Neighbourhood Plan has not been formulated yet, but Council has reportedly identified some key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats within the area which will inspire the plan’s future contents.
Positive points – things to work with
- Proximity to the CBD
- Unique characteristics of the area such as the defined boundaries and exposure to the river
- A strong value for the elements of heritage
- Open space
- Unique village community
A number of negative points were also identified include a lack of parking, lack of retail services in certain areas and the potential threat of poor management of high density growth. These points can potentially inspire the plan’s direction and the future of reform for property developments in Brisbane and the city’s planning scheme.
While Council works with the Kangaroo Point Peninsula Community Planning Team (CPT) to prepare a renewal strategy, their ultimate goal is to achieve high quality public realm and streetscape improvements, enhanced pedestrian and cycle links and simplified and update planning provisions.
The Neighbourhood Plans for Newstead and Kangaroo Point are far from complete and the ideas fuelling both are yet to be implemented. However, both plans are expected to move on to their respective next stages this year, so the wheels of progress are certainly turning. While nothing is yet certain, these plans are the roadmaps for development and development-related policy, and will provide the vision for how these areas intend to function in the future.