Southern Downs Regional Council new rules on duplex housing
DUPLEXES could sprout up throughout the Southern Downs when the new planning scheme comes into effect next year, fears Killarney town planner Jamie MacKenzie.
An alteration to the current planning scheme meant dual occupancy dwellings could be approved through code assessment if they were located on a site more than 800 square metres and had a frontage of at least 20 metres to a constructed sealed road.
Mr MacKenzie said approval through code assessment meant applications would not have to be considered before council and could be signed off by council officers.
"But I note under the new planning scheme, it is possible to have streets and streets of duplexes side by side on 800 square metre lots without public objection. I don't think that's what most families want to dominate their local areas."
Mr MacKenzie said the issue with the new scheme meant nearby residents would not have to be notified if a duplex was being built, or have the right to object, if it fit in the code assessment criteria.
"Under the new town plan, you could wake up to duplexes going up next door with no right of objection"
THE Southern Downs Regional Council has defended its proposed new rules on duplex housing, after a local town planning consultant said homeowners would be denied the right of objection.
As reported yesterday, Killarney-based planner Jamie Mackenzie said under the council's draft new planning scheme, due to come into force early next year, duplexes could be built in rows on established residential streets on blocks of 800 square metres or more, with the decision made by council officers.
With the majority of house blocks established streets in Warwick being at least 800 square metres, Mr Mackenzie said existing homeowners who valued Warwick's "big backyard" character would have no say and called for the rules to be changed.
But a council spokeswoman has said that in the proposed "Residential Living Zone" - which covers most of Warwick's streets outside the CBD fringe, a duplex would need a lot of at least 800 square metres and a frontage of at least 20 metres to the street.
She said in "every other situation", such as a block smaller than 800sqm, a duplex would be "subject to impact assessment", meaning it would be publicly advertised and residents could object and take council to court of they chose to fight an approval.
The spokeswoman said in new estates the minimum lot was proposed to be 600 square meters, but that developers would be encouraged to design their estates "to include a mix of lot sizes so that provision will be made for both (single) dwellings and duplexes".
"This will provide more certainty for residents of new areas," she said.
"All duplex development is proposed to be subject to the Residential uses code.
"This code contains detailed standards about streetscape, building siting and the design of duplexes.
"The standards are designed to ensure that all duplex developments are sited and designed to be complementary and compatible with the surrounding neighbourhood and address the street in a positive way.
"The code also contains requirements for land scaping and private open space associated with duplexes."
AND HERE THEY GO
A PLAN for nearly 100 units on a vacant block in west Warwick could be a first for the region if ticked off by council.
A finance company has applied to build the massive duplex and triplex development on a three-hectare Carmody St site off Wallace St.
The site was approved for self-contained aged care units in 2004 but the company behind that plan – Brisbane-based Warwick Developments Pty Ltd – never went ahead with it and the land was later repossessed by Euro Finance, the company behind the new proposal. If given the go-ahead, 38 duplexes and two triplexes with a mixture of two and three-bedroom units would be built.