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SEQRP considers diverse housing

This is an excerpt from an original article published in establish, Spring 2017 edition. The excerpt is taken from the contribution How regional plans consider the need for diverse housing typologies, written by Kerry Riethmuller, Executive Director Regional and Spatial Planning from the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning.

The final South East Queensland Regional Plan (ShapingSEQ) and the soon-to-be-released draft North Queensland Regional Plan (NQ Regional Plan) both recognise, in their own way, the need for housing diversity to accommodate the shifting housing preferences of the population. Although there are many differences between the SEQ and NQ regional plans, both contain strategies that encourage a diversity of housing types in a regionally appropriate context.

When compared to other metropolitan regions in Australia, and around the world, SEQ lacks housing options. In 2016, it was estimated that 72 percent of the region’s dwellings were detached, and while recent years have seen an increase in high-rise housing (mainly within inner-Brisbane, the Gold Coast and parts of the Sunshine Coast), there remains an undersupply of low to mid-rise, medium density residential products. The situation is more pronounced in regional areas, with NQ’s detached housing proportion being well over 80 percent.

Both plans have visions that respond to a range of global megatrends, including a growing ageing population and the demand for alternative dwelling types and sizes to not only address this demographic change, but the evolving preferences of younger generations.

ShapingSEQ promotes the planning and delivery of different housing types in the existing urban area, and in new communities, to cater for a broad range of community needs. The plan promotes the need for a greater number, and broader range, of dwellings that are closer to jobs and services, with the 60:40 split between consolidation and expansion areas assisting that outcome. It also promotes the use of the planning system to increase housing choice and remove unnecessary regulatory costs, supporting the delivery of more affordable living options.

Successfully increasing housing diversity across the state will require improved integration with public transport, employment, and services as well as a focus on creating highly liveable and walkable communities that respond to our climate. Well-designed infill development not only provides greater housing diversity, it also assists in revitalising existing urban communities

without dramatically changing the scale of neighbourhoods or losing those elements that communities value and that make Queensland’s places, towns, and cities unique.