[Source: Scott Sawyer, Sunshine Coast Daily, 24 January 2020]

“URBAN transformation” in the right area is a key part of Sunshine Coast Regional Council’s long-term planning strategy, despite the current scheme not allowing townhouses on any size lot in low-density residential zones.

A council spokeswoman said the planning scheme did not allow for townhouses “on lots of any size in the low-density residential zone”.

“However, urban transformation in the right locations is a key aspect of council’s long-term strategy,” the spokeswoman said.

The comments came after Brisbane City Council recently banned townhouses in established suburbs by removing a longstanding provision which allowed townhouses to be built on lots of at least 3000sq m in low-density residential zones.

The ban was enforced after feedback from residents uncomfortable with the increase in townhouse developments, and in a bid to preserve the traditional backyard.

Fears were raised by planners that such actions could drive up house prices and make it harder for young families moving to the suburbs to find affordable housing.

They argued stricter design standards would negate the rise of “cookie cutter” townhouse developments in the suburbs, while addressing a need for affordable housing.

The Sunshine Coast Council spokeswoman said urban transformation promoted urban consolidation close to activity centres and public transport to accommodate growth “in the most sustainable way”.

In master planned communities the spokeswoman said diversity of lot sizes was important for housing choice and affordability.

“Uniformly large lot sizes are not the solution to addressing housing need or affordability and would not represent the most efficient use of land in the urban footprint,” the spokeswoman said.


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