Neighbourhood Planning - Frequently asked questions


Why is Council developing neighbourhood plans?

Moreton Bay is one of the fastest growing regions in the country. Growth in existing neighbourhoods is inevitable and Council has identified there is a need to examine and engage with the community on how we accommodate growth, while also promoting local character and creating better places at a local level.

The purpose of the Neighbourhood Planning Program is to:

  • better guide growth and development while considering the things that make our neighbourhoods unique
  • improve the development outcomes on the ground and better align them with the Moreton Bay we all want for the future
  • provide opportunities for communities to be included in the planning process for their neighbourhood.

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What is neighbourhood planning?

Neighbourhood planning is a process where Council can examine and plan smaller areas of the region in consultation with the community. The process takes time and requires careful examination of community issues and feedback. Neighbourhood planning is different to other types of planning responses with respect to:

  • the scale of the area being planned for
  • the level and complexity of issues that can be reasonably addressed
  • the level of direction and detail that can be included in statutory planning instruments to provide clarity and support the streamlining of development that is consistent with locally specific visions and outcomes.

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What is a neighbourhood plan?

A neighbourhood plan is a supplementary planning document that details a vision and strategies to help guide future development in an area or on particular matters.

After a neighbourhood plan has been finalised, there will likely be changes made to the MBRC Planning Scheme to reflect relevant aspects of the neighbourhood plan and introduce more locally specific development assessment criteria.

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Where in the region will neighbourhood planning be undertaken?

Neighbourhood planning in Moreton Bay is focused on planning for established or existing (urban) neighbourhoods. Planning for the region’s numerous emerging or new neighbourhoods (greenfield growth areas) will follow a different process. For example, the Regional Growth Management Strategy and the Caboolture West planning process.

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What is the process for developing a neighbourhood plan?

While each neighbourhood plan will be different, a consistent process will be followed for the development of all plans. The process involves:

  • Background research
  • Community input to understand the key issues and opportunities in the area
  • Drafting the neighbourhood plan
  • Community feedback on the draft plan
  • Council approval of the plan, and
  • Changing the Planning Scheme.

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How long does it take to prepare a neighbourhood plan?

The preparation of a typical neighbourhood plan can take up to two years. During this period there will be opportunities for the community to be involved and regular updates will be provided. In addition, to amend the Planning Scheme, the State Government process will need to be followed which can generally take an additional 12 months. This might seem like a long time, but Council feel it is important to work through each step and issue carefully and involve the local community along the way.

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When will my area get a neighbourhood plan?

The MBRC Neighbourhood Planning Program commenced in mid-2021. As we cannot do every neighbourhood plan for the Moreton Bay Region at the same time, Council is carefully considering key matters like where and how much growth is planned in a particular area to help prioritise when areas will have a neighbourhood plan.

Planning and development matters can be complicated and neighbourhood planning is a beneficial process to help improve community understanding and engagement in the planning process. However, it is important to recognise the neighbourhood planning process as part of a broader suite of potential planning responses to community and development issues. Matters that require a consistent approach across the region, such as where taller buildings go or how secondary dwellings (e.g. granny flats) look and operate, will be considered through topic specific projects. More information on these projects can be found on the Reshaping our region’s planning webpage.

The Neighbourhood Planning Program and its future projects will be subject to regular reviews, to confirm future priority areas and their timing for neighbourhood planning.

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How will a neighbourhood plan change the area?

The purpose of a Neighbourhood Plan is to:

  • better guide growth and development while considering the things that make our neighbourhoods unique
  • improve the development outcomes on the ground and better align them with the Moreton Bay we all want for the future
  • provide opportunities for communities to be included in the planning process for their neighbourhood.

As this purpose suggests, change will occur when future development occurs. This means it may take many years to see change as a result of a neighbourhood plan.

Neighbourhood planning will influence future development through:

  • the final neighbourhood plan which will be a supplementary planning document intended to set the vision for the area, and may influence other Council projects.
  • statutory Planning Scheme amendments which will regulate development to support the vision and intended outcomes of the neighbourhood plan.

It is important to understand that neighbourhood planning will not stop growth or change. Instead it considers how this growth and change can be better managed through future development. It aims to achieve this by looking at a local scale what development is planned and considers how to create better places and promote elements of local character. For example, identifying future road or pedestrian connections or identifying an aspect of the area that makes it special.

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When can I have my say?

When it comes time for a neighbourhood plan in your area, there will be lots of opportunities for you to be involved and have your say.

These might include:

  • Sharing with us what makes your area special via the community survey or drop pin map
  • Providing us with photos of your local area
  • Having a chat with someone from our neighbourhood planning team at a pop-up display
  • Nominating to be part of a Community Reference Group where you will work closely with our neighbourhood planning team
  • And of course, providing your feedback on the draft neighbourhood plan.

Once the final neighbourhood plan is published, any changes to the Planning Scheme to reflect the neighbourhood plan will be publicly advertised in accordance with the Queensland Government requirements. This allows you the opportunity to lodge a submission prior to any changes to the Planning Scheme.

If you would like to be kept up-to-date and have your say on specific neighbourhood plans or other Council projects and services, you can register at Your Say Moreton Bay.

You can also refer to our ‘Current projects’ on the Neighbourhood Planning webpage to see areas currently underway.

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How long will a neighbourhood plan last?

Typically, neighbourhood planning projects aim to influence future development occurring over approximately a 10-year timeframe.

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