Council has provided answers to a range of frequently asked questions about the MBRC Planning Scheme. Residents can also use the My Property Look Up
feature to find out how the planning scheme will affect their property.
New Planning Scheme
Flood and coastal hazards
What is a Planning Scheme?
The State Government requires
councils to prepare a planning scheme to help sustainably manage
growth and development.
Moreton Bay Regional Council adopted
a new planning scheme on 24 November 2015. The MBRC Planning Scheme
commenced on 1 February 2016.
The planning scheme shapes how the
Moreton Bay Region continues to grow by ensuring the right
development occurs in the right places. It sets out the preferred
land use of every property in the region, and identifies what
natural areas should be protected and where commercial development
and public spaces should be located. It also sets standards and
criteria for building development.
The MBRC Planning Scheme has been
prepared in accordance with the State Government's Sustainable
Planning Act 2009 and Queensland Planning Provisions. It responds
to community views and suggestions, and addresses updated
information provided by the State Government.
The planning scheme aims to address
a number of challenges facing the Moreton Bay Region. These
- Responding to growth and increasing population
- Boosting community resilience to natural disasters including
flood and coastal hazards
- Encouraging economic development opportunities
- Sustainable living including improved transport
- Housing choices to improve affordability.
For more information about State
government requirements for planning schemes visit the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and
Planning. Back to question ⤴
How does the planning scheme affect me?
For most people, the MBRC Planning Scheme will have little to no
impact because it only applies to new development. This means it
only affects you if you wish to develop. This could include
building, extending, changing a use, subdividing, filling or
excavating your property. The planning scheme does not affect
existing development or development that has been lawfully
established or already has approval, but has not
The planning scheme includes new zone names, colours and
definitions which have been determined by the State Government. In
some cases, this change may have resulted in new development
standards in parts of the Moreton Bay region.
To ensure you can easily understand how the scheme affects you,
use My Property Look Up.
This is an online tool where you can simply enter the property
address you are interested in and see details about the zone and
precinct, view overlay maps for the property and access links to
helpful information sheets. Back to question ⤴
Does the planning scheme affect existing uses?
As per the requirements of the
Sustainable Planning Act 2009, Moreton Bay Regional Council
resolved to prepare a planning scheme covering the entire region.
This is a statutory process set by the State Government. Following
due process, the MBRC Planning Scheme was approved by the Minister,
adopted on 24 November 2015 and replaced the three schemes in
operation across the region on 1 February 2016. Any existing lawful
uses may continue to operate indefinitely in accordance with their
relevant approval (if applicable). If any change to intensity or
scale is proposed then an application may be required under the
current planning scheme requirements. Back to question ⤴
Does it affect existing development approvals or plans of development?
The MBRC Planning Scheme does not
affect existing development approvals and approved plans of
development. However, a proposed change to the development approval
or plan of development may need to be assessed against the MBRC
Planning Scheme, depending on the nature and scale of the change or
the provisions of the new planning scheme. The consideration
of these requests is at the discretion of the Council. Back to question ⤴
I live in North Lakes, is it included in the planning scheme?
Some land in the suburb of North
Lakes is in the North Lakes Estate and some is not. Land in the
North Lakes Estate does not have a zone or precinct in the MBRC
Planning Scheme. All development within the North Lakes estate will
continue to be regulated by the Mango Hill Infrastructure
Development Control Plan. Find out more see Section 10.1 of the MBRC Planning
Scheme and Mango
Hill Infrastructure Development Control Plan and
associated precinct and sector
plans. Back to question ⤴
Can I have a Granny flat on my property?
A Granny flat is defined as either a
Secondary dwelling (forming part of a dwelling house) or a Dual
occupancy in the MBRC Planning Scheme. See information sheets
dwellings and Dual occupancies for further
information. Back to question ⤴
Can I build a Duplex on my property?
A Duplex is defined as a Dual occupancy in the MBRC Planning Scheme. View the information sheet about Dual occupancies for further information. Back to question ⤴
Can I clear native vegetation?
Clearing native vegetation may require approval from Council in some circumstances. View the information sheet about native vegetation clearing and exemptions for further information. Back to question ⤴
How is Council dealing with Flood and Coastal hazards in the planning scheme?
The MBRC Planning Scheme takes a new approach towards a range of
matters including Flooding and Coastal Hazard.
Importantly, the mapping provides property owners and residents
most at risk with the level of protection expected by the State
Government and meets the requirements of the Queensland
Government's State Planning Policy (July 2014) and Natural Hazards
Guideline (August 2014) as well as the recommendations of the
Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry.
In relation to flooding and coastal risk, Council has:
Back to question ⤴
- Separated mapping into four overlays which are easier to
- Coastal Hazard (Storm Tide Inundation)
- Coastal Hazard (Erosion Prone Area)
- Flood Hazard
- Overland Flow Paths.
- Reduced the number of properties in High and Medium risk
- Expanded development options in High and Medium risk
- Significantly reduced the number of properties affected by the
Limited Development Zone.
Is Council's mapping correct and accurate?
The MBRC Planning Scheme takes a new
approach towards a range of matters including flooding and coastal
hazard. Importantly it meets the updated requirements of the
Queensland Government's State Planning Policy (July 2014) and
Natural Hazards Guideline (August 2014) as well as the
recommendations of the Queensland Floods Commission of
Council has been working hard to
update the flood and coastal models across our 14 river catchments.
Specialist engineers have re-run models across all our catchments
(with the exception of the Lower Pine River). Importantly, these
updates have included the use of 2014 LiDAR survey, this is the
most advanced and up-to-date mapping now available to
Like many technologies, LiDAR
continues to improve with time. The initial draft scheme included
modelling based on 2009 LiDAR survey as this was the most up to
date information available to Council at that time. The accuracy
and confidence in the 2014 LiDAR is more advanced which ensures
that the models are based on the best available information taking
into account recent changes to landforms and works that have been
completed such as drainage improvements.
The mapping for the Coastal Hazard -
Erosion Prone Areas is provided by the State Government. Back to question ⤴
What is the Coastal Planning Balance area?
The Coastal Planning Balance Area
identifies areas where there is potential exposure to coastal
conditions such as storm-tide inundation and coastal erosion (State
Government mapping). By identifying the coastal planning balance
area the Council is looking to ensure that any potential risk,
however unlikely, is reduced through appropriate building and
In the Coastal Planning Balance area
minimum development requirements are proposed - such as setting
finished floor levels for new development.
The likelihood of storm tide
inundation in these areas is low. However, owners should understand
these risks before buying, selling or developing a property.
Why has my property been identified?
Significant storm tides have
historically occurred in the Moreton Bay Region. Major events
include 1931, 1954, 1967, 1974 and 2013.
Storm tides typically occur in
low-lying coastal locations. They are generally caused by extreme
weather events, such as cyclones.
Council recently updated its storm
tide modelling using the latest information available to Council
including 2014 LiDAR survey information. This modelling enables us
to estimate what is projected or anticipated to occur across a
range of storm-tide events across the region. Based on this
modelling Council has produced the Coastal Hazard Overlay (Storm
tide Inundation) maps that identify potential areas exposed to
coastal risk. This overlay has been prepared based on an updated
risk assessment which is explained further in the Flood and Coastal
Hazard Evaluation Report.
The Flood and Coastal Hazard
Evaluation Report is a requirement of the State Government through
the State Planning Policy Guideline. This Guideline came into
effect in August 2014, post the initial draft scheme's
consultation. Back to question ⤴
What is the Flood Planning Balance Area?
The Flood Planning Balance Area identifies areas where there is a potential exposure to flooding principally caused by rainfall falling into the catchment and causing flooding of the local creek, river and drainage systems. By identifying the flood planning balance area the Council is looking to ensure that any potential risk, however unlikely, is reduced through appropriate building and development controls.
In these areas minimum development requirements are proposed - such as setting finished floor levels for new development.
The likelihood of flood inundation in these areas is low, and in many instances, flooding may have very little to no impact and can be mitigated through appropriate works, for example drainage. However, owners should understand these risks before buying, selling or developing a property.
Why has my property been identified?
Moreton Bay Region has a history of flash flooding and river
flooding events due to its landforms and proximity to
On 1 May 2015, parts of the Moreton Bay region faced
unprecedented flooding. Some areas experienced a very rare 0.05% (1
in 2000 year) flood event whilst others experienced a 5% (1 in 20
year) flood event. The effect of flooding across the region can be
varied and for some areas of the region a significant flood event
still may not have been experienced. As part of State Government
requirements, councils must identify areas when flooding may occur.
In this regard, Council relies of flood models to help estimate
where flooding may occur across the region based on the testing of
a range of flooding events - this may include smaller more frequent
events through to larger more rare events.
Based on these estimates, it is very likely that areas that may
not have experienced flooding have been identified in the overlay
maps. Back to question ⤴
My home is at the top of a hill so why am I affected?
In the MBRC Planning
map - Overland Flow Path
is used to identify areas impacted by overland flows. Overland flow
is generally caused by run-off from short and intense rainfall, and
can result in inundation that poses a risk to people and
If there is significant rain at the
top of the hill, the runoff from the rain will run downhill over
the ground surface and will concentrate in low lying gullies,
channels, roads and surface depressions.
Under state government requirements,
planning schemes must identify an area where overland flow controls
apply. These help to protect new development from potential damage
from inundation, and also help to manage the risk of overland flow
paths being impeded or redirected onto surrounding properties. Back to question ⤴
Why is my neighbour's property mapped differently?
Flood estimates are prepared using a
combination of historical data as well as computer-based models
that are able to model where water will flow when it escapes from a
watercourse or low point. Even a small variation in topography
(height of the land) compared with your neighbours may result in
your properties being affected by flooding. Back to question ⤴
What is the Defined Flood Event?
The Defined Flood Event in Moreton Bay Region
is a rain or storm tide event that has a 1% chance of occurring in
any year (1% Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP)). It includes
allowances for increased rainfall, cyclone wind intensity and
increase sea level up to the year 2100, blockages of drainage
infrastructure and future catchment change. Events may occur that
are larger than the Defined Flood Event, however
their occurrence is less likely. Back to question ⤴
How is the Defined Flood Event used?
The Defined Flood
Event is used in development and building controls
to determine habitable floor levels of buildings and regulate
filling on sites. Back to question ⤴
How is climate change considered?
The State Government, through the State Planning Policy,
requires Council to account for climate change in the MBRC Planning
Council has also sought independent expert legal advice which
clearly indicates risk of significant legal and insurance
implications if Council fails to incorporate climate change into
its planning scheme.
For the purpose of the planning scheme, areas identified as high
or medium risk do not include the effects of climate change. These
areas have been determined by independent flood studies using
However, the extent of the flooding and coastal planning balance
areas take into account climate change up to the year 2100. As per
the State Government's Planning Policy, these are areas where a
potential for flood or coastal risk exists, and appropriate
planning controls apply.
All land outside the High and Medium Risk Areas can be
considered to have a low to negligible risk of flood or coastal
hazard. Back to question ⤴
My property has stormwater drainage so why is it mapped?
Stormwater drains/pipes are designed
to take water in more frequent, smaller flood events. Generally,
engineering standards require infrastructure to cope with events up
to the 1% annual chance. In large rainfall and storm tide events,
stormwater infrastructure can become inundated. During the 1 May
2015 event we experienced an unprecedented rain event which caused
significant pressure on our existing infrastructure. Given the size
and the rarity of these events, back-up can result and may cause
flooding to property. Back to question ⤴
Why can't I fill my property?
Filling your property can have drainage or flooding impacts on
neighbouring properties, and increase the flood level on other
properties. Some filling is permitted in coastal areas where the
floodplain is largest. Any filling that may be allowed, needs to
happen in accordance with a carefully prepared design and should
consider any likely impacts on neighbours. Further details
can be found of the Flood
Hazard and Coastal Hazard Information Sheets. Back to question ⤴
What is the difference between Flood Hazard vs Flood Risk?
In understanding how floodplain management can be addressed
through land use planning, it is important to note the distinction
between the terms 'hazard' and 'risk'. These terms are often used
interchangeably in both common and technical language. The
difference from a land use planning perspective is critical, as
'hazard' relates principally to the nature of the event itself,
while 'risk' relates to the possible impacts on people,
property, infrastructure and the environment when that event
In terms of flood hazard, the definition of what constitutes the
various levels of 'hazard' is provided in National and State
floodplain management literature such as Floodplain Management
Australia which is the resource document for all flood
engineers. What defines a level of flood 'risk' involves an
evaluation of the consequence of a flood of a certain likelihood on
a community. Land use planners in particular must be very cognisant
of the risk of a hazard, particularly when balancing competing
development outcomes through strategic planning and development
In simple terms, a hazard will exist whether or not it poses a
risk. A risk cannot exist without the presence of the hazard, and
the other key elements of people, property, infrastructure and the
environment. Back to question ⤴
The difference between the flood check report and the planning scheme mapping?
In 2013, Council launched "Flood
Explorer" and "Flood Check" to provide the community with
readily accessible flood information. AFlood Check
Property Report will provide information on
the extent and depth for a number of flood and storm tide events
relevant to your property of interest. A Flood Check
Development Report will provide information
required to support the planning scheme for the Flood and Coastal
hazard overlays.These tools are available on Council's website and
provide detailed flood information for each property in the region.
check, the information available within flood check reports is
specific to your property.
The State Planning Policy and the
recommendations of the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry,
require council to identify areas where there is a potential flood
risk and include these in their planning scheme. It is important to
note that maps which identify flood risk are different to actual
flood maps that show a historic event or a predicted event such as
a 1% flood, which is what is available through Council's Flood
Check Property Report. Back to question ⤴
Will Council's mapping affect my insurance?
Each insurer will have its own approach to risk. When assessing
risk and the insurance premium for a property in a particular area
most insurers will have regard to available flood information, as
well as the property's exposure to natural hazards and the
consequence of the hazard.
Insurers do their own flood risk assessments and risk mapping,
independent of local government. The Insurance Council of Australia
recommends that consumers shop around if they are dissatisfied with
their current cover. Back to question ⤴
How will Council's mapping affect bank finance?
In 2013, Council launched "Flood Explorer" and "Flood Check" to
provide the community with readily accessible flood information. A
Flood Check Property Report will provide information on the extent
and depth for a number of flood and storm tide events relevant to
your property of interest. A Flood Check Development Report will
provide information required to support the planning scheme for the
Flood and Coastal hazard overlays. These tools are available on
Council's website and provide detailed flood information for each
property in the region. see flood
check. A Flood Check Property
Report will provide information on the extent and depth
for a number of flood and storm tide events relevant to your
property of interest. Back to question ⤴
How will Council's mapping affect my rates? Back to question ⤴