MBRC Planning SchemeFrequently asked questions

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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.

Questions


Planning Scheme

New Planning Scheme

Caboolture West

North Lakes

Common development

Flood and coastal hazards

Miscellaneous


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 sScheme 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 include:

  • 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.

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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 commenced. 

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.

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Who helped Council prepare the planning scheme?

The MBRC Planning Scheme was prepared in consultation with the State Government, and with input and advice from leading independent planning and engineering expert firms. These experts assisted Council at various times during the scheme preparation which commenced in 2012 and concluded when the scheme was adopted in November 2015. Some of these industry experts have included:

  • AEC Group
  • Architectus
  • Arup
  • BMT WBM
  • Buckley Vann Town Planning Consultants 
  • Cardno Chenoweth
  • Deicke Richards 
  • Economic Associates
  • Evan Jones
  • GHD
  • Humphreys Reynolds Perkins
  • Integrated Infrastructure Planning
  • John Byrne
  • Mike McKeown
  • MWH Global 
  • Parsons Brinkerhoff
  • Place Design Group
  • PSA Consulting
  • SMEC
  • Urbis

View the Background studies prepared by industry experts used to inform the preparation of the planning scheme. 

The Caboolture ShirePlan 2005, PineRiversPlan 2006 and Redcliffe City Planning Scheme 2005 became superseded planning schemes when the MBRC Planning Scheme came into effect on 1 February 2016. These planning schemes will continue to be used in the assessment of development applications lodged prior to 1 February 2016 and for agreed requests to be assessed against a superseded planning scheme.
In accordance with the Sustainable Planning Act 2009, requests for development to be assessed under a superseded scheme can be made within twelve months of the new planning scheme taking effect. Superseded planning scheme requests must be received by Council by 31 January 2017. This consideration is at the discretion of the Council.

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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.

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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.

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What happened to the Caboolture and Pine Rivers and Redcliffe planning schemes?

The Caboolture ShirePlan 2005, PineRiversPlan 2006 and Redcliffe City Planning Scheme 2005 became superseded planning schemes when the MBRC Planning Scheme came into effect on 1 February 2016. These planning schemes will continue to be used in the assessment of development applications lodged prior to 1 February 2016 and for agreed requests to be assessed against a superseded planning scheme.

In accordance with the Sustainable Planning Act 2009, requests for development to be assessed under a superseded scheme can be made within twelve months of the new planning scheme taking effect. Superseded planning scheme requests must be received by Council by 31 January 2017.

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I have an existing commercial use that now seems to be zoned differently?

The MBRC Planning Scheme focuses on identifying the future dominant land use identified for an area/suburb through the application of a broad zoning, such as General Residential. This approach is a shift away from “spot” zonings - to allow places to transition over time. For those areas with an existing commercial or retail activity, these existing use rights are preserved through the relevant sections of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009. Some existing commercial and retail activities are identified on Overlay Map - Community Activities and Neighbourhood Hubs. This overlay map allows existing activities to continue and operate as a small functioning centre. The overlay map also allows these neighbourhood hubs to evolve.

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How does the planning scheme affect Caboolture West?

The MBRC Planning Scheme includes the Caboolture West area within a Local Plan. The Caboolture West local plan provides a set of precincts and outcomes that apply specifically to Caboolture West. More information can be found at Information sheet - Caboolture West local plan and Caboolture West Master Plan - FAQs.

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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.

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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 about Secondary dwellings and Dual occupancies for further information.

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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.

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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.

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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:

  • Separated mapping into four overlays which are easier to understand: 
    • 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 areas.
  • Expanded development options in High and Medium risk areas.
  • Significantly reduced the number of properties affected by the Limited Development Zone.
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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 Inquiry. 

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 Council. 

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.

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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 development controls.

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.

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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 waterways. 

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.

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My home is at the top of a hill so why am I affected?

In the MBRC Planning Scheme, Overlay 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 property. 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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How is climate change considered?

The State Government, through the State Planning Policy, requires Council to account for climate change in the MBRC Planning Scheme.

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 historical data. 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 occurs.

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 assessment.

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.

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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. See flood 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.

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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.

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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.

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How will Council's mapping affect my rates?

Council rates are determined by land values assessed by the Queensland Valuer General. For further information, please visit  Statutory land valuations in Queensland.

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