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Planning schemes – Part 2

What is a ‘superseded planning scheme’?

When a new planning scheme is adopted, it will supersede the scheme before it.

Why is this important?

Under the PA (section 29), within 1 year after a new planning scheme is adopted, you can make a request to a local council for a proposed development to be assessed under the superseded planning scheme, and not the new one.

This can be useful if a zone changes, or a provision within the scheme changes.

There is a very easy way to find out what the superseded planning schemes are in Queensland, as they are required to be listed within Appendix 2 of the planning scheme along with a document outlining what the changes were.

To get to Appendix 2, simply open up the list of planning scheme documents and scroll through either the PDF documents, the interactive e-plan, or the single PDF document. Appendix 2 is normally located right at the end of the document or the bottom of the screen. The image below shows where ‘Appendix 2’ is located in the Brisbane City Council ‘ePlan’.

Keeping up to date with what the changes are can be difficult without dealing with it all day every day as Local Council’s can make fairly minor amendments that could have a significant impact upon the ability to do a certain development without any media coverage.

Researching superseded planning schemes to find new opportunities for development (e.g. changed zones, etc.) will be an extremely time-consuming process and unless you’re dealing with it on a daily basis, it will simply be a waste of time.

Superseded planning schemes are important when ensuring that a change in the planning scheme, doesn’t significantly negatively impact the prospective development, or value of a property.

If you buy a property for certain development, and council changes something significant (like changes the zone), you may no longer be able to do that development. You have up to a year to lodge your application under the superseded planning scheme.

The council do not have to agree to assess a proposed application under the superseded planning scheme. Do not assume that the council will consent and allow you to lodge an application under the old scheme. You do however need to be aware of potential changes or amendments to a Planning Scheme.

How do you know what the proposed amendments are to a planning scheme?

When lodging a development application, under the PA (s45), Council can give weight to upcoming amendments to the planning scheme.

How can you find out what the proposed changes are?

Some LGA’s are starting to adopt an interactive ‘current’ and ‘proposed’ section of their e-plan. For example, Refer to the below image where we are easily comparing two different versions of the planning scheme. Note, this might not show if there are no proposed amendments.

Most will have a section of their website with ‘upcoming amendments’ or ‘proposed amendments’.

  • Upcoming amendments are already adopted and just waiting to be formally adopted into the planning scheme.
  • Proposed amendments are still out for public consultation, or have been proposed but not yet fully adopted.

All you need to do is Google the proposed amendment that you’re dealing with and see if you can find a list of proposed amendments. Usually, they are listed in a Word or PDF document, but this will change depending on what LGA you’re dealing with.

Assuming you don’t have time to research every single planning scheme and the proposed or upcoming amendments, most LGAs will have some sort of e-newsletter and should send you updates as they become available.

Click this link to check out Brisbane’s one: