Topics Covered

General development

What is a planning scheme and what does it mean for you?

planning scheme is a statutory document which sets out objectives, policies and provisions for the use, development and protection of land in the area to which it applies. A planning scheme regulates the use and development of land through planning provisions to achieve those objectives and policies. For example, Brisbane has the City Plan 2014, Moreton Bay has the MBRC Planning Scheme…etc.

What does the planning scheme mean for you? It is the single document that will allow you to or stop you from building what you want on your property. It determines provisions such as minimum lot sizes, maximum building height, maximum density, allowable land uses, site cover…etc. Sounds simple enough, but when you discover that the Brisbane City Plan 2014 alone is 4500 pages long and that is only one of 537+ planning schemes around Australia, that means you could have 2,416,500 pages of planning schemes to read, understand and interpret. Hence, the town planning profession becoming an integral component of any development.

The first thing I would advise someone looking at getting into property development would be to make contact with a local town planner because they are soon going to become your best friend.

When you first start looking at planning schemes, you won’t know where to start, and when you’re looking through realestate.com.au at 30-50 properties a day, you’ll need to have a base understanding on what to look for. PropertEASE was created to be your initial point of the investigation so you don’t need to annoy a town planner for every single property you’re looking at and when you’ve narrowed it down to a handful, that is when a professionals interpretation of the planning scheme would be valuable.

Author: Alex Steffan

Bachelor of Urban and Environmental Planning – Steffan Town Planning – 10+ years experience as a private consultant town planner.