News / Approvals

House in Conservation zone, Redland Bay

Published 20 January 2022

Aerial image of Redland Bay, approved plans overlaid

Approved in 2021, this was one of the most complex applications for a dwelling house we have dealt with.

The Redland Bay site was a vacant, privately owned lot in the Conservation zone which effectively prohibits residential development of any kind. A development application for a dwelling house in this zone triggers impact assessment (including public notification). Furthermore, ecological and flood overlays presented additional challenges for design and siting.

A contour and detail survey by our surveyors formed the basis of a flood study and confirmed the viability of tree retention within the koala habitat area. Our town planners justified the proposal against strategic outcomes of City Plan 2018 and investigated historical zoning and property ownership to successfully argue that the lot was inappropriately zoned. This is the first time we have had to invoke section 45(5)(b) of the Planning Act 2016 for a dwelling house application, due to high level conflicts with the planning scheme:


(5) An impact assessment is an assessment that—

(a) must be carried out—

(i) against the assessment benchmarks in a categorising instrument for the development; and

(ii) having regard to any matters prescribed by regulation for this subparagraph; and

(b) may be carried out against, or having regard to, any other relevant matter, other than a person’s personal circumstances, financial or otherwise.

Examples of another relevant matter—

    • a planning need
    • the current relevance of the assessment benchmarks in the light of changed circumstances
    • whether assessment benchmarks or other prescribed matters were based on material errors

Many would assume that developing any lot for a single dwelling is a straightforward process. This project is proof of the complexities that can arise from zoning and overlays in local planning schemes.


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