Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Preparing for a Boom; Growth in Population

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Preparing for a Boom; Growth in Population

Article excerpt

BILL HOFFMAN

bill.hoffman@scnews.com.au

THE Queensland Government's review of the SEQ Regional Plan will push for a massive increase in the urban footprint, despite housing-lot stocks being the highest in a decade.

A spokesperson for Planning Minister Jackie Trad said south-east Queensland's population was estimated to increase by 2.2million by 2041 - a number beyond the capacity of the current plan.

The total is based on about 80,000 residents arriving in the south-east each year: a 1.9% annual growth rate.

"This is projected to drive demand for about one million more dwellings," the spokesperson said.

"This equates to an average of around 35,000 dwellings per year and will almost double the current number of dwellings in the region."

The public will be provided input but only on how the growth would be managed, not whether it was wanted.

Draft planning legislation to replace the Sustainable Planning Act, Better Planning Queensland, was released this week, with a SEQ Regional Plan discussion paper out within months.

The push to open more land for development comes at a time when the State Government Statistician's Office figures show the number of approved but incomplete development lots in south-east Queensland has risen steadily since 2006, despite residential land sales totalling 118,372 in that period.

Projects approved to deliver more than 50 lots represented only 5% of total projects (55), but accounted for 11,461 lots or 69% of total lots approved. There are now 61,294 housing lots in the south-east Queensland development pipeline.

On the Sunshine Coast, the bank of uncompleted lots totalled 6194 of that number, with 2501 having operational works approval and being shovel-ready.

In the 12 months to December last year, 1144 residential lots were approved by Sunshine Coast Council - a 74% increase on the same period in 2013. The Sunshine Coast has 2960ha of broadacre land suitable for development into a further 44,000 residential lots.

"This Government is committed to engaging with the community on the revised SEQ Regional Plan," the Deputy Premier's spokesperson said. …

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