Brisbane has an exciting plan for the future, writes Lord Mayor Graham Quirk.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk

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It’s an exciting time for Brisbane and the future development of our city, as Council has approved a new draft City Plan which now will go to the State government for final approval.

Our new City Plan is all about protecting Brisbane’s way of life and guiding future residential development for the next 20 years. It puts in place practical measures to protect the character of our city as it continues to grow, while responding to feedback from our community.

We have come a long way from our “big country town” status of yesteryear. Brisbane has transformed into a global hub. Now is the time to harness economic opportunity to ensure a bright future for generations to come.

As our city continues to grow, it is important that we balance the effects of our increasing population to make sure we keep our enviable way of life. We need an evolution, not a revolution, as we look to the future.

Through the City Plan we are preparing Brisbane for the jobs and population increase we will see over coming decades and integrating the infrastructure to support our diverse economy.

Most importantly, our new plan protects the green leafy character of Brisbane’s suburban living areas, and big backyards will remain a fixture of our city’s character. Under City Plan future growth and development will be focused around major shopping centres and along our transport corridors.

We are also cutting red tape and reducing costs by streamlining the development and building process. Our new plan removes the need for unnecessary development applications and reduces building costs which will be a great benefit, particularly for families. For example residents will now be able to build their homes to a maximum of 9.5 metres and two storeys.

The plan also sees an allowable size of a secondary dwelling or granny flat at 80 square metres without the need for a development application, to enable increased housing options and ensure family members have the option to age in place.

Another City Plan initiative is the launch of an interactive mapping service for Brisbane. This will help potential investors and residents access relevant information about a site through a quick search such as flooding, significant landscape trees and heritage. Other enhancements include contour information, Priority Infrastructure Plan maps and 1946 aerial photography.

Over the community consultation period more than 52,000 residents reviewed ideas for the future of our City. We have spent the last six months reviewing more than 2700 submissions that residents and organisations made in response to our vision for Brisbane. I’m pleased that we have been able to take on board the suggestions and have made some amendments.

I believe that Brisbane residents will welcome the end result.