Principle 4: Protect the Brisbane backyard and our unique character

We have our own unique architecture to accommodate our tropical weather.

Anne, Fairfield

Our city’s history and character is vitally important. Protecting Brisbane’s way of life will mean our exciting future looks familiar, by retaining the things we love about our city. More choice for how residents live and relax will mean families can still choose to spend time in the quiet of their own yard.

How we'll get there

4.1 - Stop townhouses and apartments being built in areas for single homes.¹

4.2 - Ensure that suburban development fits in with its surroundings.²

4.3 - Preserve the space between homes by ensuring minimum setbacks on property boundaries.³

4.4 - Protect our character and heritage by demanding greater enforcement powers and penalties from the Queensland Government.

 
  1. Allow townhouses and apartments only on appropriately zoned land, such as medium density residential areas.
  2. Audit Emerging Community land and rezone to Low Density Residential land where appropriate.
  3. Work with the Queensland Government to enforce minimum setbacks.

Our progress

Action 4.1: Restrict townhouses and apartments being built in areas for single homes

Townhouse and apartment zoning

Council is proposing amendments to Brisbane City Plan 2014 – Major amendment package H to restrict townhouses and apartments being located in single-home areas.

Read about City Plan amendments adopted and in progress.

Action 4.2: Ensure that suburban development fits in with its surroundings

Suburban development

Council continues to audit the Emerging community zoned land and rezone where appropriate. Brisbane City Plan 2014 – Minor amendment packages F, G, H and I have resulted in more than 2500 parcels of land being rezoned from emerging community to the low density residential zone.

Read about City Plan amendments adopted and in progress.

Action 4.3: Preserve the space between homes by ensuring minimum setbacks on property boundaries

Property setbacks

Council is reviewing setback provisions within Brisbane City Plan 2014 and is continuing to engage with the Queensland Government about setbacks, including for houses.

Building and site design improvements

Council is currently developing amendments including setbacks and other design requirements for granny flats (secondary dwellings).

Read more about building and site design improvements (Word - 96kb).

Siting variations

In mid-2018, Council’s Siting Variation team was incorporated into the Development Services Branch. This change has ensured greater integration across Council when assessing building work as a referral agency in accordance with the Queensland Development Code (QDC). A siting variation application is triggered when a building application for a dwelling house and/or associated structure (e.g. sheds, carports and pools) does not comply with the acceptable solutions of the QDC. Council assesses the proposal against the performance criteria of the QDC, and then provides a referral agency response.   

Read more about building near the boundary and siting variations.

Action 4.4: Protect our character and heritage by demanding greater enforcement powers and penalties from the Queensland Government

Character and heritage protection

Council sought greater enforcement powers from the Queensland Government to protect Brisbane's character and heritage for future generations. The Queensland Government granted Council new powers to issue repair and maintenance notices to protect local heritage-listed places. The Queensland Heritage Amendment Regulation 2019 took effect in March 2019, thereby enabling Council to give repair and maintenance notices.

Read about restoring and researching heritage places.

Temporary local planning instruments

Council continues to develop temporary local planning instruments (TLPI) to protect local character and values including for pre-1911 buildings and local heritage places.

Read about Temporary local planning instruments.

Advocacy for interim protection of local heritage places

Council continues to engage with the Queensland Government about the protection of character and heritage, including the protection of local heritage places in the period between proposing a Brisbane City Plan 2014 amendment and its adoption.

Local heritage places online

Council has upgraded its register of heritage places in Brisbane. Use the new Local Heritage Places online to search for local buildings and other types of places, find details, historical and builder information, architectural period and style, as well as photographs. You can also nominate a local heritage place.

Read about Local Heritage Places online.

Last updated:6 March 2020