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Bayside council on collision course with government over housing supply

Politics

A south-east Queensland council has put itself on a collision course with Deputy Premier Steven Miles over the vexed issue of housing supply.

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Redland City Council on the region’s bayside is preparing to defy warnings by the minister that it must urgently address what he insists is a failure to adequately plan for an expected surge in population growth.

The council is expected to use a meeting next week to tell the minister it sees no need to bow to his demands.

Miles has told the council he is set to take the rare step of using his powers under the Planning Act to direct it to come up with a new plan to drive construction of more housing in what is one of south-east Queensland’s most environmentally contentious areas.

At issue is the council’s willingness to plan for small lot housing in Redlands, a fast growing region that has a history of community conflict over burgeoning residential development.

In a letter to council chief executive Andrew Chesterman, the minister says the council has not started work on a comprehensive housing strategy despite repeated requests to do so since 2018.

He said the government’s latest Land Supply Development Monitoring Report had shown Redlands had a “shot term shortfall” of residential housing supply.

He said that recent changes to the housing market and migration patterns made it evident that council panning schemes “need to provide for a diversity of housing choices”

“On this basis, it is critical that the council commits to undertaking an evidence based and comprehensive Housing Supply and Diversity Strategy so that it is well position to plan for the future housing needs,” he wrote.

However, council officers have urged the council to tell the minister there is no reason to do what he says.

A report by Redlands planners to be presented at next week’s council meeting that new developments in the pipeline will ease the shortage of housing.

The report suggests the minister is targeting Redlands, pointing that while other councils in the region had recorded short term shortages of housing supply, they had not received demands from him to address the issue.

It says the council has given appropriate approvals for new developments in the region, including Lendlease’s new Shoreline development.

The new development areas were “expected to accommodate over 5000 newly created lots”, including some smaller than 400 square metres, it says.

The report recommends that council chief executive Andrew Chesterman write back to Miles to say “there is no demonstrated urgent need to prepare a housing supply and diversity strategy at this time”.

Miles, who took over as planning and local government minister after the government’s re-election last year, wants to make meeting SEQ housing supply needs one of his signature reforms.

About 30,000 people moved into Queensland last year, with the government expecting interstate migration to contribute another 62,000 new residents over the next three years.

Redlands mayor Karen Williams is expected to promote the city’s growth prospects to a gathering of property developers and other business figures at a Suburban Alliance function in Brisbane next week.

 

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