The Queensland State Government recently released its draft future plan for the Yeerongpilly Transit Orient Development (Yeerongpilly TOD). The site comprises the former Animal Research Institute on Fairfield Road next to Yeerongpilly train station and the Queensland Tennis Centre. The plan for the Yeerongpilly TOD comprises a mix of different uses such as shops, commercial offices, parks, plazas and residential apartments. It will be delivered through a Detailed Plan of Development (POD) and State Planning Regulatory Provisions (SPRP), both of which have been released in draft for public comment.

Partner David Nicholls and Solicitor Thomas Buckley outline the relevant aspects of the SPRP and the POD to the development of the Yeerongpilly TOD below.

Transit Oriented Developments

Transit Oriented Development (TOD) is a planning concept that promotes the creation of a network of well-designed, higher density urban communities that maximise access to public transport facilities. It focuses on clustering mixed use development around public transport nodes in order to capitalise on transit investments by Government, bringing potential commuters closer to transit facilities and increasing patronage. The concept has been part of the Queensland Government’s regional planning strategy to manage growth in South East Queensland. Other TOD projects currently being carried out in Queensland include those at Milton, Albion, Bowen Hills and Coorparoo in Brisbane, and Varsity Lakes at the Gold Coast.

Plan of Development

The draft POD provides an overview of where different uses and building heights could be located on the site, whilst also outlining technical studies which have been undertaken to analyse the key considerations underpinning the proposed development, such as traffic movement and access, open space and parklands, cultural heritage, flooding and stormwater, visual amenity and interface with surrounding neighbourhoods.

  • The draft POD provides that the vision for the Yeerongpilly TOD is to deliver on the intent of the South East Queensland Regional Plan 2009-2031, to:
  • promote economic activity through development;
  • achieve more compact urban form and diversity;
  • reduce car dependency; and
  • create liveable communities and desirable new places.

This vision is underpinned by key design principles intended to create a place which integrates a mix of different uses with the surrounding suburbs, provides a commercial hub that will support the community, facilitates varying intensities of development and has a sustainable development pattern.

The plan for the site comprises five separate precincts, including a mixed use core, residential mixed use, low-rise residential, open space, and sport and recreation. Multiple mixed retail and office buildings (up to nine storeys) are proposed to be located towards the centre of the development next to Yeerongpilly train station and adjacent to Fairfield Road. Varying intensities of multi-unit residential development (from two to 12 storeys) are proposed throughout the Yeerongpilly TOD area, with more intense multi-unit residential towers proposed along Tennyson Memorial Avenue.

To complement this, are large expanses of open space and parklands adjoining King Arthur Terrace and the Queensland Tennis Centre and a public plaza traversing through the development’s centre from Yeerongpilly train station.

State Planning Regulatory Provisions

The draft SPRP provides the statutory framework for the development of the Yeerongpilly TOD area. Its purpose is to provide more detailed planning at the local level and it will apply to all development involving a material change of use of premises, reconfiguring a lot, building work and operational works.

Where there is an inconsistency between the SPRP and another planning instrument, plan, policy or code made under an Act, including the Brisbane City Plan 2000 and any subsequent planning scheme, the SPRP will prevail to the extent of the inconsistency.

The overall outcomes sought for the Yeerongpilly TOD area set a high standard of design. Under the draft SPRP, buildings will need to display “exemplary design and a high level of visual interest in design, treatment and articulation”. It promotes innovative subtropical design to create a high quality urban neighbourhood with a distinctive identity.

The draft SPRP also outlines the proposed assessment criteria for development involving a material change of use premises and reconfiguring a lot. The criteria provide details for building design and form, including proposed building heights and setbacks, streetscape interface, heritage, access and movement, open space and landscaping, lot design and access, streetscape and street design.

The draft POD and SPRP are open for submissions until 14 March 2014. Further information is available here.