Ease the squeeze: Logan’s clampdown on tiny blocks – and shipping containers

One of south-east Queensland’s fastest growing regions is cracking down on the development of tiny housing lots and will introduce a minimum lot size in a major rewrite of its planning scheme.

Apr 19, 2021, updated Apr 19, 2021

Logan City Council’s move, which will mandate a minimum lot size of 300 square metres, follows a comprehensive study of its housing needs last year.

That study found the city’s housing lots were getting smaller and delivering fewer housing choices to residents.

Other planning changes in the works include ensuring that any retaining walls visible from the road have “coloured or textured” finishes to improve their look and that residential landholders are allowed no more than one shipping container on their property and only for a maximum of 30 days.

But the biggest reform is the council’s decision to call time on developers taking advantage of the existing planning scheme’s reliance on average lot sizes in determining how many lots can be included in a housing subdivision.

It found developers were including roads, parks and stormwater infrastructure to calculate average lot sizes, resulting in exceedingly small housing blocks.

The council will now drop reference to average lot sizes completely from its six-year-old planning scheme and instead introduce rules for minimum lot sizes and frontages.

The plan is likely to upset some property developers reliant on creating as many lots as possible in a subdivision to maximise profits.

Council officers have already reported that some developers did not welcome the move.

“Concern was raised regarding the proposed minimum lot sizes (with a general desire to see these lowered further) and the impact that the proposed changes may have on development yield,” economic development manager David Radich said in a report to council.

Logan is alone among major south-east Queensland councils in allowing average lot sizes in housing development rather than mandating minimum lot sizes.

The planning scheme reforms will be debated at a council committee meeting this week.

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