Thursday, February 22, 2024

Housing diversity, infrastructure at heart of Toowoomba planning submission

Toowoomba Regional Council has finalised its submission to the Queensland State Government on the draft Shaping SEQ 2023 Update, with housing diversity and the need for infrastructure key to its submission.

Council Planning and Development Portfolio Chair, Councillor Megan O’Hara Sullivan said the focus of its submission was on providing attached housing in a way which reflected Toowoomba’s unique character, while also providing adequate public transport infrastructure to meet the needs of future growth.

“While TRC agrees in principle with many of the policy directions in the ShapingSEQ 2023 Update, there remains a lack of detail regarding some aspects, particularly around the growth assumptions, the implementation, and the delivery of affordable and social housing,” said Cr Sullivan.

“In particular, TRC is concerned with the growth targets and the lack of current public transport in Toowoomba. It’s something we have asked the State to consider heavily in our submission.

“There is also a need for the State to acknowledge the significant costs that local governments bear in the provision of the physical and social infrastructure required to facilitate the State’s growth targets, and to take the proactive steps needed to address this issue,” she said.

TRC Planning and Development Portfolio Lead, Councillor Bill Cahill said Toowoomba had unique needs and attributes including the need to preserve the City’s garden character and areas of heritage.

“Council agrees in principle with providing improved housing diversity and increased residential densities. However, the approach to providing increased attached housing needs to reflect Toowoomba’s unique needs and attributes; our garden city character; and areas of heritage and character architecture,” Cr Cahill said.

ShapingSEQ 2023 identifies the following dwelling and population projections for the Toowoomba Urban Extent:

• a total of 89,400 dwellings by 2046 (from 62,096 in 2021) – an additional 27,304 dwellings over 23 years; and

• a total population of 221,971 people by 2046 (from 145,338 in 2021) – an additional 76,633 people over 23 years.

In addition to the dwelling supply targets, ShapingSEQ 2023 proposes dwelling diversity targets, and targets for the provision of social and affordable housing.

• The diversity target is 37% attached housing (products like terrace housing, multi-storey units, and townhouses) by 2046. The current (2021) percentage of attached housing product is approximately 26%.

• The target for social housing (which includes public and community housing) is 20% of all new dwellings.

• The target for affordable housing (households on low to moderate incomes) is also 20% of all new dwellings.

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