Biophilic Design Elements

Bio-what? The latin roots of the word biophilia are “bio” for ‘living things’ and “philia” for ‘attraction’ (as opposed to phobias for aversions). So the term “biophilia” means “love of life or living systems”. The hypothesis of biophilia was popularized by Edward O. Wilson in his book, Biophilia (1984) where he defined it as “the human urge…

Tiny House Planning Resource

If you think that Tiny Houses could contribute to the mainstream housing supply and diversity in our communities…if you think that they could offer an affordable housing alternative…if you are in property development as a regulator, developer or professional…then here is some food for thought. Download it. Read it. Explore it. Share it. Get in touch.

Veteran Trees

Do you know that it takes between 150 and 200 years before a tree is old enough to create suitable hollows for galahs and rosellas? A couple of weeks ago, Rikki and I had the opportunity to attend the Veteran and Scar Trees workshop organised by the Wildlife Conservation Partnership Program (WCPP). Under the WCPP,  private…

Autumn Newsletter 2017

Plans, plans and plans – the many changes to the planning and building environment in Queensland State planning legislation Last year the Queensland State government introduced the new Planning Act 2016 which will come in force on 3 July this year. As part of these changes, subordinate statutory documents are also being updated and some…

Brisbane City Council’s proposed changes to Biodiversity Areas Overlay

Brisbane City Council has been working on a package of amendments to the planning scheme (City Plan 2014). The amendments include proposed changes to the workings of the Biodiversity areas overlay as follows: Key Points Developments within a mapped Koala habitat area that cannot satisfy the Acceptable Outcomes will have a harder time to show…

Have your say on changes to Queensland’s planning system

Last year the Queensland State government introduced a new Planning Act which will come in force on 3 July this year. As part of these changes, subordinate statutory documents are also being updated and some are currently out for public consultation: The Planning Regulations which elaborate on the workings of some aspects of the Act…

Postcard from the Kimberleys

Towards the end of last year I put my hand up to facilitate art activities for the elderly Aboriginal residents at Guwardi Ngadu Frail Aged Hostel in Fitzroy Crossing, WA for a couple of weeks in January 2017. I’ve just completed the first week and it is truly an expansive experience on so many levels….

Update on Tiny House on Wheels Decision

The recent Tiny House on Wheels decision has sent a ripple through the planning community. Brisbane City Council is currently reviewing its approach to the phenomena of Tiny Homes, not just in terms of regulations but also in the broader context of alternative housing options for Brisbane. There is still work to be done.  We advocate the development…

Buildings that breathe

At a recent industry forum, Brisbane City Council advised of a new prelodgement service called DesignSMART. The service is “a series of prelodgement meetings focused on a collaborative design process” with the development industry with the intent of ensuring that building designs embrace the key considerations which Brisbane City Council have identified and captured in a document…

Landmark precedent for the Tiny House on Wheels

The decision This week the Queensland Building and Development Dispute Resolution Committee (the Committee) established to hear the appeal against the enforcement notice issued by the Brisbane City Council (BCC) to the owners of the Tiny House on Wheels (THOW) “formed the view that the THOW does not constitute building works as defined under the Building…

Changes to EPBC Cost Recovery Fees

On 1 October 2016, new changes to the EPBC Act cost recovery fees came into effect. Cost recovery fees were introduced two years ago in line with the Australia Government’s Cost Recovery Guidelines which establishes that those who create the need for regulation should incur the costs, rather than the costs being borne by the…