Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) today (December 17) adopted the final report into the review of the Toowoomba Regional Planning Scheme at its December Ordinary Meeting.
TRC Strategic Planning and Economic Development portfolio leader Cr Anne Glasheen said the report’s adoption would allow Council to implement the review’s findings and start the ball rolling on preparations for a new planning scheme.
Cr Glasheen said the Planning Scheme identified 30 key issues to be addressed, which would be best dealt with by preparing a new planning scheme, as opposed to amending the current planning scheme.
“Council started its planning scheme review in July 2018 to satisfy State legislative requirements to review the document within 10 years of its most recent adoption. The Toowoomba Regional Planning Scheme was made on July 2, 2012 and must be reviewed by July 2, 2022,” Cr Glasheen said.
“The findings of the latest review reveal that there is no fundamental deficiency in the planning scheme, but it could more clearly define a plan for growth along with policies that underpin such a plan.
“The review feedback showed that the current scheme had served the community well. It is clear that policies supporting the planning scheme must align with community values and State Planning Policy.
“The review also found that the planning scheme needs to recognise differences that need to be applied when assessing regulation of development in greater Toowoomba (South East Queensland) and the rest of the region.
“Today’s adoption paves the way for Council to start preparations for a new planning scheme by advising the Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning that it has completed its review of the Toowoomba Regional Planning Scheme 2016.
“More than 700 people participated in region-wide engagement activities with more than 8000 comments collected.
“Council appreciates the time and effort residents spent to lodge feedback, whether attending our region-wide engagement sessions or via other channels. This demonstrates a high level of community interest in framing the best policies for our region’s future development.
“The Toowoomba Regional Planning Scheme is Council’s key plan for the region’s future development and shapes many of our prized lifestyle attributes.
“Given the projected population growth and expansion of the region, Council’s review of the planning scheme will ensure it meets community needs and expectations for the next 20 years.”
Cr Glasheen said the Toowoomba Regional Planning Scheme Review final report outlined a program to deliver a new planning scheme in four stages over four years.
She said this program would see Council adopt the new planning scheme by December 2023 and the planning scheme become operational by March 2024.
The review findings can be viewed at www.tr.qld.gov.au/planningschemereview