Gazettal of State Environmental Planning Policy (Educational Establishments & Child Care Facilities) 2017

On Friday 1 September 2017, the New South Wales government gazetted the State Environmental Planning Policy (Educational Establishments & Child Care Facilities) 2017 (SEPP). This policy relates to child care centres, schools, universities and TAFE establishments. The primary purpose of the SEPP is to more effectively facilitate the delivery of educational establishments throughout NSW.

With respect to child care there are a number of key points to note, which include:

  • Where a proposed child care centre doesn’t comply with the minimum unencumbered outdoor and/or internal space requirements under the National Regulations, Council must now refer the DA to the NSW Regulatory Authority for concurrence.
  • Councils cannot grant consent to a proposal for a child care centre not providing the minimum unencumbered internal and/or external areas without concurrence by the Regulatory Authority, unless the latter fails to get back to them within 28 days of the referral.
  • Councils must now take into consideration the Childcare Centre Guideline as part of its assessment.
  • The minimum unencumbered indoor and outdoor requirements under the National Regulations and Supplementary Regulations are now non-discretionary development standards. The purpose of this is that if a proposal meets the minimum areas, then Councils cannot require any more onerous requirements, for example, they cannot insist on a greater outdoor and/or indoor area than what the Regulations currently require. On the flip side, if a proposal doesn’t comply, Councils may start using this as a reason to refuse a DA for child care.
  • The following reports and/or considerations are now not required to be provided as part of a DA for a child care centre if there are controls requiring their provision within a Council Development Control Plan: provision of a plan of management; demonstrated needs assessment; identification of proximity to other child care facilities; and any matter relating to Parts 2 & 4 of the Child Care Planning Guideline (except building height, setbacks and car parking).
  • For proposals within industrial zones, reverse amenity considerations will be made i.e. will a child care centre restrict the operation of industrial uses, which will take precedent?

To read the new legislation please click here.

You can view our recent child care centre projects here.

For more information, or for advice on your next Child Care Centre development, please call 07 3852 1771 to speak to a Jensen Bowers Town Planner today. 


The new South East Queensland Regional Plan 2017, ShapingSEQ, came into effect on Friday 11 August 2017.

ShapingSEQ sets a framework for growth within the region roughly bounded by Noosa to the north, Toowoomba to the west and the NSW border to the south.

The plan provides a regional framework for growth management and introduces a fifty-year vision that strives to achieve sustainable growth, build a globally competitive economy and produce high-quality living. The plan also maintains a twenty-five-year planning framework that underpins its planning strategies.

Jensen Bowers Senior Planner, Andrew McLean, has closely followed the development and evolution of this plan, and has said: “While there has been some new land supply added to the urban footprint, the main focus is on infill development and urban consolidation. This will provide diversity of housing where the demand is to take advantage of existing infrastructure and protect our natural greenspaces”.

Some key changes under this plan include:

  • Expected population growth of 2 million people and 1 million jobs by 2041.
  • ShapingSEQ identifies future expansion land supply in the Urban Footprint on a 60 per cent consolidation and 40 per cent expansion supply ratio. This replaces the previous plan’s 50/50 ratio.
  • Beyond the twenty-five-year planning framework, ShapingSEQ estimates that the 60/40 consolidation to expansion rate may potentially change to 70/30 or 80/20 dependant on any future relevant findings in the SEQ Growth Monitoring Program.
  • The Urban Footprint contains areas that are yet to be developed and the plan estimates that up to about 70 per cent of these fragmented areas overall will be developed by 2041 as part of accommodating the dwelling supply benchmarks.
  • Promotion of greater housing choice. This is illustrated through the ‘missing middle’ style housing, which includes row and terrace housing, townhouses and low-rise apartments.
  • Large residential expansion areas – dwelling capacity expected to remain in 2041. Ripley Valley (30,000), Beerwah East (13,000), Greater Flagstone (19,000) and Caboolture West (9,000).
  • The Urban Footprint covers around 327,500 hectares of land or about 14 per cent of the region. An additional 8,200 hectares has been added to planned growth areas.

For more information on ShapingSEQ, please visit the Queensland Government’s State Planning website.

Should you have any questions on how ShapingSEQ affects you, please call Andrew McLean on 07 3852 1771 to discuss further.

Experienced Town Planner in Brisbane and Moreton Bay region

Jensen Bowers Senior Planner, Andrew McLean

Moreton Bay Regional Council has introduced an infill development incentives policy commencing from the 1st July 2017.

The incentives are available for a range of developments within targeted areas of Strathpine, Caboolture, and along the Redcliffe Peninsula Rail Corridor.

The policy includes waiving of application fees and infrastructure charges. Development is to have been approved under the current MBRC Planning Scheme and to have substantially commenced by 31 December 2019. Eligible uses include:

  • Student accommodation;
  • Mixed use building;
  • Multiple dwelling (minimum 20 units and minimum 3 storeys);
  • Short-term accommodation;
  • Retirement facility; and
  • Residential care facility.

Senior Planner, Andrew McLean of Jensen Bowers, recently completed a six-month secondment in the Planning Department of Moreton Bay Regional Council, and said the areas of Caboolture and Strathpine are major centres in the region and have the existing infrastructure capacity and services to cater for “significant development”.

“The new Redcliffe Peninsula Rail Corridor has been a substantial investment and incentivising development within this area should help to drive growth in the region,” Andrew said.

Andrew has now returned to Jensen Bowers’ Brisbane office in full-time capacity and is looking forward to working with clients to achieve their development goals. His comprehensive and applied knowledge of, and experience working within, the MBRC Planning scheme will be a significant advantage for clients looking to develop within the region.

You can find more information about this policy on the Moreton Bay Regional Council website, by clicking here.

Please contact Jensen Bowers’ Planning Team on 07 3852 1771 for more information and to discuss how we can assist in delivering your next project.

Over the past week, Jensen Bowers’ Town Planning team hosted a series of Planning Reform roundtables to inform clients and industry associates about how the new State planning regime will affect their business.

The event brought together industry leaders and professionals from key organisations in planning, architecture and engineering sectors, to collectively discuss the key changes and challenges expected after the commencement of the Planning Act 2016 (Planning Act) and associated instruments on 3 July 2017.

The events saw guest speakers, Mr Rayne Nelms from Thomson Geer Lawyers, and Mr Gerard Timbs from Holding Redlich Lawyers, address the attendees providing in-depth insight and expert opinion, with Rayne articulating the view, that “whilst there are a lot of individual changes, fundamentally not a lot is changing in this new Act”.

“The major positive is the increased flexibility to change applications [formerly permissible changes] in removing submitter criteria and the ability to lodge major change applications”, Rayne added.

Gemma Greenhalgh, JB Planning Manager, led the roundtable discussions and welcomed the amendments to the new Act, saying “There are a lot of tweaks to the existing framework – for the most part, they are welcomed. There are a handful of traps to be aware of as well. The theory behind the changes is commended and it remains to be seen how the local governments will implement some of these”.

Jensen Bowers would like to thank everyone who attended the sessions, and contributed to the overall success of the event. “We are delighted by the support and turnout from our clients and industry peers”, Gemma said.

A sentiment shared by Greg Wilson, Director of Equis Group who said, “the event was very useful and informative”.

Jensen Bowers’ Planning team has extensively reviewed the new legislation and are well positioned to use their detailed working knowledge and 100+ years of property development experience to best represent clients’ interests.

For advice about the new Act, please call Jensen Bowers on 07 3852 1771 and speak to Gemma Greenhalgh or Emmett Herps to discuss how the regime may impact your projects.

To express your interest in attending any future events about the Planning Reform, please email Jane Zewe, Marketing Coordinator, for more information.