SEQ Councils ‘well ahead’ of demand for building – report shows

11 / Apr / 2011 | News

SEQ Councils are delivering development approvals much faster than developers can build and sell developments a new State Government report shows.

Council of Mayors (SEQ) Acting Chairman Councillor John Brent said that low market demand and uncertain economic conditions were slowing development, not council processes.

“More lots were approved in 2009-10, some 12,900, than the 11,100 that were actually sold,” said Cr Brent

The SEQ Growth Management Program Annual Report released late Friday afternoon also found that development approvals for 5,198 lots lapsed in the period from the March 2009 quarter to June 2010.

Cr Brent said figures showed that developers were sitting on a lot of approvals.

“The preparedness of the banks to provide finance to bring development approvals to market and the absence of buyers in the market are clearly major factors in slowing down the development industry, not Council development assessment processes,” Cr Brent said.

“The stock of uncompleted lots across SEQ is close to an historical high with around four years of supply and for multiple dwelling units, an equivalent of 5.7 years of supply is now approved but not yet brought to market.”

The Development Assessment Monitoring and Performance Program (DAMPP) Annual Report 2009-2010, found that development applications were being approved by councils within a median timeframe of 38 days, well within timeframes set by the Government.

“The State Government’s report is a credible, evidence-based report that demonstrates SEQ Councils are delivering a robust yet efficient approach to development assessment,” Cr Brent said.

“Only 3.15 per cent of the 17,766 applications were decided by the Councillors rather than development managers, which challenges the argument by the property industry for the need for ‘expert’ planning panels to take on planning role,” said Cr Brent.

“Elected Councillors should be held to account by their local communities for the more complex and difficult development applications, while ensuing sound policy and practices are in place to deal efficiently with less complex applications,” he said.

Cr Brent also reconfirmed that SEQ Mayors are committed to continuous improvement of development assessment performance, and through initiatives such as Target 5 Days, SEQ Mayors will continue to deliver even better efficiencies in development assessment performance.