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					Neighbourhood Planning Glossary
                           Neighbourhood Planning Glossary
Note: This document is for general information and is intended for use as a guide only. Definitions have
been simplified for easy interpretation. Where definitions may differ from those in statutory or draft
statutory documents, definitions in the latter prevail. For full details on the provisions of area
classifications, please refer to Brisbane City Council’s City Plan 2000.

Property that shares a boundary with, touches or is adjacent to another property.

Affordable Housing
Housing, whether for rent, shared ownership or outright purchase, provided at a cost considered affordable in
relation to incomes that are average or below average, or in relation to the price of general market housing.

The overall quality of the built form impacts on the level of human enjoyment including on-site and off site and
public and private spaces. Other elements of amenity include landscape amenity (features such as trees, planting
and lawn that add to the quality of the landscape in a city environment), level of noise, air quality and sunlight. The
word ‘amenity’ is often used to describe a pleasing or agreeable environment.

Active Edges/Frontages
Ground floor uses which accommodate activities and provide a level of
interaction between pedestrians and the building uses including
cafes/restaurants, shops, library etc. It may include features such as large
windows that look out onto the footpath bringing the indoors closer to the
outdoors. Active frontages/edges increase casual surveillance and improve the
interest, vitality and safety of an area.
                                                                                         Active Frontage – Little Stanley St
Active Transport
Any form of transport that involves some kind of physical activity. This includes cycling, walking and using public
transport – the walk to and from the bus or train is part of the journey.

Area Classification (land use/zoning)
All land has a zoning or area classification identified by Brisbane City Plan 2000 that indicates what land uses are
permitted or discouraged on that land.

The number and variety of plants, animals and micro-organisms that in combination comprise a community, found
in a particular geographic area.

Brisbane Urban Growth (BUG) Model
Brisbane Urban Growth Model is an advanced spatial database that allows Council to forecast future growth and
development in Brisbane using various datasets and information from the property database, City Plan,
neighbourhood plans and development applications etc.

An area of land separating certain types of development from adjoining sensitive land uses to minimise negative

Brisbane City Plan 2000 (City Plan)
City Plan is Brisbane City Council’s town planning scheme. It describes Council’s intentions for Brisbane’s future
development and identifies the type of development that is permitted and the form it should take.

Brisbane CityShape 2026 (CityShape 2026)
Determined by Brisbane City Council and the community through workshops, fairs and the CityShape conference,
CityShape 2026 is a document that outlines where future growth in Brisbane could occur. CityShape 2026 is
currently in draft form.

Character Housing
Housing that reflects Brisbane’s traditional architectural styles, particularly those houses built prior to 1946. ‘Timber
and tin’ is one of the more typical housing styles in older areas of Brisbane, but other less common styles such as
masonry are also important.
                                              Neighbourhood Planning Glossary
Contained within City Plan and Statutory Neighbourhood Plans, codes set out rules about land use, building height,
design, landscaping and many other issues. Proposed new developments must show how they satisfy code
requirements or how they achieve the intent of the code provisions.

Community Planning Team (CPT)
When Council begins neighbourhood planning in an area, it establishes a Community Planning Team (CPT). This
group is made up of approximately 30 people, who live, work or own a business or a property in the plan area. This
reference group works with Council providing their local knowledge, input and feedback through out the planning

Community Use (CU)
Community uses are important in developing and maintaining community networks, services and community health
and wellbeing. When a Community Use Area is no longer being used for its intended purpose, its replacement
should be another community use. CU4 - Education purposes

Connectivity describes the ability for people to access goods, services and recreation in their local area easily,
safely and without being hindered by barriers (e.g. roads with no crossings and unlit parks at night).

Convenience Centres (MP4)
MP4’s are smaller centres providing local services within walking distance of residents and generally up to two

                         Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED – pronounced ‘sep ted’)
                         All elements of design, including buildings and landscaping, at the street level maximise
                         safety for pedestrians and cyclists by ensuring people can see and be seen (called casual
                         surveillance). This can be achieved through footpath dining, community events, balconies
                         and avoiding hidden places.

Demolition Control Precinct
Demolition Control Precincts generally apply to areas with groups of original houses built before 1946. Demolition
Control Precincts are intended to maintain the character of traditional pre-war streetscapes by limiting demolition,
while allowing renovations and extensions and the construction of new buildings that are compatible in appearance
with character buildings.

The average number of residents, households or dwellings (i.e. houses, units, apartments) in a given area, usually
expressed as dwellings or people per hectare.

Detached Dwelling
A residential dwelling that stands alone, i.e. not a terrace house or apartment.

Development Application
Many new developments such as subdivisions, townhouses or office buildings need approval from Council.
Developers request approval by making an application. Council assesses development applications against the
City Plan and other legislation.

Ecological Values
The value attached to natural landscapes and plant and animal communities.

Emerging Community Area
Land classified as an emerging community area is usually un-serviced and considered generally suitable for urban
and suburban uses in the future (some parts may be unsuitable because of scenic or environmental constraints).

Employment Precinct (hub)
An area within which a large number of people go to work; can include shops, offices, a university or hospital.

                                             Neighbourhood Planning Glossary
Endangered Regional Ecosystem
A remnant vegetation community that has been impacted by severe and systemic degradation of pre-settlement
vegetation and habitat (from clearing, urban development and rural production etc.) or another form of biodiversity
loss such that it is considered at risk of extinction.

Is defined by the area between the kerb and the property boundary used to support pedestrian movement along
the street. Footpaths in some locations can support activities such as footpath dining. Wider footpaths improve
pedestrian amenities, ease of movement and connectivity by allowing the provision of street furniture, shade trees
and landscaping.

Future Industry Area
Land set aside for future development and use for industrial activities. Generally, land zoned future industry
requires extensive investigation and investment (such as new infrastructure) before it can be developed.

General Industry (GI)
The general industry area features a wide range of industries and complementary activities that meet high
standards of amenity and environmental standards.

Green/Active Spaces
Areas of land, with either public or private ownership, where the main function of the land is to provide people with
the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and take a break from urban environments. Green spaces are usually free
from intensive traffic and large buildings. New Farm Park and riverfront boardwalks are examples of green spaces.

Gross Floor Area (GFA)
Refers to the total area of all floor levels in a building. City Plan often specifies a maximum GFA allowed in
particular areas as a way of limiting the scale of development on a site.

Ground Floor Plane
The part of the streetscape at ground floor including footpaths, road space, cycle lanes, landscaping, building
frontages (shops, restaurants, cafes, offices, residential buildings), footpath dining, car parking, stormwater
devices. The ground floor plane is the most important part of the built environment as it has the most users and
                                        affects the entire experience of an area. See also ‘streetscape’, ‘built form’
                                        and ‘building setbacks’.

                                        The outcome of the ground floor plane elements and building setbacks.

Built Form
Building design including height, distance from property lines, awnings, podium etc. Ideally the built form is
sensitive to its surroundings.

Building Setbacks
The distance between the building and the property boundary including front, side and rear setbacks.

Habitat Area
The terrestrial and/or aquatic environment an organism or group of organisms inhabits throughout its lifecycle
including growing, feeding, nesting or roosting.

Heritage Place
A heritage place can be anything from a building to a monument, natural area, landmark, or viewpoint that has
special cultural, indigenous culture or natural heritage significance. Heritage places can be identified at a Local,
State, Federal or World level.

High Density Residential Area (HR)
High density residential areas are located close to the City and major centres with very good access to public
transport and facilities. Development will be generally up to ten storeys.

                                             Neighbourhood Planning Glossary
                            Mid Block Connection
                            Generally used to break up large blocks. The new connection provides an alternative
                            way to the footpath/street grid and can be either a road or a pathway. It improves
                            connectivity and accessibility through a precinct by adding route choices.

    Mid Block Connection

The properties and effects of water on the earth’s surface, in soil and rocks and in the atmosphere. It refers to both
natural effects (i.e. rainfall) and the effects of human influence (i.e. drainage structures, water storage and

Infill Development
The redevelopment of under-utilised sites in existing areas.

Infrastructure refers to the basic systems, facilities or framework that supports a community’s population, including
roads, utilities, water, sewage etc.

Infrastructure Contributions
Contributions made by developers to Council for infrastructure that an area will need to support future growth.
Infrastructure contributions must benefit new home or business owners in proposed developments (not just remedy
existing local problems) and apply as regulated charges.

Integrated Planning Act 1997 (IPA)
IPA was Queensland’s principal planning legislation that coordinated planning at local, regional and state levels.
This legislation was replaced by the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 but still applies to plans and development
approvals started prior to 2009.

Integrated Water Cycle Management
Integrating the collection, use, re-use and management of water at all stages of the water cycle (i.e. as rainwater,
stormwater, potable water, wastewater, groundwater and within waterways) to protect water quality and conserve
water supplies.

Land Uses (e.g. mixed use)
The way land is developed and used in terms of the types of activities allowed (agriculture, residential, commercial,
industries, etc.) and the size of buildings and structures permitted. Mixed use is when more than one use is
incorporated into a development, for example, a mix of residential units with shops, offices and a child care centre.

Level of Assessment
Development applications lodged with Brisbane City Council are subject to a range of assessment ‘levels’,
including self-assessment, code and impact assessment. City Plan does not prohibit any form of development;
however, the higher the level of assessment, the more detailed the analysis that Council will undertake before
approving a development proposal.

Low Density Development
Small-scale development, generally consisting of detached housing no higher than two storeys.

Low Density Residential Area (LR)
The predominant form of development is detached houses, one or two storeys in height. These areas are also
considered suitable for aged persons’ homes and, on larger sites, multi–unit dwellings.

Low Medium Density Residential Area (LMR)
Low medium density areas comprise houses and multi–unit developments at a house–compatible scale, generally
two to three storeys. LMR land is typically located near multi–purpose centres, near public transport and along
arterial roads.

Major Centres (MP2)
Major centres provide significant locations for shop, office, entertainment, cultural, tourist and residential
accommodation outside the City Centre. Developments generally up to ten storeys.

                                              Neighbourhood Planning Glossary
Master Plan
A comprehensive plan that describes and maps the overall development concept for an area or precinct, including
present and future land use, landscaping, built form, infrastructure and service provision.

Medium Density development
Development generally greater than two storeys in height, but no more than five storeys; can include townhouses,
units and commercial/retail development.

Medium Density Residential Area (MR)
Medium density residential areas are located in near City locations with good access to public transport and
centres. Medium Density Residential Areas will accommodate single unit dwellings and multi–unit developments
generally up to five storeys.

Mixed Use
A development that has a range of uses within the same building or site. As
an example, mixed use development can have shops on the ground floor
with residential apartments above (vertical mix) or an office next to a
residential apartment building within the same development (horizontal mix).

Multi-Unit Dwelling                                                                Mixed use – Ground Floor Retail/Commercial and
                                                                                   Residential above
More than one residence on a site, such as a unit, townhouse or retirement

Neighbourhood Planning
Neighbourhood planning is focussed on local areas and involves planning for the delivery locally specific natural or
built environment outcomes and protection of unique features. This planning process provides communities with
the opportunity to get involved in the future plans for their neighbourhoods. The neighbourhood planning process
makes sure that everyone who lives, works or owns a property in an area can have their say about the future of
that area.

Open Space
Areas that are not built on, both natural areas and urban open space, including:
• parks and bushland
• creeks, the Brisbane River and Moreton Bay
• private backyards and gardens, courtyards, balconies and community gardens
• plazas and entrances to shopping centres
• sports fields, bikeways and paths
• civic spaces around libraries and art galleries.

The effect of a development or building reducing the amount of natural light presently enjoyed by a neighbouring
property, resulting in a shadow being cast over the neighbouring property.

The effect of a development or building reducing the amount of privacy presently enjoyed by a neighbouring
property, resulting in a balcony or other recreation space overlooking the recreation space of a neighbouring

Pedestrian Scale (Human Scale)
Pedestrian scale/human scale relates to buildings (generally the ground floor/lower façade of buildings) and
elements in the public realm that pedestrians interact with and see whilst walking along the footpath. It is important
to ensure that there is visual and functional appeal at ground level (three to three and half metres) when
considering building architecture and public space design.

Able to be accessed, passed or seen through (e.g. refers to landscape elements such as screening trees or
planning concepts such as ‘walkable centres’ that contain a number of alternative connecting routes for pedestrians
through the site).

                                             Neighbourhood Planning Glossary
                                   Represents the lower part (generally up to a few storeys) of a high rise building.
                                   Podiums are typically built up to the edges of the property boundaries, when the
                                   high rise above podium level must observe larger setbacks. As the form suggests
                                   podium is often used for activities more connected to the street such as shops
                                   and public offices, whereas the tower above will be more for residential or
                                   commercial offices.

A small geographical area that has a number of characteristics that distinguish it from another area.
Neighbourhood planning often takes a precinct-based approach to planning.

Precinct Plan
A plan, developed for a distinct geographical area, that shows where major roads, pedestrian paths and bikeways
should go and areas that will be set aside as parkland. Individual precinct plans can also include features such as
waterway corridors which may influence development in the area.

Priority Infrastructure Plan (PIP)
The draft Priority Infrastructure Plan is based on the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 framework and is a long-term
plan for infrastructure that aligns with land use planning. It provides a clear and reliable method for calculating and
levying infrastructure charges, ensuring that developers and ratepayers contribute an equitable share of
infrastructure costs.

Private Open Space
Refers to an open area or place that is privately owned and maintained. Some can be accessible to the public
(footpath) and some are not accessible to the general public (restaurant/café).

Public Art
Permanent or temporary physical works of art visible to the general public, whether part of a building or free-
standing. For example, sculpture, lighting effects, street furniture, paving, railings and signs.

Public/Open Space (Public Realm)
Are general terms referring to an open area or place that is for public use, owned
and maintained by Council. Examples include footpath, terrace, park, squares.

Reconfiguring a Lot
Changing the boundaries of a property, such as subdividing or amalgamating
lots, dividing the property into parts or creating an easement.

Remnant Vegetation
Native vegetation that has not been degraded from clearing, urban development, rural production or other activities
and forms part of a regional ecosystem. Remnant vegetation contributes to Brisbane’s biodiversity and water

Renewable Energy
Energy gained from the sun, wind, water and earth that does not deplete natural resources, but is renewable.

Refers to the change of use of a building or structure.

Relating to, or situated on, the banks of a river. A riparian zone is the area where a flowing body of water meets
with the land. Plant communities along the river margins are called riparian vegetation.

Sensitive Receiving Environment
Any part of land in a residential area or an emerging community area, or a site used for education purposes, a
hospital, aged care accommodation, a house, a multi–unit dwelling or a caravan park.

Site Cover
The area of the ground covered by buildings usually expressed as a percentage.

                                             Neighbourhood Planning Glossary
South East Queensland Principal Cycle Network Plan
A plan, developed by the Queensland Government, which will guide the development of a connected and cohesive
cycle network in South East Queensland.

South East Queensland Regional Plan 2026 (Regional Plan)
The Queensland Government’s regional planning strategy (a statutory document) that guides growth and
development in South East Queensland for the next 20 years.

Sport and Recreation Areas (SR)
Sport and recreation areas accommodate a wide range of organised sporting, recreational, community and cultural
activities at local, district and city-wide levels whether they are on publicly or privately owned land/facilities.

Statutory Document
A document that has been created in accordance with a government act or other government instrument. A
statutory document has legal standing in that it is referred to by government agencies when carrying out their lawful

Strategic Plan
The new Strategic Plan for the City Plan outlines the broad overarching principles that will guide the development
of Brisbane. It expresses the overarching vision for Brisbane’s physical growth as a city. The ideas and concepts
presented in the Strategic Plan will eventually be translated into the practical rules and regulations contained in City
Plan 2012.

Street Furniture
Is a collective term for the various elements installed on streets and roads. It includes benches, bollards,
streetlamps, street lighting, bus shelters, fountains, signage, etc.

Structure Plan
A plan showing generally the form, type and density of future development, including neighbourhood structure
plans (for emerging community areas) and industrial structure plans (for future industry areas).

Subtropical Boulevard
Subtropical boulevards will be created as Brisbane’s major roads are transformed with subtropical landscaping,
suited to our climate, and large shady trees. These roads will not only look beautiful, but they will also be
comfortable for pedestrians with plenty of shade as well as street furniture.

Subtropical Design
Building design that responds to a subtropical climate.

Sustainable Planning Act 2009
The Sustainable Planning Act 2009 replaces the Integrated Planning Act 1997 as the principal legislation guiding
planning in Queensland from strategic planning to development assessment detail and process, to appeals and

Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Sustainability generally considers environmental, social and economic aspects.

Suburban Centres (MP3)
Provide a variety of services. They may be characterised by small tenancies within a limited area or lower density
larger tenancies over a broader area. Developments generally up to three storeys.

Timber and Tin
A common Queensland style of pre-1946 housing that uses timber weatherboard exterior walls and corrugated tin
roofing material. This style of house is often referred to as ‘Queenslander’ and contributes significantly to
Brisbane’s unique character.

TransLink Transit Authority (TransLink)
The Queensland Government authority responsible for delivering public transport in South East Queensland.
TransLink coordinates and schedules all bus, train and ferry services and is a one-stop shop for customer needs
and complaints.

                                             Neighbourhood Planning Glossary
Transport Node
The point where different types of transport routes and services intersect. A transport node can be large in size and
function, such as the Brisbane Airport, or it can be smaller and more local in its focus, such as Elizabeth Street

Uses (e.g. mixed-use)
The various buildings, structures and types of activities that people might use a space or plot of land for. For
instance, land zoned for recreational use could become a park but could not become an office block. Centre uses
include shops and offices.

Views & Vistas
Are visual aspects within the landscape/urban landscape that typically provide some visual amenity. The
importance of the view typically relates to the level of amenity the view provides. An example is the view from a
local area to the Brisbane River. A vista is a corridor view usually framed by an avenue of trees or buildings.

Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD)
The integrated management of water supply, wastewater and stormwater using techniques that replicate natural
systems to clean and regulate water such as swales and artificial wetlands. WSUD encourages a holistic view of
urban developments as being part of, and integral to, broader regional water catchments.

Waterway Corridor
A waterway corridor refers to the passage where water flows and a buffer of land on either side that allows it to
function as a waterway. It can be either natural or modified (e.g. a concrete drain). City Plan restricts development
from occurring within waterway corridors to protect biodiversity and manage flooding.

Wildlife Corridor
A corridor of land and/or water that provides refuge and habitat for fauna and facilitates movement between
different habitat areas. Wildlife corridors can be fully vegetated or contain only a small number of large trees.

                                             Neighbourhood Planning Glossary

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