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Shopping Centre Council of Australia Submission on the DRAFT BRISBANE AIRPORT 2003 MASTER PLAN 1. Executive Summary This submission is concerned with the non-aviation related land use proposals contained in the draft master plan for land designated in the plan as ‘business and industry’, particularly Part 13.2 of the draft plan “Existing Development” and Part 13.5.5 “Number 1 Airport Drive”. Our key concerns with the draft Master Plan are that it: • fails to address the extent of its consistency with state and local government planning instruments, as required by s. 71 of the Airports Act; • fails to describe proposals for land use in the amount of detail required by s.71 of the Airports Act; • proposes development that would have a significant adverse impact on the use of land in areas surrounding the airport, including surrounding retail outlets; • proposes development that would have significant adverse traffic impacts but gives no indication of whether Brisbane Airport Corporation will provide funds towards the significant road upgrades that would be required; and • provides an unfair advantage to commercial and retail development at the airport over commercial and retail development on non-airport land. For these reasons, the SCCA considers that the draft Brisbane Airport 2003 Master Plan fails to meet the requirements of the Airports Act and should not be submitted for approval to the Minister for Transport and Regional Services in its present form. 2. Background The Shopping Centre Council of Australia (SCCA) is the retail property policy arm of the Property Council and primarily represents the owners and managers of investment grade retail property. The members of the Shopping Centre Council are: AMP Henderson Global Investors, Centro Properties Group, CFS Gandel Retail Trust, Deutsche Asset Management (Australia), FPD Savills/Byvan, Intro International, Jones Lang LaSalle, Leda Holdings, Lend Lease Retail, Macquarie CountryWide, McConaghy Holdings, Mirvac, Perron Group, Queensland Investment Corporation, Stockland Trust Group, Westfield Holdings and the Yu Feng Group. Our members have a clear interest in ensuring there is a level playing field between retail developments on airport land and those on non-airport land and the SCCA has lodged a number of submissions on individual airport master plans as well as to the review of the Airports Act. We consider that non-aviation development on airport land should be subject to the same level of scrutiny, community consultation and planning assessment as similar developments under state or local planning laws. Level 26, Australia Square, 264-278 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone: 02 9336 6902, Facsimile: 02 9336 6976, www.propertyoz.com.au/scca 3. Consistency with State and Local Planning Instruments Section 71(2) of the Airports Act states that a draft master plan must specify an airport-lessee company’s development objectives and proposals for land use and related development of the airport site. Section 71(6) states that in specifying such objectives or proposals, a draft master plan must address the extent (if any) of consistency with planning schemes in force under a law of the state or territory in which the airport is located. Although the 2003 draft plan comments on its relationship with “the planning schemes in force under the laws of the State of Queensland”, it contains no references to the extent of consistency between itself and these planning schemes, including the planning scheme for Brisbane, the Brisbane City Plan 2000. In particular, it fails to address the consistency between what is proposed at Number 1 Airport Drive and state and local government planning regimes. The only references to consistency in the draft plan are in relation to the Regional Framework for Growth Management (Queensland’s principle planning document). The draft plan identifies the Regional Framework as one of its priorities to consider the potential of Brisbane Airport to accommodate associated uses such as industry and retail (pages 29 – 30). The draft plan also comments that Brisbane Airport will continue to consult with Federal, State and Local Government to ensure timely awareness of needs to improve capacity of off-airport road infrastructure to meet forecast growth in passengers. This is a clearly inadequate assessment of the extent of consistency between the Master Plan and state and local planning schemes and contrasts with the 1998 Brisbane Airport Master Plan which contained a comprehensive assessment of its interaction with local and state planning instruments. Indeed the 1998 plan acknowledged that the airport had significant effects in terms of its impacts (page 22) and that Brisbane Airport Corporation would take advantage of development opportunities on airport land in a manner compatible with off-airport land (page 10). The 1998 Master Plan explicitly stated that it had to be viewed in the context of state and local government planning and made specific reference to the State Economic Strategy, the Regional Growth Management Framework, the South East Queensland Economic Development Strategy, Brisbane 2011: the Liveable City for the Future Strategy, the Moreton Bay Strategy Plan, the Integrated Regional Transport Plan for South East Queensland, the Port of Brisbane Land Use Plan, the City of Brisbane Strategic Plan and the City of Brisbane Town Plan (pages 41 – 44). The 1998 Master Plan stated that: • development of airport land for commercial use will be done in a manner compatible with off-airport land use (page 48); • developments will be compatible with the economic future of South East Queensland and consistent with the local and state government land planning framework for South East Queensland (page 140); • development within the business zone would be consistent with the South East Queensland Regional Framework for Growth Management 1995 and the Brisbane Strategic Plan (page 142); • the land use zones defined for the airport are to be consistent with, wherever possible, the terms and intents of the land use zones of the relevant local authority (Brisbane City Council) (page 141). The lack of any meaningful analysis in the 2003 plan of its consistency with local and state planning schemes is all the more troubling given clear statements by Brisbane City Council that the development proposals for Number 1 Airport Drive are in breach of Brisbane City Council’s planning scheme and the Regional Framework for Growth Management for South East Queensland1. Moreover, as the SCCA has stated in its submission to the review of the Airports Act, non-aviation related development on airport land should be required to be consistent with relevant state and local planning instruments to ensure that broader strategies to ensure sustainable urban development are not undermined. Otherwise, the community will be faced with lower quality developments that are incompatible with the local area and which have an unacceptable impact on local and regional infrastructure such as roads. Most troubling of all is that the draft plan seems to be at pains to state that it is not obliged to give effect to submissions made by local and state governments and indeed states clearly that there is no intent that BAC be bound by any planning jurisdiction other than as prescribed by the Airports Act. 4. Insufficient Detail on Land Use Proposals Regulation 5.02(2) of the Airport Regulations 1997 provides that a master plan must: • describe proposals for land use and related planning, zoning or development in an amount of detail equivalent to that required by planning, zoning and development legislation in force in the State or Territory in which the airport is located; and • use terminology (including definitions) consistent with that applying in land use planning, zoning and development legislation in force in the State or Territory in which the airport is located. The draft plan does not describe proposals for land use in an amount of detail equivalent to that required by land use planning, zoning and development legislation in force in Queensland, or use terminology (including definitions) consistent with that applying in land use planning, zoning and development legislation in force in Queensland. For example, section 13.4 of the draft plan sets out the three principal land use categories for the Brisbane Airport as “business”, “light industry” and “general industry”. These land use categories are significantly less detailed than, and the terminology they contain is not consistent with, the equivalent provisions in the planning scheme for Brisbane, pursuant to the Integrated Planning Act 1997, the Brisbane City Plan 2000. Further, the Brisbane City Plan 2000 identifies specific uses for “Multi-purpose centres” and denotes these uses as being Self Assessable, Code Assessable and Impact Assessable uses, whereas the 2003 Draft Master Plan lists a large number of uses “it is envisaged” that the business area “could accommodate (but not be limited to)”. 5. Impact on Areas Surrounding the Airport Section 81(3)(b)(ii) of the Act provides that in deciding whether to approve a draft master plan, the Minister must have regard to the effect that carrying out the plan would be likely to have on the use of land in areas surrounding the airport. Yet, while BAC has conceded that a substantial number of controls within the Airports Act require airport lessees to consider the impact of their business on surrounding communities, the draft plan does not provide any guidance to the Minister as to the 1 Media Statement by Brisbane’s Acting Lord Mayor, Councillor Maureen Hayes, 1 October 2003. impact that the development of the retail component will have on the use of land in areas surrounding the airport. There is no doubt that the proposed commercial and retail developments at the airport will have a significant impact on surrounding areas. Brisbane City Council has stated that airport development activities directly impact on state and local government transport, sewerage, water supply and drainage infrastructure including Gateway motorway, Gateway Bridge, East-West Arterial Road, Kingsford Smith Drive, Main Myrtletown Road, Nudgee Road, SI sewer scheme and Bartleys Hill water reticulation system. 2 The proposed retail development set out in the draft plan would also adversely impact the hierarchy of centres set out in the Brisbane City Plan 2000, as well as the trading performance of retail outlets in areas surrounding the airport. A centres hierarchy is vital to the functioning of a city to ensure the efficient, equitable and adequate provision of goods and services to all communities having regard to their needs, size and location. In 1998, the draft of the 1998 Master Plan indicated that BAC was committed to the development of commercial land uses which support airport related activities and which are properly integrated into the local hierarchy established off-airport. The 2003 draft plan does not address this issue at all, which is of concern given that since 1998, BAC has begun construction of more than 70,000m2 of retail floor space. This development is clearly inconsistent with the retail hierarchy set out in the Brisbane City Plan 2000 and will severely impact on retail outlets in areas surrounding the airport. The draft plan promotes development which is inconsistent with the Brisbane City Plan 2000, and in particular the planned hierarchy of retail centres. 6. Traffic Impact The Airport Drive/Gateway Motorway interchange, which provides the only viable exit and entry point to the Brisbane Airport, is currently at capacity at peak times. According to the Brisbane City Council, the development at Number 1 Airport Drive will attract almost 45,000 vehicles per day, of which more than 30,000 will be unrelated to other uses of the airport site. This extra traffic will: • exceed the capacity of the Gateway Motorway to the south of the airport site, because the Gateway Motorway to the south of the airport site is already carrying 90,000 vehicles per day, whereas its capacity is 80,000 to 90,000; and • will use up all of the remaining capacity on the Gateway Motorway to the north of the Airport Site, because the Gateway Motorway to the north of the airport site is already carrying 70,000 vehicles per day, whereas its capacity is 80,000 to 90,000. This extra traffic will also impose a significant additional traffic burden on nearby arterial roads, including Kingsford Smith Drive, Nudgee Road and Toombul Road, which will in turn increase traffic on lower order adjoining roads, because people often use lower order adjoining roads to avoid problems on arterial roads. As the SCCA has argued in its submission to the review of the Airports Act, it is inequitable that non-aviation developments on airport sites have to make no contribution to the cost of additional infrastructure (such as roads, water, sewerage, and electricity) required as a result of a development. All states and territories have a developer contributions regime to ensure that developers contribute to these infrastructure costs and they are not borne solely by ordinary taxpayers. 2 Media Statement by Brisbane’s Acting Lord Mayor, Councillor Maureen Hayes, 1 October 2003. It is clearly inequitable for taxpayers to be subsidising non-aviation commercial developments on airport land because of the lack of a developer contributions scheme under the Airports Act. It is also inequitable that developers across the road from an airport site have to pay a developer contribution (under the local contributions plan) while a similar development on airport land on the other side of the road does not. 7. Unfair Competition with Non-airport Development While it is accepted that Commonwealth control over aviation development is justified given its national significance, there is no public interest reason why BAC should not be subject to state and local government planning in relation to non-aviation development. In fact, BAC’s failure to comply with local planning laws by developing Number 1 Airport Drive is against the public interest by: • adversely affecting the hierarchy of centres set out in the Brisbane City Plan 2000; and • having a major impact on traffic in the area, potentially without public consultation or contribution to infrastructure. Airport-lessees should not be given an unfair advantage in developing land over developers of non-airport land who are subject to local planning laws. This is clearly contrary to the Commonwealth Government’s own competition policy which identifies anti-competitive legislation as that which provides “advantages to some firms over others”.3 8. Conclusion In summary, the SCCA considers that the draft Brisbane Airport 2003 Master Plan fails to meet the requirements of the Airports Act and should not be submitted for approval to the Minister for Transport and Regional Services in its present form. 9. Contact The Shopping Centre Council would be happy to discuss any aspect of this submission. Please do not hesitate to contact: Katye Jackett Assistant Director Shopping Centre Council of Australia Level 26 Australia Square 264 George Street SYDNEY NSW 2000 Phone: 02 9336 6907 Fax: 02 9336 6976 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 3 Commonwealth National Competition Policy, Annual Report 1999-2000, p.14