FRESH START: Lockyer Valley Regional Council hopes to introduce a new, unified planning scheme some time next year, replacing schemes in the former Laidley and Gatton shire areas.
FRESH START: Lockyer Valley Regional Council hopes to introduce a new, unified planning scheme some time next year, replacing schemes in the former Laidley and Gatton shire areas. Dominic Elsome

Planning scheme double up in council's sights

BUILDING a house could soon be made easier, with the Lockyer Valley Regional Council nearing the end of the region's planning schemes redesign.

Planning and Building Services and Planning Scheme portfolio councillor Kathy McLean said the update was needed to unify the planning scheme across the whole region.

The planning scheme has not been updated since amalgamation in 2008, and as a result the Lockyer Valley currently operates under two separate planing schemes in the former Laidley and Gatton shires.

Cr McLean said the redesign would bring the scheme in line with state legislation while also cutting red tape.

"We're trying to make it more understandable and - particularly for houses - make it straightforward,” Cr McLean said.

She explained the new scheme was needed to help cope with the region's expanding population - expected to reach 60,000 by 2041.

"It's a really fine balance between regulations to protect people and onerous things,” she said.

"It's to protect our lifestyle, and provide for the diversity of housing.”

The changes have been a long time coming, with council working on the redesign in its previous term.

However issues with the proposed new scheme meant a blank slate was needed.

"We did a much more comprehensive process this time. We've had endless workshops with every councillor to go through every part of it, to make sure the officers have a level of surety that when they make a decision - they know that it's what we want,” she said.

The new scheme is entering the final stages of council endorsement, after which it will be sent to the state for review, and Cr McLean warned that process could take several months.

After this the scheme will be open to public consultation, and she said it was vital for residents to voice their opinions.

"They need to pay attention and have a look,” she said.

Council hopes to have the new scheme in place by next year, however it could take until 2020 to implement due to the review process.

Landowners could see changes to land values

LANDOWNERS in the Lockyer Valley and Somerset regions could see changes in their property values.

New land valuations will be issued in March next year following advice from Queensland's Valuer-General Neil Bray.

Queensland's State Valuation Service South Coast Area Manager responsible for the Lockyer Valley and Somerset regions Greg Crowley said analysis of the areas' land market had found there had been sufficient market movement to conduct land valuations in 2019.

"While many regions continue to feel the impact of the drought, other regions have benefited from an upturn in the resources sector and others are seeing rapid expansion of their local industries,” Mr Crowley said.

He warned that these valuations didn't replace the work of property valuers for sales.

"Landowners should also remember the valuations are for land only - and don't consider dwellings or structures. People wishing to have their house or commercial premises and land valued should contact a registered property valuer,” he said.

The valuations could have wide-ranging affects on landowners.

"These land valuations are used to determine land tax, rental price for leased state land and by local councils to help determine rates,” Mr Crowley said.

"It is important to note councils consider land valuations and a number of other factors when preparing their budgets and setting rates.

"The Valuer-General's decision to select the local government areas to be valued is based on a rigorous process that includes consultation with councils, local groups and industry stakeholders, as well as detailed macro and micro analysis of land sales since the area's previous valuation.”

For more info head to www.qld.gov.au/landvaluation