Plans to Slash Parking Requirements Raised for Kangaroo Point, Inner City Apartments

Outdated minimum carparking requirements for new apartment developments in several high-density, inner city Brisbane suburbs like Kangaroo Point are on the chopping block, a radical move that could potentially slash up to $100,000 off construction costs and shake up the city’s housing market.

Under current regulations, developers are forced to construct one carpark space per one-bedroom dwelling and two spaces for two and three-bedroom units, driving up costs substantially. Industry experts estimate the construction of an underground or podium-level carpark within a new Brisbane high-rise development exceeds $100,000 per space.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data reveals a third of Brisbane homes are single-adult households, and over 60 per cent of those in the four suburbs own one or no cars. Mr Schrinner aims to stimulate liveability near high-employment areas by catering to this demographic shift.

The Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner stated that abolishing the mandatory minimum parking requirements, under the planned Inner-City Affordability Initiative, would not only reduce costs but also stimulate an increase in housing supply across the inner-city suburbs of Fortitude Valley, Kangaroo Point, Milton, and Newstead, which are set to be impacted by this transformation in planning regulations.

Number of registered vehicles per property including motorbikes, scooters and heavy vehicles:

Location% No Car Ownership% One Car Ownership
Fortitude Valley28.7%55.6%
Kangaroo Point12.0%52.8%

“By removing mandatory minimum car parking requirements under our Inner-City Affordability Initiative we can put downward pressure on the price of building and buying a new apartment in those areas of Brisbane with great access to high-frequency public transport,” Mr Schrinner said.

“It will mean more people will be able to afford to live in areas close to transport and key employment centres, like the CBD.

“Our approach preserves Brisbane’s low-density suburbs and helps prevent urban sprawl, which contributes to congestion and causes significant transport and environmental costs.

“We want to help create more well-connected communities where multiple cars per household are not necessary to get around.”

Kangaroo Point
Photo Credit: Google Maps

Premier Steven Miles has thrown his support behind the plan, labelling the existing requirements as “ludicrous” for areas with ample public transport options. He expressed openness to extending the policy to more parts of the city.

The maximum car parking limits under the Inner-City Affordability Initiative align with existing regulations in Brisbane’s central business district and the recently expanded South Brisbane area covered by the state government-supported Kurilpa Sustainable Growth Precinct plan.

Property Council of Australia’s Queensland executive director Jess Caire believes the change will attract investment in building new homes, helping to boost supply despite skyrocketing construction costs. 

However, urban planner Mark Limb from Queensland University of Technology has cautioned that developers are not guaranteed to pass on savings to homebuyers. Even if the policy resulted in lower prices for some new high-rise apartments, Dr Limb argued it would have little to no real impact on overall housing affordability or supply levels. 

Dr Limb explained that there is a mistaken belief that loosening regulations in the private market would result in an oversupply of housing. In reality, developers strategically manage the release of new housing projects to prevent the devaluation of their properties.

Published 18-May-2024