Brisbane City Council has taken the drastic step of banning townhouses in established neighbourhoods to save the iconic Australian backyard.
Council planning committee chairman Matthew Bourke said the move is meant to protect the ‘Brisbane lifestyle’.
Developers fear the crackdown will drive up property prices and worsen the state’s housing shortage.
Housing Industry of Australia Queensland director Mike Roberts argued the ban will make Brisbane property prices skyrocket and reduce choice for homebuyers.
‘It is astounding that New South Wales has implemented a code to make things easier and remove hurdles, while Brisbane banned it. It is not just focusing on housing, it is about good supply and choice,’ he told The Australian.
Another Brisbane developer said the council’s decision made no sense given there was a proven demand for townhouses in the suburbs.
But Mr Bourke said the injunction is a bid to stop the consolidation of residential lots for development in low-density suburbs.
‘We have seen what has happened in other cities where owners have amalgamated their land and put it on the market for sale for townhouse development,’ he said.
‘We don’t want to see large-scale projects like that in our established suburbs. It changes that community and feedback from residents is they don’t want it.’
Mr Bourke said banning townhouses will prevent multiple homeowners from combining their lots to sell as a package to property developers.
New townhouses in more than two thirds of land zoned for residential use won’t be going ahead.
Other regions are going in a different direction to Brisbane, and opting to enhance the diversity of different housing types.
Recent research found 60 per cent of Australians would give up a large backyard when buying a home if there were enough parks in the vicinity.