Navigating the Brisbane City Plan 2014 from an air quality perspective
Brisbane City Plan 2014 is Council’s plan for future development of Brisbane—it guides how land in Brisbane can be used and developed. Brisbane
City Plan 2014 aims to deliver the goals and objectives of the Clean Air Strategy for Brisbane, which are to:
- Minimise the release of harmful pollutants to the air.
- Minimise the impact of pollution on people.
At the scale of an individual development, the aspects of the Brisbane City Plan 2014 that are aimed at achieving these objectives are:
- Zone codes
- Use Codes and associated Performance Outcomes and Acceptable Outcomes
- Air Quality Planning Criteria
- Air Quality Planning Scheme Policy.
These documents define the requirements for assessing air quality in a Development Application and the information that is required to be provided to Council to support the application.
Where can I get help?
Brisbane City Plan 2014 is a technical document, which can be overwhelming if you have not used it before. The specialists technical areas like air quality can be even more difficult. Getting the right air quality advice for your development can be hard. If you have found this page then you have come to the right place!
Here’s a few tools and tricks that can help you get underway:
- Read “How to use Brisbane City Plan 2014”
- Read “Guide to the Air quality planning scheme policy” and other fact sheets
- Contact Council
- Seek the advice of a Town Planning expert
- Seek the advice of an Air Quality expert (that would be us!)
Overview of requirements for air quality
Brisbane City Plan 2014 and the Air Quality Planning Scheme Policy provide assessment methodologies for activities that emit air pollutants (e.g. industrial activities) and activities that may be affected by air pollutants (e.g. residential dwellings).
This article deals with the latter situation where sensitive land-use(s) are proposed to be developed. In certain situations dictated by Brisbane City Plan 2014, the proponent of such a development will need to demonstrate that the proposal will meet a Performance Outcome related to air quality. This may be done by demonstrating that the proposal will comply with an Acceptable Outcome—often a separation distance.
Where the Acceptable Outcome cannot be met or where it is otherwise required by Brisbane City Plan 2014, an Air Quality Impact Report is required to demonstrate that the Performance Outcome will be achieved.
Depending on the situation, the Air Quality Impact Report may be required to include:
- Ambient air quality assessment
- Odour assessment
- Health risk assessment.
The overlay codes (Industrial Amenity, Transport Air Quality Corridor or Extractive Resources) provide a means of determining whether separation from sources of air pollutants is adequate or if an Air Quality Impact Report is required. If the proposed development falls within one of the designated areas, an Air Quality Impact Report is required.
The Brisbane City Plan 2014 Industrial Amenity Overlay Maps are not exhaustive. We have found a number of situations where smaller industries, such as spray booths, are not included. It is recommended that an air quality expert visit the site to ensure that all relevant industries have been identified.
Under Brisbane City Plan 2014, industries are classified into one of the following categories:
- low impact industry
- medium impact industry A
- medium impact industry B
- high impact industry
- special industry.
If the proposed development falls outside of the setback distance, no further assessment is required. If the proposed development falls
within the setback distance or within a designated area of the Industrial Amenity Overlay, an Air Quality Impact Report will be required. This should include a dispersion
modelling assessment of all relevant emissions to demonstrate compliance with the Air Quality (Planning) Criteria.
The Extractive Resources Overlay operates in a similar way to the Industrial Amenity Overlay.
The Transport Air Quality Corridor Overlay is used to assess air
quality constraints due to transport corridors. Firstly, determine if the proposed development is subject to any of the designated areas within Transport Air Quality Corridor Overlays. If the development is within any of the overlays you may need to revise the design of the proposed development to meet specifications for:
- setback distances
- location of ventilation intakes.
If adequate separation is not possible, mechanical ventilation or filtration must be included, and a Transport Air Quality Corridor Report may be needed.
Additional constraints also apply for a childcare centre development.
It’s not that easy to work out what level of assessment your development needs. As qualified air quality specialist we can assess your situation and determine what is required. It may be as simple as a letter indicating that your site is clear from any air quality constraints. Alternatively, if you need an Air Quality Impact Report, we can
prepare this for you too.