Planning Amendment Regulation 2022
Questions and answers for changes in the Planning Amendment Regulation 2022.
Battery storage facilities
In effect from 16 December 2022
Changes have been made to the Planning Regulation 2017 (Planning Regulation) to:
- include a new use term for battery storage facility in the Planning Regulation
- provide that certain small battery storage facilities cannot be categorised as assessable development by a local planning instrument.
We have prepared a Guidance for Local Government - Battery Storage Facilities ( 1.1 MB) to assist with this change.
In July 2017, the Queensland Government committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050, with an interim target to reduce emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. Following this state-based carbon reduction commitment, by 2020, each Australian state and territory set goals to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 or earlier.
The Queensland Government released the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan (the Plan) in September 2022. The Plan outlines the key benefits of a renewable energy supply, and how renewable targets will be met with elements in the electricity system, including poles, wires, solar, wind and storage to provide Queenslanders with clean, reliable, and affordable power.
Battery storage facilities will play a key role in Queensland’s transition to a low-carbon energy system and will help achieve the Plan’s 70 per cent renewable energy target by 2032.
Battery storage facilities store excess electricity generated from renewable energy or the electricity grid and distribute it back into the network during peak periods. They can improve the efficiency of the energy system and keep prices low by better integrating variable renewables. These facilities are necessary because they support energy security and reliability.
Battery storage facility is now a use term that may be included in a planning scheme.
This enables a local government to amend its planning scheme to incorporate the new use term and determine appropriate categories of development and assessment and relevant assessment benchmarks, in a way that responds to the local circumstances.
This will provide a clear assessment pathway for battery storage facility uses once implemented by local planning schemes.
The inclusion of a new use term for battery storage facility enables a local government to amend its planning scheme to decide and include provisions to support the way in which they seek to regulate the use, including categories of development and assessment and assessment benchmarks. Once implemented, applicants will be able to apply for the development of a battery storage facility using the new use term. If no amendments are made the use will remain impact assessable in the same way an undefined use is assessed.
Any changes to the category of assessment and development for battery storage facilities will be subject to the local government progressing an amendment to their local planning instrument to incorporate the new term.
The Amendment Regulation provides for certain small scale battery storage facilities to be unable to be made assessable development by a local planning scheme. This applies to:
- pad-mounted batteries up to 15m2 in footprint
- pole-mounted batteries up to 2m3 in size.
The changes do not remove the need to comply with all other relevant laws or standards including for example, electrical safety, or workplace health and safety, nor does it remove the requirement to obtain building approvals or comply with requirements under other legislation, such as in relation to fire safety.
Yes. Where battery storage facilities are ancillary to other uses, they are not intended to be separately regulated by the new use term. Examples may include:
- household batteries where stored energy is to be used on the premises
- batteries associated with commercial/industrial uses where stored energy is to be used on the premises.
Determining whether the battery storage facility is ancillary to another use must be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Key features of an ancillary use in the planning framework are:
- it must be related to the primary use
- it must have an exclusive functional relationship to the principal use
- the portion of the use determined to be ancillary is subordinate to the primary use both in terms of its scale and impact.
In effect from 16 December 2022
Changes have been made to the Planning Regulation 2017 (Planning Regulation) to provide for streamlined delivery of relocatable classrooms and associated infrastructure at state schools that are experiencing growth over and above current classroom capacity, enabling classrooms to be in place to meet enrolment requirements.
The changes to the Planning Regulation 2017 will allow the Department of Education to provide relocatable classrooms and associated infrastructure at established state schools experiencing growth over and above current classroom capacity, without first obtaining a development approval under a local planning scheme or an infrastructure designation.
The classrooms and associated infrastructure must meet prescribed requirements, including maximum number of classrooms, maximum building height, minimum setbacks to adjoining residential premises, noise management and risk avoidance measures.
The classrooms and associated infrastructure cannot be provided within 25m of a State transport corridor, or on land in a flood, bushfire or landslide hazard area identified in any State or local planning instrument, such as the State Planning Policy Interactive Mapping System or a local planning scheme.
Furthermore, existing car parking and passenger pick up or set down zones cannot be reduced in number and existing vehicular accesses to State-controlled roads cannot be changed.
The changes do not affect the need for approval where the development may impact on a state interest such as development on a Queensland heritage place. In these cases, development approval may still be required.
The requirements to satisfy to be accepted development ensure that potential impacts are appropriately managed.
The Planning Regulation already prescribes that building work by or for the State or public sector entity is accepted development to the extent the building work complies with the relevant provisions for the building work.
The change makes building work unable to be assessable under a local planning scheme. However, the amendment regulation requires all building work to comply with the relevant provisions for the building work.
A notice will be given about the development to occupiers of adjoining premises and the relevant local government at least 10 business days before the development starts. This is a prescribed requirement in Schedule 6 of the Planning Regulation.
If development for relocatable classrooms and associated infrastructure does not meet the prescribed requirements in Schedule 6 of the Planning Regulation, it may become assessable development under the local planning scheme and subject to any relevant requirement or the appropriate development assessment process.
This may require a change to a development approval if there is already a development approval in place. Alternatively, the infrastructure designation process may be followed, which may also include a minor amendment to an existing infrastructure designation.
The changes will be in place for two years. The two-year sunset clause in the Planning Regulation will allow time for the State Government to explore a longer-term option for meeting enrolment needs. Relocatable classrooms are intended to be a short-term solution to accommodate enrolment growth and where permanent solutions are unable to be delivered within the timeframe required.
Last updated: 16 Dec 2022