Buying a Property With Plans to Redevelop?

Buying a Property With Plans to Redevelop?

Investor activity on the Gold Coast

There has been a good deal of talk lately about Gold Coast property values, particularly when compared to the Sydney and Melbourne markets, and in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games we saw a number of interstate and foreign investors taking an interest in our local market.

But whether you’re an experienced property developer or a first-time speculator, seeking advice prior to purchasing a property is a crucial first step. This is particularly the case for interstate and foreign investors, many of whom are unfamiliar with the Queensland real estate regime and the suite of planning instruments that determine a property’s development potential.

Planning scheme

Depending on the nature and scale of your proposed development, it can nevertheless be a costly and lengthy process. The process is legislated for in the Planning Act 2016 (Qld) (‘the Act’). The Act sets out what State and local authorities must do in exercising their respective planning and development assessment powers and it defines various types of planning instruments through which the Act’s purpose is to be achieved.

In most cases, the planning instrument of greatest significance to your development plans is the local planning scheme. On the Gold Coast the planning scheme is simply titled ‘City Plan’, which superseded the now historical 2003 planning scheme when it commenced on 2 February 2016. In practical terms, City Plan is the New South Wales equivalent of a Local Environmental Plan (‘LEP’), and a planning scheme and LEP are comparable in a legal sense in that they are both statutory instruments.

City Plan is like any other planning scheme in that it provides for a series of zones which regulate the types of development permitted in those zones. City Plan also contains many ‘assessment benchmarks’ which, when relevant to a particular parcel of land or particular development type, will at least influence the likelihood of obtaining an approval for your proposed development. It is a property’s zoning and how a development proposal measures up against the relevant assessment benchmarks which will usually decide the fate of a particular development proposal.

Get advice prior to your proposed purchase

We recently advised two clients prior to their intended purchases of property in the Gold Coast:

  • Client A’ wanted to purchase a property with the intention of demolishing the existing house and building a duplex in its place; and
  • Client B’ wanted to purchase a property but was concerned about the lawfulness of particular renovation works which had been undertaken by the Seller

We were able to provide cost effective advice to each client prior to their proposed purchase so that each client made an informed decision before entering into a contract to buy a property.

Ramsden Lawyers have significant experience in all aspects of property law including conveyancing and property development and can assist you with all of your real estate transactions.