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A ban on townhouses in Brisbane's low-density suburbs is expected to be given final approval by Brisbane City Council on Tuesday, despite the state government expressing strong reservations.
In a letter to the council dated February 4, Planning Minister Cameron Dick wrote to city planning chairman Matthew Bourke approving the council's proposed amendment to its planning legislation.
"I continue to have ongoing concerns about the long-term impacts of the proposed amendment on housing choice, diversity, affordable living and market confidence in the Brisbane local government area," Mr Dick wrote.
He noted the council had committed to working for greater diversity in housing types despite the ban, to support the need for housing choice.
The ban will extend to townhouses and apartments in low-density-zoned suburbs, which Cr Bourke said was to protect Brisbane's backyard and respond to the frustrations of residents whose suburbs were being altered by large-scale development.
Approval for the council to progress the townhouse ban was issued by the minister subject to a ministerial condition that the council "prepare and finalise an evidence-driven, comprehensive, conclusive and detailed housing strategy for the local government area".
The council has 12 months to finalise that research and plan.
Cr Bourke said the council had consulted widely during the ban's proposal.
"The restrictions that remove parts of the planning scheme that allow townhouses and apartments to be built in areas intended for single homes, form an important part of Brisbane’s Future Blueprint, which will ensure that we supply a mix of housing types that meet residents' needs and fit in with our city’s character," he said.
"Council is already preparing a housing strategy that demonstrates Council’s ability to continue to meet dwelling targets and provide housing choice across the city."
The proposed ban has been met with concern from urban planning experts, who have warned it is the opposite path to other growing cities internationally, where townhouses are seen as a beneficial housing option for low-income residents and first-home owners.
Council will vote on the final approval for the ban, which will also alter all its neighbourhood plans to impose the new restrictions, at Tuesday's council meeting.
The townhouse ban was first proposed in 2018 and had been subject to months of scrutiny by the state government, amid concerns it would reduce options and choke Brisbane's housing market at a time when housing choice is needed.