Draft Cairns Region Planning Scheme

Proposed changes to the draft Cairns Region Planning Scheme: July 2015

Following community feedback received during last year's statutory consultation on the draft Cairns Region Planning Scheme, Council proposes several changes to the draft scheme. These changes aim to accommodate balanced growth and development in the Cairns city centre and parts of North Cairns areas while achieving high design standards that celebrate our unique tropical identity.

Have your say: consultation period 13 July to 25 August 2015

During the consultation period 13 July to 25 August 2015, the community will be invited to consider and comment on the proposed changes. Properly made submissions must be lodged by 5:00pm on 25 August 2015.

The schedule of proposed amendments and information on how to lodge a properly made submission will be published here at the start of the consultation period.

Proposed changes to the draft Cairns Region Planning Scheme: July 2015

Following community feedback received during last year's consultation on the draft Cairns Region Planning Scheme, Council proposes several changes to the draft scheme. These changes aim to accommodate balanced growth and development in the Cairns City and North Cairns areas while achieving high design standards that celebrate our unique tropical identity.

In the Cairns City Centre, sensible changes to height limits will provide for taller buildings that are well designed and respond to the climate. A focus on integrated landscaping will create buildings that bring the outdoors in, shaded streets and cool canopies – reflecting our identity as a 'city in the rainforest'.

The proposed changes in North Cairns aim to stimulate a variety of development opportunities and address the growing demand for vibrant inner-city living. North Cairns will feature three new building height precincts, transitioning down to the west, and responsive design controls will respect the suburb's rich character and sense of identity. New building heights, widths and setbacks, coupled with dense tropical landscaping, will protect privacy, maximise natural light and tropical breezes, and maintain important view lines to the mountains and ocean. 

Other significant changes have been proposed to provide clear development controls on the expansion of centres (including shops and shopping centres) within the region. Changes are also making it easier to build dual occupancies in residential areas to provide greater choice in housing options. Changes have also been made to ensure works undertaken by Council that provide a community benefit are provided in a timely and cost efficient manner, with community consultation integrated into the project planning phase. 

In direct response to this feedback, Council has drafted a new schedule of proposed amendments to revise the draft Cairns Region Planning Scheme. Details can be found in the following documents:

  • Proposed changes information sheet (PDF): Balancing tropical urbanism and economic growth
  • Another document here

Have your say: consultation closes 25 August 2015

The community is now invited to consider and comment on these proposed changes. Properly made submissions must be lodged by 5:00pm on 25 August 2015.

Background: the draft planning scheme to date

Thank you to everyone who made a submission during the statutory consultation period (27 October to 10 December 2014). Council received 6700 submissions and we continue to review all properly made submissions. We will advise each submitter of our response to the matters raised. Your patience during this period is greatly appreciated.

The draft Cairns Region Planning Scheme documents and maps (current at 15 October 2014) can still be accessed via the links below. The information will not be updated further until the draft Cairns Region Planning Scheme is adopted.

To keep up-to-date on the progress of the draft Cairns Region Planning Scheme, please subscribe to Council's Planning Scheme eNewsletter.  

For enquiries, phone us on (07) 4044 3044 or email planningscheme@cairns.qld.gov.au.

Last updated: 08 July 2015