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«Implementation Guideline No. 8 Identifying and protecting scenic amenity values September 2007 Acknowledgements These guidelines draw from previous ...»

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South East Queensland Regional Plan 2005–2026

Implementation Guideline No. 8

Identifying and protecting

scenic amenity values

September 2007


These guidelines draw from previous scenic amenity studies by SEQ local governments,

including the Brisbane City Council, Caboolture Shire Council, Esk Shire Council, Gatton

Shire Council, Ipswich City Council and Laidley Shire Council.

Other information in these guidelines has been drawn from studies conducted during stage 1 of the SEQ Regional Scenic Amenity Study. Partners in this project were: South East Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils, Office of Urban Management, Department of Local Government, Planning, Sport and Recreation, Department of Main Roads, Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Environmental Protection Agency, Moreton Bay Waterways and Catchments Partnership, SEQ Western Catchments Group, Natural Resources Management SEQ, and SEQWater. Robert Preston (Forest Images Consulting) was the project manager of stage 1 of the 2004 SEQ Regional Scenic Amenity Study. Robert assisted with the compilation of these guidelines.

The photos from the 2004 SEQ Public Preference Study used in these guidelines were taken

by members of the Scenic SEQ community research teams. Members of these teams were:

Brisbane (Adam Caddies, Carol Harris, Charles Ivin, Diana Glynn, Gulzar Manzar, Helen Favelle, Ian Turton, Jennifer Einam, Jenny Ivin, Lyndal Plant, Rob Simson, Rosie O'Brien, Silvia Distefano, Steve Schwartz, Steve Edhouse and Vicki Grieshaber), Esk/Kilcoy (Bruce Lord and Michelle Ledwith), Gold Coast/Beaudesert (Annette Robbins, Chris Engle, David Ridley, Linda Ray, Liz Ridley, Mary Hegarty, Paul Brookfield, Richard Whitlow, Richard Alarcon and Sue Mills), Ipswich (Jean Bray and Ann Bishop), Lockyer/Scenic Rim (Kit Philp, Christine Rinehart and Stu King), Logan City (David Spolc and Isaac Bens), Moreton Bay Coast (Amanda Matchett; Jim Pulsford, Jim Lawler, Karen Williams, Megan Lawler, Steve Palmer, Tim Odgers and Wally Wight), Redlands (Al Breen, Daniel Garcia, Decalie Newton, Jan Haughton, Julie Saunders, Kathy Hughes, Kathy Reimers and Samantha Brew), Sunshine Coast (Genevieve Jones, Hannah Blue, Henrietta McAlister, James Lillis, Jamie Faithfull, Kerri Paulsen, Leah Kelsall, Pam Maegdefrau and Peter Richards), Toowoomba (Barry Nielsen and Wilson Tam).

These guidelines use the scenic amenity methodology developed by the SEQ Regional Landscape Strategy Advisory Committee (RLSAC), under the leadership of Dr Darryl Low Choy and in partnership with the Brisbane City Council.

Note: These guidelines are accompanied by a CD which contains an electronic copy of the guidelines, interim regional scenic amenity maps, reports on the Scenic SEQ 2004 Public Preference Survey, and tools for estimating the scenic preference rating of views.

For a copy of the CD, telephone the Office of Urban Management on freecall 1800 021 818 or send an email to: enquiries@oum.qld.gov.au.

© The State of Queensland (Department of Infrastructure). Copyright protects this publication. Except for purposes permitted by the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any means without the prior written permission of the Department.

Table of contents 1 Introduction

2 Background

2.1 Planning context

2.1.1 SEQ Regional Plan

2.1.2 Regional Landscape and Rural Production Area

2.1.3 Urban Footprint

2.1.4 Local Growth Management Strategies

2.1.5 Urban Open Space Strategies

2.1.6 Rural Precinct Planning

2.1.7 Importance of scenic amenity to the community

2.2 Basic concepts, terms and methodology

2.3 Previous scenic amenity studies

2.4 2004 Interim SEQ Scenic Amenity Maps and Guidelines

2.4.1 Overview

2.4.2 Limitations of maps

2.4.3 GIS format of available regional mapping

2.5 SEQ 2004 Public Preference Survey

2.6 Recognition of previous studies and methodology

2.7 Objective of these guidelines

2.7.1 Areas of high scenic amenity

2.7.2 Popular and significant viewpoints

3 Identifying areas with high scenic amenity

3.1 Assessment criteria

3.2 Assessment strategies

3.2.1 Overview

3.2.2 Where a locally derived scenic amenity map is available

3.2.3 Where a suitable landscape values map is available

3.2.4 Where suitable maps are not available

3.3 Procedures to verify scenic amenity maps

3.3.1 Where a locally derived scenic amenity map is available

3.3.2 Where a suitable landscape values map is available

3.3.3 Where suitable maps are not available

3.3.4 Produce new scenic amenity mapping

4 Identifying significant and popular viewpoints

4.1 Assessment criteria

4.1.1 Overview

4.1.2 Estimating significance

4.1.3 Estimating popularity

4.2 Assessment strategies

4.2.1 Overview

4.2.2 Where an inventory of public viewing locations is available

4.2.3 Where other suitable information is available

4.2.4 Where suitable information is not available

5 Protecting areas with high scenic amenity

5.1 Strategies

5.2 Acceptable proposed development

5.2.1 Areas of high scenic amenity

5.2.2 Areas of locally important scenic amenity

5.3 Procedures for estimating proposed evident built development

5.4 Acceptable solutions

6 Managing significant and popular viewpoints

6.1 Strategies

6.2 Retaining or enhancing public access

6.3 Protecting important view corridors

6.3.1 From regionally significant and popular viewpoints

6.3.2 From locally significant and popular viewpoints

6.4 Estimating proposed evident built development

7 References

Appendix 1. Overview of previous local scenic amenity studies

Appendix 2. 2004 Interim Regional Scenic Amenity Maps …………………………………38 List of figures Figure 1. SEQ regional scenic amenity policies (see Part F, Section 3.

2, of SEQ Regional Plan)

Figure 2. Urban open space, Implementation Guideline No.

2—Local Growth Management Strategies (Section 4.2)

Figure 3. Community importance of scenery compared to other values

Figure 4. Connections between (a) public viewing locations (b) seen landscape areas and (c) view corridors

Figure 5. Scenic amenity look-up table

Figure 6. Interim Scenic Amenity Maps for SEQ (2004 South East Queensland Regional Scenic Amenity Study)

Figure 7. Comparison of new polygon maps and original cell-based scenic amenity maps.

Figure 8. Characteristics of participants in the SEQ 2004 Public Preference Survey.

.... 14 Figure 9. Visual domains used to balance the range of photos in the survey................. 14 Figure 10. Selection of photos and results from the SEQ 2004 Public Preference Survey (including bush, coast, rural and urban visual domains)

Figure 11. Procedures for calculating proposed evident built development for landscape units

Figure 12. Example of a sketch to delineate the landscape unit and evident built development on photographs

Figure 13. Acceptable solutions for reducing the visual impact of proposed buildings and infrastructure

Figure 14. Procedures for calculating proposed evident development in view corridors.

29 Figure 15. Visual exposure of the Bremer River and Middle Brisbane catchments........ 32 Figure 16. Scenic amenity of the Lockyer

Figure 17. Scenic amenity of Caboolture Shire

Figure 18. Regional scenic amenity of canelands in Maroochy Shire

Figure 19. Regional scenic amenity of landscapes in Brisbane City

List of tables Table 1. Method used to determine visual exposure ratings

Table 2. Maximum evident built development for areas of high scenic amenity.

............ 25 Table 3. Maximum evident built development for areas of locally important scenic amenity

Table 4. Maximum evident built development within a regionally important view corridor

Table 5. Maximum evident built development within a locally important view corridor.

... 29 Table 6. Scenic preference scores from the Caboolture Shire Scenic Amenity Study.... 34 Table 7. Maximum evident built development in seen landscape areas

Implementation Guideline No 8—Identifying and protecting scenic amenity values 1 Introduction The natural beauty of South East Queensland’s (SEQ) beaches, forests, waterways, parks and farmland is one of the region’s greatest assets and contributes to its tourism industry and our quality of life.

Protection of these scenic assets for the enjoyment of current and future generations can be achieved through the South East Queensland Regional Plan’s visionary approach to the management of growth and development in SEQ.

As State and local governments in SEQ continue to work with community and industry to accommodate the region’s growing population, it is important to also consider and protect the important scenic values of our region.

In recent years, new and innovative strategies have been developed to identify and protect important scenic values. Since the early 1990s, regional planning initiatives have recognised the need to protect the natural beauty of SEQ. These efforts have resulted in the development and application of a robust technical procedure for measuring and mapping the location of areas with high scenic amenity, and evaluating the importance of public viewing locations.

The ‘scenic amenity methodology’ has since been applied in five local studies and two regional studies in SEQ. The results of these studies have also been adopted by at least two local governments. These studies have also received national and State awards from the Planning Institute of Australia in recognition of the considerable rigour and innovation inherent in the methodology, and for its contribution to effective growth management in SEQ.

While there are many different and successful approaches used for visual landscape management and planning, the efficient protection of scenic amenity in SEQ is best served through the adoption of a consistent approach for identifying and evaluating scenic amenity values.

Two recent regional scenic amenity studies provide current, consistent and credible regional assessment of scenic amenity values for SEQ.

The first of these studies, the 2004 Interim Regional Scenic Amenity Maps and Guidelines to Protect High Scenic Amenity, provides information on the location of areas with important scenic amenity values for all the land-use categories defined in the SEQ Regional Plan. Not only did the study produce 1:50,000 scale maps of scenic amenity for all local government areas in SEQ, it also identified strategies to protect the values of areas with high scenic amenity. The study used the best-available regional mapping and scenic preference information.

A second regional study, the SEQ 2004 Public Preference Survey, provides refined measurements of the scenic preference ratings of views, and defines procedures for evaluating the scenic preference rating of views. The study provides a definitive evaluation of people’s visual preferences for different urban, rural, coastal and natural landscapes, based on an assessment of 440 images of urban, rural, coastal and bushland areas by 964 people from all parts of the region.

Although the 2004 interim regional scenic amenity maps have not been updated using the results of the SEQ 2004 Public Preference Survey, governments can use this survey data and the scenic amenity methodology to produce up-to-date scenic amenity maps to meet emerging needs and priorities.

The SEQ Regional Plan calls for the adoption of a single, common method for the assessment of scenic amenity. In 2001, the then SEQ Regional Organisation of Councils— now called the Council of Mayors (SEQ)—endorsed a move by local governments towards a consistent, objective, and regional approach to scenic amenity issues. The Council of Implementation Guideline No 8—Identifying and protecting scenic amenity values Mayors (SEQ) also recently resolved that partners involved in stage 1 of the 2004 SEQ Regional Scenic Amenity Study should be encouraged to apply the results of this study at an individual council or sub-regional level.

These guidelines describe voluntary procedures for SEQ local governments and the State Government to implement the scenic amenity policies of the SEQ Regional Plan by identifying and protecting areas of high scenic amenity, popular and significant viewpoints, and important view corridors.

Implementation Guideline No 8—Identifying and protecting scenic amenity values

2 Background

2.1 Planning context 2.1.1 SEQ Regional Plan The SEQ Regional Plan, released in June 2005, provides an agreed policy position by the Queensland Government and SEQ local governments on growth management in the region. The SEQ Regional Plan includes regional policies on sustainability, natural environment, rural futures, transport, water, and regional landscape values, among other issues.

Regional policies relating to the identification and protection of scenic amenity values are listed in Figure 1.

The SEQ Regional Plan recognises the region has a diverse range of outstanding landforms and seascapes which combine to create the region’s unique scenic amenity. These include mountain ranges, beaches, rivers, valleys, natural areas, wetlands, estuaries and islands. The quality of these scenes relates mainly to natural visual features or combinations of natural and man-made elements.

Many of the region’s landforms and seascapes also have high environmental, cultural, heritage and/or spiritual values. The region’s scenery contributes significantly to local communities’ quality of life and to visitors’ experience of SEQ.

Areas of high scenic amenity with outstanding natural beauty include the Gold Coast hinterland, Moreton Bay Islands, Glass House Mountains, Currumbin Valley, Tamborine Mountain, Beechmont, Montville, Blackall Range, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim and Loganholme Wetlands.

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