Car park crunch - will it eat your site yield for lunch?

23 February 2018

Brisbane City Council have various strategies in their traffic and car parking management arsenal including policies about how on-street car parking is managed and well as having detailed car parking requirements and ratios for development.

Development car parking requirements

When planning a development in Brisbane, car parking requirements must be factored in as part of calculating site yield. Brisbane City Council’s City Plan 2014 sets out guidelines for car parking requirements for residential development.

In 2015, council changed the rules so that residents of new multiple dwelling residential developments in traffic and parking permit areas are not eligible for on-street parking permits. So onsite parking is essential for sites in these areas.

The City Plan aims to provide a balance between adequate parking and housing affordability by taking into consideration the size of the development and likely traffic generated. The site location is also considered, with inner-city sites needing fewer parks due to the ease of access to public transport

But one point which is often highly contested is inner city dwelling car parking rates which largely assume that people use other modes of transport to get to work other than the private motor vehicle. Whilst this is largely true, the high ownership rates of cars in Brisbane results in vehicles being parked on the street, which are seldom used except out of business hours. This in itself is a major challenge for Council particularly when trying to remove the perception of inadequate public transport leading to private vehicle ownership in these areas.

Household types also influence demands, with single person households less likely to have a car. As a result the required parking rates for two and three bedroom units is higher than for one bedroom units close to public transport (within 400 metres measured as walking distance).

Council divided the rates of parking into four categories in the City Plan (city centre, city frame, sites close to public transport and all other cases) and has “acceptable” parking rates for each dependent on dwelling type.

Car parking rate examples for some dwelling types:


Obviously car parking requirements eat into potential site yield, so it pays to consult a town planner. They can tell you about what your requirements might be for a particular site so that you can include correct information when completing your project feasibility. In some cases where there is clear merit in doing so, Council may support a minor relaxation of car parking requirements depending on the nature of the development, how it will operate, and the site context.

Management of on-street parking

Brisbane City Council has proposed the introduction the Regulated Parking Permit Amending Local Law 2018, which will amend an older law that is now over a decade old that deals with the provision and management of on-street car parking. The amending local law aims to improve parking for residents, businesses, carers, health and community groups, vessel occupiers and visitors to Brisbane. The proposed law also allows for new technologies to be introduced, to cater to a wider range of permit needs.

Public consultation period is open until March 2.  You can download a copy of the proposed local law from Council’s website and make a written submission about the proposed local law and via

Contact us to discuss your project’s specific requirements via or call 1300 017 540.

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to provide accurate information, Consult Planning does not guarantee that this blog article is free from errors or omissions or is suitable for your intended use.