A BATTLE to shape the region's future is brewing as two major planning powers, Ipswich City Council and Springfield City Group, go head-to-head.

The council, which has started the two-year process to change its planning scheme, is at loggerheads with Springfield as it attempts to reduce the company's master-planning powers.

The proposed changes will remove some of the unprecedented planning powers Springfield City Group has held since 1997, a few years after the first sod was turned on the master development.

Under the proposed planning changes, Springfield's Augustine Heights has been lumped in the same area plan as non-Springfield suburbs of Redbank Plains and Bellbird Park.

Long-term agreements for the council to upgrade major road and public infrastructure around Springfield are also under a cloud.

Such is the significance of the changes, the State Government has been called to broker an agreement with the powerful parties.

The move to change Springfield's planning powers is understood to have started after a landmark court case in November when Springfield City Group was stripped of its ability to veto a development on privately owned land within the city.

Springfield City Group deputy chairman Bob Sharpless confirmed the body "does have concerns" with the council's changes and had lodged a submission to the council.

"It is very important to us we preserve the intent of the current planning scheme we operate under going forward," he said.

"Our scheme is unique and we need to maintain the role of master developer of Greater Springfield.

"We must be involved in the planning process because ultimately we are responsible for infrastructure delivery."

The residential part of Maha Sinnathamby's master-planned Springfield is almost finished.

An education precinct, silicone valley and health hub are among the developments still to be progressed in Springfield's CBD.

The future of these developments and the existence of Springfield City Group itself if the changes are passed is not known.

Ipswich administrator Greg Chemello.
Ipswich administrator Greg Chemello.

Mr Sharpless said Springfield would continue to fight the changes.

"We have also sought independent advice around the proposed new scheme which has confirmed that we are right to hold the concerns we do," he said.

A spokesman for Ipswich City Council refused to be drawn into the Springfield controversy but said there were "particular locations that we are seeking feedback on".

"This work has included the master-planned areas of Springfield and Ripley," he said.

"There is much more work to be completed in preparing a new planning scheme, and this will be undertaken in consideration of the draft strategic framework, any submissions made to council within the relevant submission period and technical work which will be undertaken by council over coming months."



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