A key region in south-east Queensland’s western growth corridor, Ripley has been earmarked as one of the fastest population growth areas and largest employment and industry growth areas in the country. It is a critical link between the Ipswich CBD and Springfield, and is one of only a few regions in the state that has been identified for significant future infrastructure investment.
With industrial, commercial and residential development opportunities, public transport potential, and easy access to employment generators and major road networks, Ripley’s future looks bright. It’s these bright prospects that led to Economic Development Queensland (formally the Urban Land Development Authority) declaring the Ripley Valley a Priority Development Area (PDA) on 8 October 2010, covering a total area of 4,680 hectares — among the largest PDAs in Australia.
What is a Priority Development Area?
Priority Development Areas (PDAs) are parcels of land throughout Queensland that have been identified for accelerated growth. The Queensland State Government and local councils work together with the private sector and community to fast track the planning, approval and development process to build within PDAs, making it quicker and easier for new infrastructure and facilities — such as housing, schools, parks, retail and business hubs — to reach the community sooner.
Development within PDAs is designed to meet the needs of local businesses and communities, and typically varies depending on the size, locality, public transport, local amenity, road network, infrastructure and existing planning schemes in the area.
The key purpose of the Ripley Valley PDA is to provide 50,000 dwellings and the associated infrastructure that is needed to cater for the growing population.
What is the vision for the Ripley Valley Priority Development Area?
The Ripley Valley 2030 Vision sets a clear path for the PDA, describing a rich and festive community with a series of distinctive neighbourhoods and smaller villages offering meeting places, cultural experiences, shopping and recreation. It will be instilled in a real ‘sense of place’, with the natural setting and safe, friendly environment celebrated by the community.
The Vision also describes Ripley Town Centre as stimulating and inspired by its marketplace style, and easily accessible to the community it services.
The Ripley Valley PDA Development Scheme, which controls land use and infrastructure planning in the area, has defined key criteria to guide development. Importantly, the Ripley Town Centre and Ecco Ripley masterplan delivers on several of these criteria, including:
Housing diversity and affordability
Community greenspace network
What are the benefits associated with a Priority Development Area?
Importantly, PDAs support economic, community and social growth, and deliver a range of benefits for local communities.
For the Ripley Valley PDA, employment opportunities are having, and will have, a significant impact on the local economy as the region makes way for new developments. Across Ripley Town Centre and Ecco Ripley alone, more than 16,700 direct and indirect jobs are expected to have been created throughout its construction once complete.
Stage One of Ripley Town Centre is already delivering a number of these benefits to the local community, reinforcing the critical role it plays in the region, now and into the future, by providing shopping, healthcare, services, a community facility, community events and more. Once complete, the Centre is set to become the bustling core of the Ripley Valley, supporting the projected growth of the region and delivering on the requirements under the Ripley Valley PDA. It is the only designated major retail and commercial hub earmarked for the region, and upon completion will measure approximately one million square metres across 10 lifestyle hubs, featuring healthcare, education, retail, commercial, recreational and community facilities, and residential.
While it is a long-term project that will be 10-plus years in the making, you will start to see the Ripley Town Centre masterplan vision come together piece by piece as the population continues to grow over time.
The same can be said for neighbouring residential community Ecco Ripley, which is set to provide 2,000 dwellings — 1,000 of which are already complete. In line with the requirements of the PDA, the community offers a large greenspace network, with parks including Faye Carr Park, Brooking Parklands, Spear Lily Park and Pebbles Park all offering recreational, ecological and sporting functions. For residents, these parks are no more than 400 metres from every home, with walking paths and cycle ways connecting the vast, green spaces.
Importantly, Ecco Ripley has the only 5 Star Green Star Communities rating in the region, reinforcing the development’s sustainability credentials and ongoing commitment to holistic, sustainable design.
As the Ecco Ripley and Ripley Town Centre masterplan grows over time, so will the deliverables under the PDA.