It has been reported recently that the Soda apartment development in South Brisbane did not receive development approval from the Council. Although 129 out of 131 have sold off-the-plan, the developer had not obtained development approval to build the building.
A newspaper report states that the apartments do not have sufficient ventilation, ceiling heights are too low, and there is not enough visitor car parking. "The only outlook of many of the habitable room windows would be to a (future) adjoining development in very close proximity."
Well-known property law David Colenso said: "Contracting 98% of apartments without a development approval contravenes all the basis risk parameters of property development. Judging by the extent of councils refusal, this developer may need to redesign the development which puts at risk all contracts under Queensland's disclosure regime."
When I looked at this development in October, I thought that it was expensive. It now looks to be very expensive, due to what appears to be poor quality design.
Investors buying off-the-plan should look at the checklists and information in this book. Ceiling height, aspect and cross-ventilation are important to consider, and are often not disclosed in the glossy sales brochures.