Do I need planning approval? | Redland City Council

Planning approval is concerned with the impact on Council infrastructure, the landscape and the local environment.

Deciding whether you need planning approval

To find out whether you need planning approval, view Council’s interactive mapping tool, Red-e-map.

This tool can help you find zones and overlays that may apply to your property.

You should also be familiar with the Redland City Plan to find out what parts of the planning scheme apply to your proposal.

Types of applications

Council assesses development in accordance with the Queensland planning framework, which includes the Planning Act 2016, Planning Regulation 2017, and Development Assessment Rules (DA Rules).  Typical development types assessed by Council include:

  • Material change of use (MCU) - for example new shops, industry, apartment buildings
  • Reconfiguring a lot (RAL) - for example subdividing land, boundary realignments, creating access easements
  • Plumbing and drainage work - for example water fixtures and connections
  • Operational works (OPW) - for example road construction, water and wastewater infrastructure, prescribed tidal works such as jetties and pontoons
  • Building works assessable against the planning scheme - for example building works proposed over or near infrastructure such as water mains, stormwater drains and sewers
  • Concurrence agency referral - for example setback variation.

Council also assesses change applications and variations as part of some of the above developments (see below).

Types of development approvals

Different types of approvals are required for different projects and in some instances more than one approval may be needed.

Below are some of the different types of approvals:

  • Development approval (or planning approval) – this is concerned with the impact on Council infrastructure, the landscape and the local environment. This can include material change of use (MCU), reconfiguring a lot (RAL) and operational works (OPW). Generally development approvals include conditions imposed by Council as the assessment manager, and in some instances may include conditions imposed by relevant State Government agencies.
  • Plumbing approval – plumbing approval is necessary if your development requires a new connection to the water and/or sewerage networks.
  • Building approval – this is concerned with the construction, safety and water run-off of your project. Building approvals can be obtained from private building certifiers.
  • Siting variations – this type of approval is required if you are proposing alternative setbacks to those prescribed in the Queensland Development Code. Council has jurisdiction as a referral agency to assess and decide these applications. Read more on Council's role as a referral agency and lodging a request for referral assessment here.

You may also need to make these applications:

Exemption certificates

An exemption certificate is intended to be used as a tool to address the inappropriate categorisation of non-major or complex development and may be given to an owner of a premises, which states that development approval is not required under the Planning Act 2016 or the Queensland Heritage Act 1992.

This means that if a proposed development triggers assessment under City Plan, the exemption certificate excludes the proposal from assessment against City Plan.

Heritage exemption certificates for a place identified as being of local cultural heritage significance are provided for under the Queensland Heritage Act 1992 as a separate process.

An exemption certificate under the Planning Act 2016 has effect for two (2) years, or a later date stated on the certificate, and the development must be completed within this time period.

An exemption certificate attaches to the premises and benefits the owner, the owner's successors in title, and any occupiers of the premises.

What type of development may qualify for an exemption certificate?

The type of development that may be elegible for an exemption certificate includes:

  • development that was made assessable due to an error, such as zoning or overlay mapping errors
  • development that was categorised as assessable development only because of particular circumstances that no longer apply
  • development that is minor or inconsequential development.

If I have an exemption certificate, does that remove the need for development approval?

Yes, if you have an exemption certificate you will not need development approval for the works stated in your certificate.  However, if the works go beyond the works stated in the certificate, you will have to apply for development approval.

How do I apply for an exemption certificate?

You can apply to Council for an exemption certificate by submitting the following information:

  • Completed exemption certificate application form
  • A statement addressing how the proposed development meets the selected criteria under Section 46(3)(b) of the Planning Act 2016
  • Proposed plans for the development (if applicable).
  • Any written advice from Council regarding the proposal, such as email correspondence and pre-lodgement meeting minutes.

For further information on exemption certificates, please refer to the Queensland Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning.

More information