Last updated 5 October 2016     This chapter is currently under review.

Large property developers will typically engage town planning consultants and lawyers specialising in planning law to lodge development applications on their behalf. The following explanation is aimed at small developers who wish to understand the basic process for lodging a development application.

Lodging a properly made application

If a proposed development is an assessable development, then a properly made application (s 260 Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (Qld) (Sustainable Planning Act)) must be made to the relevant assessment manager. A copy of the development application must also be given to any referral agencies specified in sch 7 of the Sustainable Planning Regulation 2009 (Qld) (Sustainable Planning Regulation).

It must be in the approved form and accompanied by the relevant application fee.

The approved forms change regularly as new approval requirements are integrated into the integrated development assessment system. The latest version may be obtained from the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning website.

Pre-lodgement meetings

While not a legal requirement, arranging a pre-lodgement meeting with the planning staff of the local government is very common. It is a useful way of ironing out any concerns that the council may have regarding the development application and ensuring that all of the information required by council is included.

Advertising requirements

Code assessable development generally does not require public notification, but impact assessable development is required to be notified under s 297 of the Sustainable Planning Act by:

  • publishing at least one notice in a local newspaper where the development is proposed
  • placing a notice on the land in the way prescribed under the Sustainable Planning Regulation
  • giving a notice to the owners of all land adjoining the land.

An example of a notice placed on the land is shown in the following image (Click image for larger view):

example of a notice placed on the land for a proposed development

Notices on land must remain in place for at least 15 business days for normal applications (not including any business days from 20 December to 5 January) (s 298 Sustainable Planning Act).

A notification period of at least 30 business days applies if there are more than three concurrence agencies, the development is assessable under a planning scheme and listed in sch 18 of the Sustainable Planning Regulation, or the application is for preliminary approval (s 298 Sustainable Planning Act).

Amongst other things, the public notices must outline the nature of the proposal, where the application can be viewed and the date by which submissions must be made.

Information request

The assessment manager and any referral agencies may request further information about the proposed development and its likely impacts. This procedure applies to both impact and code assessable development. Although an applicant may choose not to answer an information request, normally at least some attempt is made to answer it (s 278 Sustainable Planning Act).

The decision notice

The decision stage commences once any notification period has ended, and the assessment manager has received the response to any information request and the response of any referral agencies. At this stage, the assessment manager decides whether or not to approve the development application and what conditions to impose (if any). The assessment manager must issue a decision notice within five business days of their decision (s 334 Sustainable Planning Act).