Development applications

A development application is an application made under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 to carry out development (ie. residential, commercial, industrial, community development).

Development is defined in Section 7 of the Act as:

  • Material change of use (a new structure/business on vacant land; the start of a new use or the re-establishment of an abandoned use; or a change in the intensity or scale of the use);
  • Reconfiguring of a lot (ie. subdivison, boundary relocation, creating an easement)
  • Operational works (activities that alter the shape or form of land, ie. civil works for new subdivision, filling or excavating, vegetation clearing, advertising devices)
  • Building works (ie. building, repairing, altering, underpinning, moving or demolishing a building or other structure).
  • Plumbing applications

The Department of State Development and Infrastructure Planning (link opens in new window) provides a number of guidelines to assist in the making of development applications and information on the Integrated Development Assessment System process.


IDAS (Integrated Development Assessment System)

When a development application is lodged with Council the process that is followed during assessment is called the Integrated Development Assessment System (IDAS).

The process consists of five (5) stages: 

  1. Application stage
  2. Information and referral stage
  3. Notification stage
  4. Decision stage
  5. Compliance stage

Each of these stages may be separated into distinct steps. For more information about each stage, visit the Department of State Development and Infrastructure Planning (link opens in new window) website.

How to apply for development approval

Pre-lodgement Meetings

The pre-lodgement meeting provides the opportunity for applicants to raise queries, seek clarification on proposals and for Council Officers to provide advice and identify relevant matters for consideration.

Council offers a free pre-lodgement service for applicants to discuss a proposal prior to lodging a formal development application.

Properly made application

Section 261 of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA) outlines the following mandatory criteria that an application must satisfy in order to be deemed a 'properly made' application. The application must:

  • be made to Moreton Bay Regional Council
  • be in the approved form (using the correct IDAS forms);
  • be accompanied by all mandatory supporting information (ie. applicable plans and reports);
  • be accompanied by the appropriate fee (set by Moreton Bay Regional Council);
  • be accompanied by the consent of all owners of the land;
  • where relevant, evidence is provided of an allocation or entitlement to take or interfere with a State Resource;
  • not be contrary to the regulatory provisions of the South East Queensland Regional Plan.

Copies of Development Application forms can be downloaded from Department of State Development and Infrastructure Planning (link opens in new window)

Development applications can be lodged with Council via mail, over the counter at any customer service centre, or electronically. Please do not mail AND email a development application, as this may result in lodgement issues.

There is no need to provide multiple copies of a development application however a CD or electronic copy of the application should always be provided.

Not properly made notice

Section 266 of SPA states that if the application is considered not 'properly made', the assessment manager must give the applicant a notice stating:

  • the application is not a properly made application; and
  • the reasons why the application is not a properly made application; and
  • the next step required to ensure that the application will comply with Section 261 of SPA.

Planning & Development Online

PD Online (link opens in new window) provides customers with the ability to track the progress of development applications from lodgement through to decision. This online tool enables you to search, view and print property information, mapping and the district planning schemes.

Accelerated Development Assessment (DA)

Accelerated DA is a process introduced by Council to fast track low risk, compliant development applications and some selected self certified operational works development applications.

The Accelerated DA process will:

  • Reduce development assessment timeframes;
  • Provide customers with information on the eligibility criteria and assessment requirements for low risk applications that are suitable for this process;
  • Provide applicants with approvals that are subject to standard permit conditions only; and
  • Improve the transparency of the application assessment.

Accelerated DA may be based on an assessment model or a self certification model (generally only applicable to operational works applications).

Assessment Model

Accelerated DA (based on an assessment model) uses a series of questions relating to selected land uses in Council's planning scheme to determine if the level of risk associated with a development proposal qualifies it for the Accelerated process.  The outcome will be faster turnaround for the customer if the application is identified as complying and suitable for the Accelerated process.  Customers may also wish to modify their proposals to be assessed under the Accelerated DA process in order to take advantage of the reduced assessment timeframes.  These applications will be decided by council officers in a reduced decision making period (usually within 5 business days).  For more information please refer to the Accelerated DA - Assessment Fact Sheet.

This project is supported by the Australian Government's Housing Affordability Fund.

Self Certified Model

Please note that Accelerated DA based on self certification is not yet operational but will be available in the near future. 

Accelerated DA Question Surveys

Use the below surveys to determine if your application is eligible for the Accelerated DA process and provide the completed survey 'comments' to Council when lodging your application. 

For information on how to use the survey please refer to the Accelerated DA - Survey Fact Sheet.

Accelerated DA Surveys:

Expert help for development applications

Preparing a development application can be a complex task. Moreton Bay Regional Council aims to assist you through the process however the legal requirements and Council's planning rules can be difficult to understand. You may therefore find it useful to get expert help from professions such as Architects & Building Designers, Certifiers and Surveyors, Engineers, landscape Architects, Plumbers, Solicitors and Town Planners.

Before engaging an expert to work on your project:

  • do some research to make sure they provide the service you need;
  • check they are properly registered and insured;
  • obtain several quotes; and
  • ask for details of projects they have previously worked on.

Avoiding assessment delays

You can reduce delays when lodging your development application to Council for approval by addressing some common problems that applicants experience, such as providing insufficient information and poor quality plans.

Insufficient information

Some common pitfalls can be avoided by:

  • fulfilling the 'properly made' requirements detailed on the IDAS forms;
  • providing legible sized plans and complete details or information;
  • providing supporting information, including addressing the requirements of the applicable Codes;
  • ensuring reports and plans do not contain conflicting information;

A development application may be also be delayed if information required as part of an information request is inadequate or insufficient.

Council’s pre-lodgement meeting service can assist in clarifying what information may be necessary for a specific development proposal over a particular site.

Poor quality plans

Plans submitted as part of an application should be prepared by a qualified design consultant in the relevant development field and are required to be fully legible at A3 size.

Plans are to be fully dimensioned and show heights and setbacks from boundaries. You should include all details required by the relevant IDAS forms, such as:

  • site plans showing all boundaries, natural features and proposed development (including the location and use of buildings on both the proposed land and the adjoining land, the location of car parks and areas to be landscaped);
  • all elevations (north, south, east and west) with natural ground levels (on Australian Height Datum where the property is affected by flooding) and relative finished levels;
  • floor plans for each level of the development, showing both the existing and proposed development along with existing and proposed gross floor area (GFA) calculations;
  • for subdivision, a proposed plan of subdivision showing all:
  • existing and proposed allotments, including the intended use of all proposed lots
  • existing and new roads, easements, parks, waterway corridors
  • other environmental considerations.

Unacceptable impacts

To ensure that your proposed development does not result in unacceptable impacts on the surrounding area, your application should show evidence of minimising possible hazards and impacts created by the development.

Impacts can include:

  • loss of protected vegetation;
  • inability to adequately cater for water flow, stormwater discharge and/or waste management;
  • poor quality designs that result in unacceptable impacts, such as noise or reduced access to sunlight; and
  • inadequate carparking.

Submissions

Impact Assessable developments are required to undertake Public Notification.

Before lodging your application with Council, you may wish to discuss your proposed development with your neighbours and other potentially impacted parties. By doing this, you:

  • inform people of your intentions; and
  • can consider any concerns your neighbours may have.

It may be of benefit to your proposal if you are able to seek letters of support from your immediate neighbours prior to lodgement.

External referrals

Referral agencies, such as the Department of Environmental Resource Management (DERM) or the Department of Transport & Main Roads (DTMR), need time to assess an application. If your application is required to be referred to an external agency, you may like to contact the agency to find out their requirements prior to lodgement.

Owners consent

Development applications lodged with Council that contain insufficient owner's consent details will be deemed not 'properly made' under section s261 of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009.

The following requirements apply in terms of owners consent:

  • Property ownership

If there are multiple owners of a single lot, the consent of each owner of the lot is required. For example, if three persons own one lot, a signature is required from each of the three owners. Additionally, if an application is over a number of different lots, consent from the owners of each lot is required.

  • Ownership held by a Trust

If the land is held under a trust agreement, a copy of the trust documents should be provided clearly identifying who is permitted to sign on behalf of the trust. Only those individuals authorised by the trust documentation can sign on behalf of a trust.

  • Corporation or company

If the owner of the property is a corporation or company, the ACN/ABN number is required accompanied with one of the below:

  • the names, titles and signatures of two directors of the company; or 
  • the name, title and signature of a director and the company secretary; or 
  • where the company only has one director, the name and signature of that director with a written statement that the company has a sole director.
  • Body corporate

If the owner is a body corporate, the following is required:

  • body corporate seal; and
  • body corporate resolution consenting to the proposal (ie. minutes of meeting where proposal was adopted); and
  • two signatures, one must be the Chairperson.
    or
  • body corporate seal; and
  • a letter of consent signed by the Chairperson and Secretary.
    or
  • a signed letter of consent from each owner covered by the body corporate.
  • Resource entitlement

Landowners are required to obtain evidence of resource entitlement from the Department of Environment & Resource Management (DERM) when submitting development applications over some State land, eg. strategic port land; land that is a road (other than a State-controlled road) or stock route; land subject to a lease where DERM administers the land on behalf of the State as the lessee/trustee of the land.

  • Other ownership arrangements

If the land is:

  • leased - the lessor of the land must give owner’s consent;
  • dedicated parkland - the owner or the trustee, within the terms of the trust or reserve, must give owners consent.

Conditions

Conditions set out the circumstances in which the approved development may proceed. They are included on every development approval, and form part of the development approval package.

Conditions often set out measures to protect or manage the environment and maintain amenity. Conditions will also be included that relate to the provision of infrastructure to ensure that the proposed development is adequately serviced.

All conditions are required to be reasonable and relevant, having regard to the proposal and planning requirements.

The Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA) provides the opportunity for an applicant to negotiate conditions of a development approval, after the decision notice has been received.

Conditions are an integral part of an approval and it is an offence under SPA to:

  • breach a development condition; or
  • not comply with a development condition;

The conditions of a development approval bind each and every individual and company who undertake any work under the development approval. The development approval and conditions are also binding on the land, regardless of a change in ownership.

Negotiated Decisions

The applicant has a 20 business day appeal period after they have been advised of Council’s decision about the development application. However, the applicant may suspend the appeal period to lodge a negotiated decision request with Council.

The request must be lodged within 20 business days of suspending the appeal period.

The written representations in the request must state what parts of the Decision Notice the applicant wishes to negotiate and why (eg. a condition of development). Council may amend the Decision Notice or refuse to amend the Decision Notice.

The applicant then has the balance of the applicant appeal period to lodge an appeal with the Planning & Environment Court if they do not agree with Council’s Negotiated Decision Notice. 

Appeals

There are two forms of appeal for development applications:

  • applicant appeals - regarding decisions made about development applications;
  • submitter appeals - regarding decisions made by Moreton Bay Regional Council for impact assessable applications.

All appeals must be lodged with the Planning and Environment Court (link opens in new window)

Council advises applicants and submitters in writing when their appeal period begins and ends.

Applicant Appeals

An applicant can only appeal against a decision by Council within 20 business days of the start of the applicant's appeal period.

If a negotiated decision notice has been sent to the applicant, then the 20 business days includes that time before and after the negotiated decision.

Reasons for appeal by an applicant include:

  • refusal, or refusal in part, of the development application;
  • decision to give a preliminary approval when a development permit was applied for;
  • length of relevant period; and
  • a matter stated in the development approval, including any condition or infrastructure charges notice;

Submitter Appeals

A submitter may only appeal against a decision by Council within the submitter appeal period. This begins once the applicant appeal period ends (after any negotiated decision notice has been given by Council). Refer to PD Online for further information regarding the status of a development application. A submitter appeal period is 20 business days in length.

A submitter may only appeal against the part of the development approval relating to impact assessable development, or a preliminary approval under Section 242 of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009.

Reasons for appeal by submitters can be against one or more of the following:

  • granting of a development approval;
  • the length of relevant period; and
  • a condition of, or lack of conditions for a development approval;

To lodge an appeal, a notice of appeal form must be completed and lodged with the accompanying fee to the Planning and Environment Court.

It is recommended that an applicant or submitter seek private legal advice when considering an appeal.

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