The current property owner is responsible for ensuring the necessary permits are obtained from a private building certifier prior to the commencement of any building work on a property.

Note: The definition of building work under the Building Act 1975 includes any excavation and filling work associated with the construction of a building or structure.

Sheds, carports & pergolas

Sheds, carports and pergolas require development approval from a private building certifier when any of the following occur:

  • The floor area is greater than 10 square metres
  • If any side is greater than 5 metres in length
  • The mean height is more than 2.1 metres or height exceeds 2.4 metres above the level of 'natural' ground
  • Is attached to a dwelling.

Sheds (garden sheds) 

All garden sheds are to be located a minimum of 6 metres from any road boundary (i.e. front fence line). A roof water drainage system may need to be installed.


All garages and carports, whether attached to a house or free standing, will need development approval from a private building certifier.


A pergola must remain unroofed or covered in shade cloth only. If an existing pergola is proposed to be roofed or attached to any other structure, development approval from a private building certifier must be obtained.

Retaining walls

The following types of retaining walls require building approval from a private building certifier:

  • Retaining walls constructed more than one (1) metre in height above natural ground level
  • Retaining walls constructed closer than 1.5 metre to any other structure, regardless of height
  • Retaining walls with surcharge loadings (i.e. have weight bearing load applied to the top of the retaining wall), regardless of height.

Design and siting relaxation approval is required from council where the retaining wall is greater than two (2) metres above natural ground level and is to be located either within 1.5 metres of a side or rear boundary or within six (6) metres of a road boundary.

Rainwater tanks

When building a new home, do I need to install a rainwater tank?  

Water saving targets set by the State Government, apply to the construction of new houses in South East Queensland.

Some properties are subject to town planning development conditions in relation to rainwater tanks. A private building certifier will advise on whether these conditions apply at the time of making an application for a building permit.

Other considerations if Council approval is not required?  

For examples of other structures not listed which may or may not require approval see the Building approval requirements fact sheet.

Downpipes installed to a structure must not cause a nuisance to adjoining properties.  See the fact sheet for Stormwater for domestic buildings.

Driveway construction & property access

If constructing or rebuilding a driveway, check if approval is required. See the Driveway construction & property access page for more information.

Download Driveway application pack - self assessable notification  

Working on your property

Residents seeking to carry out construction works, store materials or undertake drainage/vegetation beyond the bound of their property, on council land are required to submit an application to council for assessment prior to carrying out works.

Council land includes parks, road reserves and the bounds outside your property including in median strips.

Submitting an application helps to ensure pedestrian and utility services are uninterrupted and there are no planned council works associated for the area.

A submission can be made by filling out the Permission to carry out work on a road reserve or council owned land application [PDF 120KB] form.

Shipping containers

Residents may place a shipping container on a property for up to 30 days. During this time the shipping container is required to be placed within the property boundary.

The placement of shipping containers on a footpath requires additional approval [PDF 110KB].

When approval is required 

If a shipping container remains on a property for more than 30 days it will require building approval from a private building certifier, including amenity and aesthetics approval, except where the subject building or structure is used in conjunction with the construction of a new dwelling on the same property, in which case a period of time exceeding 90 days.  

Approval will not be generally supported for such a building to be located on a property in General Residential Zones.

Temporary homes / accommodation

Council may give consideration to the use of temporary homes / accommodation (i.e. caravan, shed, etc) during the construction of a dwelling on that land, for a maximum duration of six (6) months.

Applications will only be considered on properties 3000m2 or greater.

Approval for a temporary homes/accommodation permit will not be granted prior to the issue of a Development Permit (Building Approval) for the construction of the permanent dwelling on the property.

Temporary accommodation pack


A concurrence agency referral application is not required for the demolition of a domestic or commercial building. 

However, the demolition or removal of an approved structure requires a building approval and plumbing approval. Applications should be lodged through a private building certifier. 

Removal house

A removal house is a single detached dwelling (Class 1a building) that will be removed from the site that it is currently located (either in part or entirety), then transported to the new proposed location. It will then be rebuilt at that new location.

A concurrence agency referral application is required for removal houses being moved to a site within the region, or being moved between sites within the region. 

A removal house applications requirements fact sheet is provided to outline the approval process.

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