Oct 15, 2020

A Guide to Land Development in Queensland - What to Know

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uying land in Queensland is one of the best decisions you can make, especially when you choose a location within or around Brisbane. Queensland is one of the fastest-growing states in Australia, and Brisbane is a city with a strong economy. To make the most out of your investment, you can develop and turn that property into a residential or commercial place. 

No matter which route you decide to pursue, there are a few things you need to remember. Owning the land does not give you the right to construct a building at will. You need to follow some rules and regulations imposed by the city.

What to Know Before You Start Any Construction

Every local council implements planning and zoning codes that everyone should follow. Before you are allowed to start your construction process, your land project should meet the following conditions first:

  • Your property should be in line with the vision of the local community.
  • Your property development should lead to positive economic changes in your community.
  • It should preserve or improve the community’s current social state.
  • The construction should not cause any environmental damage.

On Land Development Application

According to Queensland Legislations’ Planning Act 2016, there are two ways that property development can go: 

  1. The land developer needs to secure an application if the project includes major changes that can disrupt the neighbourhood or community in any way. Here are some examples of developments that require you to secure a land development application:
  • Fully or partially demolishing an existing structure
  • Extending an existing structure, whether vertically or horizontally
  • Building a free-standing permanent structure
  • Fully or partially renovating a heritage site
  • Cutting native shrubs or trees
  1. The land developer does not need to lodge an application if only minor changes are planned for an existing property. Minor changes refer to paint jobs, bathroom or kitchen renovations, or minor internal structural improvements. Changes that will not negatively impact the neighbourhood are exempted from securing an application.

The Development Assessment Process

Every development application should be lodged with and assessed by the relevant local council. Each will go through a standard process set in a statutory instrument called the DA Rules

If you apply for lodgement, here are the five key parts of the process to take note of:

  • Application - This part includes filling out forms, supplying the correct information, obtaining necessary consents, and paying the required fees.
  • Referral - Some cases will require additional assessment carried out by the referral agency.
  • Information request - During the assessment process, the assessment manager or the referral agency may ask the applicant to provide more information. 
  • Public notification - Only impact-assessable applications or those involving a variation request will require public notification.
  • Decision - There are four possible decisions the DA Rules will provide:
  • Approve
  • Approve in part
  • Approve with conditions
  • Refuse the development application

The process may vary depending on the development being applied for, and not all parts will apply to your construction project. Throughout the approval process, notices will be exchanged between the assessment manager and the applicant. That is how they ensure that the tracking process goes smoothly through the system. 

In case your development project gets rejected, you can appeal the decision. 


Owning a land property does not give any landowner permission to do as they wish. Everyone should be knowledgeable about the rules and regulations set by the government, as well as the dos and don’ts when it comes to construction. 

If you want to know more about how to secure the best possible outcome out of your land purchase, Onkar Property is here to assist you. We are a property marketing agency in Brisbane that can help you find the best route to take when buying, marketing, or selling your property. Contact us today to learn more about our services. 

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