Property development laws

If you are developing, planning or building 1 or more properties in Queensland, there are certain laws that you need to follow.

Your local council will have planning and zoning codes that you must follow when you are developing a property. Local council planning considers the economic, social and environmental needs and the visions of the local community. They focus on land use, development, infrastructure and valuable features of the area.

View a list of Queensland local government planning schemes or contact your local council for information relevant to your area.

Development applications

If a development is considered an assessable development (as defined by the Planning Act 2016 and your local government’s planning scheme) you may need to lodge a development application.

You may be required to lodge a development application if you are:

  • building any free-standing permanent structure
  • extending or raising an existing structure
  • building a retaining wall over one metre high
  • clearing native vegetation
  • demolishing an existing building or structure (in part or in full)
  • changing the use of the land (e.g. a house to a block of units; an office to a retail shop; a wheat farm to a piggery)
  • altering the exterior of a heritage place
  • carrying out significant structural changes to an existing building.

Unless the property is heritage listed, you do not need a development application if you are:

  • painting or redecorating the interior or exterior of a structure
  • remodelling a kitchen or bathroom
  • performing minor internal structural changes to an existing structure.

Brisbane planning and development online

Brisbane City Council has developed an online system for planning and development applications and enquiries.

You can:

  • do a property enquiry
  • track the progress of a development application
  • use the interactive mapping tool
  • view the Brisbane City Plan
  • lodge a submission.

Regional development

If you are looking to invest in Queensland or grow a business, industry or regional economy, Regional Services is a network of staff that deliver regional development, planning, business, industry and services on behalf of state government agencies across Queensland.

For more information, find a regional contact in your area.

Associations for property owners

Some associations can provide advice and support to you as a property owner.

Local progress associations

Progress associations are local resident associations that meet to discuss local issues. You can find information about your local progress association in local newspapers, on community notice boards, at your local library or council website.

For Property Owners

The Property Owners Association of Queensland (POAQ) represents the interests of rental property owners in Queensland.

For Unit Owners

The Unit Owners Association of Queensland Inc. (UOAQ) is an industry association to advance the interests of unit owners within the community.

For Retirement Village residents

The Association of Residents of Queensland Retirement Villages (ARQRV) represents the interests of retirement village residents from leasehold, loan/licence and freehold retirement villages.

Association for developers

Get advice and support as a property developer in Queensland by joining the Urban Development Institute of Australia (Qld) (UDIA) which represents the interests of the property development industry in Queensland.