Have your say on development applications

Anyone can formally submit comments to Brisbane City Council to support or oppose a development application. These comments are called 'submissions'.

You can make a submission on any type of development application. However, the legal right to appeal Council's decision is only possible on impact assessable applications and change applications advertised for comment.

Find out how to have your say on developments in Brisbane:

Grounds for a submission

Council needs to understand the reasons behind your submission. For example, if you think the type of development proposed for your area is unsuitable, you need to say why it is unsuitable - not simply that you don't like it.

It is important to focus on planning issues such as:

  • whether the proposed use is consistent with the intent for the area as expressed in Brisbane City Plan 2014 (City Plan)
  • whether the scale and design of the proposed development is compatible with surrounding development
  • how the development addresses the street and interfaces with adjoining properties
  • any potential traffic and car parking issues associated with the development
  • hours of operation (for commercial activities)
  • how the development may impact on drainage patterns in the area
  • how the development fits with any objective of City Plan to protect and enhance the natural environment.

When to lodge a submission

Development applications advertised for comment have a notification period. You must lodge your submission before the closing date. Submissions received after the closing date do not have appeal rights. The dates of the notification period are communicated:

  • on advertising sign/s at the property subject to the application
  • in a notice in a local newspaper; and
  • in letters to adjoining owners.

Confidentiality

Council cannot consider anonymous submissions. To be a valid submitter to a development application, a submission must be properly made in accordance with the requirements of the Planning Act 2016. Council publishes all submissions on Development.i for viewing along with the planning application.

To avoid having your personal details published, Council recommends using Development.i for your submission. Submissions lodged in other ways are generally published online in their entirety, including name, address and signature. Once an application is decided, the name and address of all submitters is provided to the applicant in accordance with legislation. This information is also available to other submitters.

How to make a properly made submission

Assessment managers consider all submissions when assessing an application. Only properly made submissions will have the legal right to appeal Council’s decision through the Planning and Environment Court.

A properly made submission must:

  • be made electronically using Development.i or in writing and signed by each person who made the submission
  • include the name and residential address of each person who is making the submission
  • state what aspects of the plan or proposed development you support or oppose and why
  • provide an email address of each person who is making the submission
  • be received by Council before the closing date for submissions.

Council's Development.i makes it easy to submit a properly made submission. In Development.i, you can view all the documents and plans for a development proposal and lodge your submission. You will receive immediate confirmation that your submission has been received.

Preparing your submission

Before preparing your submission, you need to see the application and plans. The most convenient way to view a planning application is via Development.i. All planning applications can be accessed by any person.

Getting help with your submission

Many submitters prepare their own submission. However, some engage the services of a planning consultant to help prepare an effective submission. A planning consultant can undertake a review of City Plan and the proposed development to help identify and explain the most relevant issues to include in a submission. You can find a planning consultant by visiting the Planning Institute of Australia website

Lodging your submission

Development.i:

  • allows you to research, prepare and lodge a properly made submission on a development application
  • is an easy, safe and convenient way to lodge your submission.

Find out more about lodging a submission via Development.i or phone Council on 07 3403 8888.

After lodging a submission

Acknowledgement

Submissions lodged using Development.i will be acknowledged immediately.

Viewing or changing submissions

You can check the status of an application and view your submission and others at any time by searching for it via Development.i. It is possible to amend or revise your submission before the closing date for submissions. You can withdraw your submission up until Council makes its final decision.

Assessment

Council considers all submissions when assessing a planning application.

For impact assessable applications and change applications, Council advises the decision made to:

  • everyone who wrote a properly made submission; or
  • the first person on the list of 'submitters' for properly made submissions submitted by several people, including any petitions lodged as a properly made submission.

This advice will occur following the applicant's appeal period of 20 business days after the decision.

For all submissions lodged on other development types, each submitter is notified at the time the decision is made. 

Appeal

Submitters have the legal right to appeal Council’s decision on an impact assessable application through the Planning and Environment Court. Council will advise the time period for an appeal submission to all valid submitters.

Last updated: 31 August 2020