How to get advice

Brisbane City Council can provide assistance with your planning enquiries. There are a number of ways to gain advice about planning and development in Brisbane.

2022 Floods – Flood affected properties

Council understands that many are experiencing hardship and challenges following the 2022 severe weather and flood event. Submit this form to receive general planning advice about flood affected properties. A Council officer will contact you within two business days.

Approvals for repairing, raising or rebuilding flood affected dwellings Flood fact sheet (Word - 786kb).

You can also speak to a Planning Information Officer or attend a Talk to a planner session.

Planning Information Office

If you are new to the development assessment process (e.g., homeowners undertaking a building project/renovation), Council has dedicated officers who can answer simple questions and provide general advice about your development intentions, including:

  • if you need a development application
  • information you need to provide with your development application
  • how the development process will work
  • applicable fees as outlined in Council’s Development Assessment Fees brochure.

Phone Council on 3403 8888 and ask to speak to a Planning Information Officer.

Build-to-rent special assessment unit

Council has a team to prioritise and assess build-to-rent applications in Principal centre, Major centre, Mixed use (Inner city) and High density Residential zones, or build-to-rent applications lodged by or for a registered not-for-profit housing provider.

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Brisbane’s Sustainable Growth Strategy addresses the competing demands and pressures in facilitating liveable and affordable housing outcomes for Brisbane. All new housing contributes to meeting the challenges of population growth and the changing housing needs of our diverse community. The strategy includes actions to support innovation in housing delivery for our residents, including new housing forms like build-to-rent.

Council is prioritising the assessment of large scale build-to-rent accommodation in appropriate locations such as land zoned Principal centre, Major centre, Mixed use (Inner city) and High density residential, and in some suburban renewal precincts, Our Productive City Adaptation and Transition or Urban Enterprise area precincts, or other major precincts that can support high density residential. Council is also prioritising assessment of affordable built-to-rent housing delivered by not-for-profit housing providers.

To facilitate the consistent and streamlined assessment of these build-to-rent applications, a special assessment unit made up of a network of specialist Council officers has been established.  To be eligible for the streamlined assessment of build-to-rent applications lodged with Council, applicants are required to submit a well-made application at the time of lodgement, ideally following a prelodgement meeting. This means completed Council lodgement forms, plans and reports outlining the proposed development against the relevant requirements of Brisbane City Plan 2014.

To get advice on new build-to-rent applications, submit a prelodgement request by completing the Development Services enquiry online form.

Online tools and information

Council provides extensive information and tools about planning and development in Brisbane.

Find what you need

Prelodgement services

Council provides a range of prelodgement services aimed at providing technical advice, including planning, engineering, architecture, ecology and environmental management, prior to lodgement of a development application. 

Options for customers to receive advice include:

  • face-to-face meetings at either Brisbane Square (Level 1/266 George Street, Brisbane) or on site
  • virtual meetings via Microsoft Teams
  • a combination of virtual and face to face meetings
  • advice in writing.

Information not available as part of Council's prelodgement services

Advice on assessable demolition is not provided for a building constructed in 1946 or earlier, or a Local/State Heritage Place.

Advice pertaining to a change to an approval granted by way of the Planning and Environmental Court that received 'properly made submissions'. You must return to the Planning and environmental court to change such an approval.

For enquiries about a Queensland heritage place, contact the Queensland Government by email heritage@des.qld.gov.au or phone 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

For water and sewerage enquiries, contact Urban Utilities.

For an estimate of infrastructure charges, complete a Request for infrastructure charges estimate form (PDF - 77kb).

Find a prelodgement service

Request for written information

The request for written information service provides general planning information under Brisbane City Plan 2014, as well as advice pertaining to a liquor licence.

Council will aim to provide written advice within 10 working days of fee payment. Complete the Development Services online enquiry form for this service.

Preliminary discussion

The preliminary discussion service provides customers an opportunity to meet virtually for:

  • an initial discussion about a site and/or proposal to discuss legislative requirements
  • any site constraints relating to a property and proposed development
  • providing recommendations about how to tailor prelodgement services for a proposed development.

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It is recommended that this service is used by customers who are seeking feedback and/or guidance prior to the lodgement of a development application. The service can be requested in the very early stages of a development’s design and planning through until immediately prior to the application lodgement.

No plans and/or documents need to be submitted for this standalone service. It is an opportunity to present the proposal to Council and provide any insights to assist in obtaining initial feedback and advice. Up to three matters for discussion can be nominated.

As part of this meeting Council may recommend a tailored approach for further prelodgement services to facilitate the preparation of a well-made application and to assist in streamlining the development assessment process. 

A preliminary discussion must precede the following prelodgement services:

Only verbal advice is provided. Customers are welcome to take their own notes during the meeting. A copy of any plans can be provided post meeting as part of Council’s records.  Council will endeavour to meet with customers within five working days of fee payment and will provide an email response following the meeting.

To request a preliminary discussion, complete the Development Services enquiry online form.

Preliminary change application discussion

The preliminary change application discussion service provides advice to customers who are considering changing a development approval in accordance with section 81 and section 82 of the Planning Act 2016.

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Only verbal advice is provided for this service. Customers are welcome to take their own notes during the meeting. A copy of any plans can be provided post meeting as part of Council’s records.

For further information regarding change applications, see changes to development approvals and extension applications.

Council will endeavour to meet with customers within 10 working days of fee payment and will provide an email response following the meeting.

To request a preliminary change discussion, complete the Development Services enquiry online form.

Prelodgement meeting

This prelodgement meeting service is customer driven, providing an opportunity for customers to identify issues/matters and seek advice about a site, proposed development, and/or proposed changes to a current approval prior to the lodgement of a development application or change application.

This meeting can be requested on-site, subject to an additional fees and officer availability.

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This service is not suitable for:

  • general enquiries (please contact the Planning Information Office via 3403 8888)
  • a proposal involving demolition of any component of a building constructed in 1946 or earlier or within the Heritage overlay
  • development on places listed in the Queensland Heritage Register.

You can upload a concept or detailed plan as a Word, PDF or JPG file.

Council will aim to meet within 15 working days from fee payment and provide written advice following the meeting.

To request a prelodgement meeting, complete the Development Services enquiry online form.

Pre-purchase meeting

The pre-purchase meeting service is for customers who are looking to purchase a property and are seeking general advice about legislative requirements and/or any site constraints relating to a property that may impact on a proposed development. These meetings are only available for legitimate pre-purchase or pre-lease enquiries (i.e., in due diligence stage and not fully committed to the site or development proposal).

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The pre-purchase meeting service is inclusive of traffic and transport advice (if selected) for no additional fee.

Complete the Development Services enquiry online form for the pre-purchase meeting service. A concept or detailed plan can be uploaded as a Word, PDF or JPG file.

Council will endeavour to meet with customers within 10 working days of fee payment and will provide written advice following the meeting.

Prelodgement packages

Council encourages customers to engage with Council throughout the preparation of development proposals and acknowledges that some sites / proposals have different focuses. Council provides prelodgement packages that can be design focused or traffic focused. Customers can choose one of the below packages or tailor their own package to facilitate advice about a proposed development.

Design focused package

The design focused packaged provides advice to assist customers in optimising the planning, urban design, built form, public realm, and landscaping outcomes of a proposal, as well as providing advice about the aligning the development proposal with Council’s New World City Design Guide - Buildings that Breathe.

The design focused package includes three prelodgement meetings with Council officers and members of the Independent Design Advisory Panel (IDAP) where feedback and recommendations about design will be provided about the development proposal.

To request a design focus package, complete the Development Services enquiry online form.

Traffic and transport package

The traffic and transport package is designed for sites and proposals that have significant transport and traffic impacts.

The traffic and transport package includes:

  • traffic and transport advice
  • pre-assessment of a transport impact assessment report
  • one prelodgement meeting.

To request a transport and traffic package, complete the Development Services enquiry online form.

Pre-assessment of a technical report

The pre-assessment of a technical report service is aimed at exploring customer-identified technical matters specific to a development proposal. It assists in guiding the preparation of detailed plans to address or manage technical matters (i.e., hydraulic constraints).

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This service assists in ensuring that specialist reports contain sufficient information to facilitate a comprehensive assessment of that technical matter when a development application is lodged.

The service is currently available for the following technical reports:

  • air quality impact report
  • bushfire hazard assessment report
  • ecological assessment report
  • flood study
  • noise impact assessment report
  • site based stormwater management plan
  • transport impact assessment report.

Find out more about lodgement requirements for technical reports.

Council will endeavour to provide this standalone service within 10 working days of fee payment. To request this service, complete the Development Services enquiry online form.

Traffic and transport advice

The traffic and transport advice service provides advice about any potentially significant transport and traffic impacts relevant to:

  • Council controlled infrastructure
  • any dedications or road widenings
  • on-site operational requirements
  • streetscape hierarchy requirements.

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This is a stand-alone service requested in addition to other prelodgement services. It is no longer provided as part of other pre-lodgement services except for a pre-purchase meeting.

When requesting this advice, provide a plan showing all site access points and on-site manoeuvring areas. Both existing and proposed.

Our advice will generally cover the following:

  • existing transport assets
  • proposed transport assets
  • road widening requirements
  • potential land requirements
  • transport network aspects of development
  • requirements for trunk or non-trunk transport infrastructure
  • future roads Council may require.

Council seeks to provide traffic and transport advice within 15 working days of fee payment.

To request this service, complete the Development Services enquiry online form.

Request for Urban Design Advice

The request for urban design advice service is for proposals that may trigger the Significant Projects criteria under Schedule 10, Part 18 of the Planning Regulation 2017. This service enables applicants to obtain written urban design advice from Council’s Independent Design Advisory Panel (IDAP), thereby averting a referral to State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA) at the development application stage.

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The purpose of this advice is to optimise planning, urban design, built form and public realm outcomes at the very early stages of a project.

As part of this service, customers present their development proposal to three members of the Independent Design Advisory Panel (IDAP), and written urban design advice is provided following the presentation. This advice is included in common material submitted with a project development application.

Council will endeavour to facilitate the IDAP presentation within 15 business days of fee payment. To assist applicants in preparing for this presentation, a preliminary discussion is required to be held prior to requesting this service.

To request the urban design advice service, complete the Development Services enquiry online form.

RiskSMART suitability enquiry

The RiskSMART suitability enquiry service confirms if an application can be fast-tracked. 

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To request RiskSMART eligibility confirmation, complete the Development Services enquiry online form, and submit detailed plans and demonstrate performance outcomes sought. Council will endeavour to provide written advice on eligibility within five working days of fee payment.

If the proposal requires assessment of a technical report, a separate request for Pre-assessment of technical reports will be required.

Plan sealing prelodgement

This plan sealing prelodgement service is offered to identify potential issues prior to the formal lodgement of a plan sealing request. This service recognises tight timeframes during the final stages of delivering a development and the importance of receiving a sealed plan as quickly as possible.

Customers can request advice on matters such as compliance with conditions, condition clarification, documentation requirements, and any questions in relation to the endorsement of a standard/building/volumetric survey plan, to streamline the formal plan sealing review process.

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The plan sealing prelodgement service is not suitable for requests or enquiries regarding changes to a development approval.

Depending on the complexity of the matters involved, Council will determine if a written response is sufficient, or if a meeting is required.

Council will aim to provide either a written response or a meeting within 15 working days of payment.  Where a written response is sufficient, this will be emailed directly. Meetings are facilitated by Council’s Building and Construction Management Team with involvement from relevant Council specialists to ensure high quality advice is provided.

To request the plan sealing prelodgement service, complete the online plan sealing request form.

Useful links

Last updated: 3 July 2023

Brisbane City Council acknowledges this Country and its Traditional Custodians. We pay our respects to the Elders, those who have passed into the dreaming; those here today; those of tomorrow.