Demolishing, removal and relocating

Before you demolish, remove or relocate a property, find out the key facts about your property to determine whether your project needs planning approval.

You should seek Brisbane City Council advice to help determine whether demolition works are accepted development.

When demolishing or removing is accepted development

Demolishing or removing a building may not require planning approval from Council.

Planning approval is not required if the project meets all of the following requirements outlined in the Brisbane City Plan 2014 (City Plan):

You can demolish free-standing outbuildings without planning approval if they were built after 1946.

Minor demolition work that is accepted development

For a dwelling house in the Traditional building character overlay and the Pre-1911 building overlay, there are some instances where minor demolition work does not require planning approval. These include, but are not limited to:

  • demolition of an internal wall or feature
  • demolition of a stair
  • demolition of a post-1946 addition, extension, or free-standing outbuilding
  • demolition of any post-1946 alteration to reveal the original design or reconstruction with the original form and materials. This includes roof material, wall cladding, windows, stumps, lower floor enclosures and verandah enclosures
  • demolition of features including windows, doors, balustrades, window hoods and fretwork forming part of the building constructed in or before 1946. This applies where the demolition enables replacement of old features for new features of the same style and appearance consistent with traditional building character.

In some cases, Council may consider work on a local heritage place to be minor in nature and allow the work to be undertaken under a heritage exemption certificate. Find out more about heritage exemption certificates including how to apply.

Demolition of any building or structure in a Principal or Major centre zone requires planning approval and is code assessable, where the demolition is part of a committed program to exercise an existing development permit and a temporary park is created. A committed program can be demonstrated through a statutory declaration from the landowner that within three months of demolition, building work will commence on the site to affect an existing development approval.

When an application is required for demolition or removal

If your project requires a planning application, Council recommends you seek specialist consultant advice. Specialist reports are required to support your case to justify demolition. This may include a report from a structural engineer if you are suggesting the building is structurally unsound.

Building approval

Building approval is separate from planning approval. You will need building approval before doing demolition work. You can arrange building approval through a licensed private building certifier. You must give the certifier scaled and detailed plans prepared by a draftsperson or architect.

You can find private building certifiers on the Queensland Building and Construction Commission's find a local contractor search.

Special requirements for relocating a house

If you are moving a house into the Brisbane City Council area, submit a request for assessment for dwelling relocation. This is a requirement of the Queensland Development Code.

If you are moving a house to Brisbane from another local government area, you may need approval from that local government to remove the house.

Other permits you will need

You will need other permits in addition to planning and building approval, such as:

Last updated:10 May 2019