Filling and excavation

Development approval is required for filling and excavation in some instances. This depends on the extent of the work and the requirements specific to the site.


Brisbane City Plan 2014 defines filling and excavation as the removal or importation of material to, from or within a lot that will change the ground level of the land.

Planning approval

Where filling and excavation is proposed to increase the depth and height of the ground level by no more than one vertical meter, the work does not need assessment against the City Plan:

  • unless located within a particular neighbourhood plan area, or
  • is affected by a particular overlay.

However, there are some neighbourhood plans and overlays that will affect the amount of filling or excavation that can occur without development approval from Council.

For example, if your property is located in a Flood overlay, top dressing to a depth of more than 100 millimetres will require development approval from Council.

To find out if your property is in a location that is subject to an overlay or neighbourhood plan, search the key facts about a property. To determine if a development application is required, visit how to use Brisbane City Plan 2014.


For more information about how works for filling and excavation are regulated, view the filling and excavation guideline (Word - 2.3Mb).

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