Request for a referral agency response

A private building certifier is the assessment manager for building work applications. Council acts as a referral agency providing advice as part of the process for some of these applications.

A referral agency response for building work can be requested in accordance with Schedule 9, Part 3, Division 2 of the Planning Regulation2017 for:

  • Table 1 – Amenity and aesthetics
  • Table 3 -  Design and siting (for assessment against the Queensland Development Code (QDC) and/or the Brisbane City Plan 2014 (the City Plan)
  • Table 8 - Building work for particular class 1 building relating to material change of use (new dwelling house)

More information regarding when a referral is required can be found within Part 1 of the City Plan. The building work referrals for dwelling houses technical guideline (Word - 853kb) is also available to assist customers in requesting referral advice.

There are three types of requests for referral agency responses available. The following request types are available:

The express assessment option is only available for referral agency requests requiring an assessment against the QDC only. If assessment against the City Plan is required for the request, the standard assessment process is to be followed.

If the referral advice request is in relation to building over or near stormwater, refer to request for a referral agency response (Queensland Development Code build over or near stormwater).

Find out information about Council's fees and charges.

Express assessment

This is a streamlined process for low-risk design proposals where eligibility criteria must be met to use this service. If the proposal is eligible for express assessment, a response will be provided from Council within five business days from payment.

It is not a mandatory requirement to notify your neighbour if you use this service, however it is recommended. Find out more about consultation requirements.

Determine whether your project is eligible

Your proposal may be eligible if it does not involve any of the following:

  • a corner lot
  • small lot
  • heritage place
  • easement area
  • designated waterway corridor
  • protected vegetation
  • aspects protected by a covenant
  • area described by a building location plan.

This service is available for variations to road setbacks, side/rear setbacks and site cover for certain types of building work where they comply with specific criteria.

If the request includes an assessment against the City Plan, the referral request will not qualify for the express assessment.

To check if your proposal is eligible for an express assessment, complete the express assessment eligibility validation online form. It is a mandatory requirement to submit the summary from this form, with the lodgement of your request if you wish to use the express assessment service.

Standard assessment

This service can be used for any type of referral agency advice for building work. The service is also to be used for proposals that are not eligible as an express assessment, as stated above. Council aims to provide its referral response within 10 business days of the request being properly referred. 

To provide a more streamlined experience for our customers, Council may identify where a development application assessment is also triggered. If required, you will be advised to lodge a planning application to be assessed in conjunction with your request.

It is Council's policy that adjoining property owners are to be notified five days prior to the lodgement of your request. Find out more about consultation requirements.

Amended assessment

This service is available if you have previously received a referral agency response from Council under section 56 of the Planning Regulation 2017 and seek to have the response amended. This may be due to the result of minor changes to the proposal, or proposed plans and can only be requested within 24 months of receiving the advice from Council.

If advice was provided from Council in over 24 months or provided as an early referral response under section 57 of the Planning Regulation 2017, you will not be able to use this service. To receive a referral agency response from Council, a new request using the other available services will be required.

How to apply

To request one of these services, complete the request for referral agency response (building work) online form. You can select what type of service you wish to use and can pay via the online form. The form has been developed to assist customers in selecting the required referral assessment.

You will be required to provide relevant documentation as part of lodgement. Before you complete the online form, you are encouraged to prepare the supporting documentation and information as outlined below.

Proposed plans

  • dimensioned site plan indicating north point (1:200 scale) with required setback
  • dimensioned floor plans (1:100 scale)
  • dimensioned elevations (1:100 scale) including overall heights above natural ground level
  • all plans to show contours and ground levels
  • indication of all building and structures on the property
  • clear identification of the proposal
  • site photos

Confirmation Notice from Private Building Certifier

As Council is a referral agency to the request, a confirmation notice from the assessment manager (Private Building Certifier) is required to be lodged with the request. This is a requirement of the Development Assessment (DA) Rules and the Planning Act 2016.

The request must be lodged with Council within 10 business days of the Confirmation Notice date.

Council has prepared a template the private building certifier may implement – Confirmation Notice for Building Certifiers (Word - 1Mb).

Assessment against the relevant criteria

It is required that justification on how the proposal meets the relevant criteria is outlined as part of the lodgement form. It is recommended that this information is prepared prior to completing the online form.

Express eligibility confirmation

If you wish to use the express service, you will be required to upload confirmation from the express assessment eligibility validation online form that your proposal meets the eligibility criteria as part of the lodgement form.

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