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 for a design and siting (QDC siting variation) or amenity and aesthetic impacts assessment in accordance with the Planning Regulation 2017. More information regarding when a referral is required can be found within Part 1 of Brisbane City Plan 2014.

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

A referral agency response regarding amenity and aesthetic impact follows the standard assessment process and is not eligible for express assessment.

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 application includes an amenity and aesthetic referral it will not be able to qualify for an expressed 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 building work in relation to siting variations. The service is also to be used for proposals that are not eligible as an express assessment, as stated above, including referral requests involving Amenity and aesthetic impacts. 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 an assessment against the Brisbane City Plan 2014 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 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, you will not be able to use this service. To receive a referral agency response from Council relating to a siting variation, 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 (QDC siting variation / amenity and aesthetics) online form. You can select what type of service you wish to use and can pay via the online form.

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.

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.

Last updated: 21 December 2022

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