Rules for boundary setback

The Queensland Development Code (QDC) defines where and how single dwelling houses and associated structures are located on a property. There are different setback requirements for lots under 450 square metres and lots 450 square metres and over.

The QDC consists of Acceptable solutions and Performance criteria.

Acceptable solutions

The Acceptable solutions outline what building works are deemed acceptable. If the proposed works meet the Acceptable solutions, a request for a referral agency response (QDC siting variation) to Council is not required.

Performance criteria

Where the proposed building works do not comply with the relevant Acceptable solutions, an assessment is required against the Performance criteria where Council can provide advice as a referral agency. A private building certifier is required to be engaged prior to requesting referral agency advice from Council.

The QDC is governed by the Building Act 1975 (the Building Act) and contains two sections relating to the lot sizes.  

Lots 450 square metres and over

Defined setbacks for lots 450 square metres and over are included in:

If the proposed works do not meet the Acceptable solutions of the QDC, an assessment against the relevant Performance criteria is required, and Council is required to provide advice as a referral agency.

Lots under 450 square metres

Defined setbacks for lots under 450 square metres are set out in:

Brisbane City Plan 2014 provides alternate siting provisions in the Dwelling house (small lot) code for lots under 450 square metres. It is important to check if a planning application is also required for any proposed works.

For more information about the QDC and how it may link to the Brisbane City Plan 2014, see the Request for referral agency response (QDC siting variation) fact sheet (Word -1Mb).

Building approval

Proposals that require a siting variation are assessable building work that require a building approval. To determine if your proposal is assessable building work requiring a building approval, Council recommends you contact a private building certifier.

Last updated: 1 July 2022

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