Siting variation express assessment

Siting variation express is a streamlined process that provides you with a response from Brisbane City Council within three working days when you submit the application online, and the application meets the eligibility criteria. Applications can be made by anyone proposing to undertake building work.  While the application does not need to be lodged by a building certifier or design professional, a building certifier does need to be engaged to obtain a building permit as a Siting Variation Express is not an approval or a permit to commence work. 

Determine whether your project is eligible

Your proposal may be eligible for a siting variation express assessment 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.

Siting Variation Express 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 for the express application set out in the Request for referral agency response (Building work) online form.

If your proposal is ineligible for express assessment, you can use the same online form to apply for a Siting Variation Full Assessment.

Notify your neighbour

Council recommends that you notify the impacted neighbours of your proposed building work. Find out more about Neighbours and siting variations.

Fees and charges

If using the Request for referral agency response (Building work) online form, when paying with MasterCard or Visa, a fee quote will be automatically generated, enabling payment as part of the lodgement process.  Alternatively, you will receive a fee quote within two business days of submitting the online form with other payment options, including BPAY.

The application fee is $218.45 (nil GST) in the 2018-19 financial year. Note that in addition to Council’s fee, the building certifier will charge for their services.

How to apply

Before you complete the online form, we encourage you to prepare the supporting documentation as outlined below. You will be required to provide these documents with your request to Council.

  • dimensioned site plan indicating north point (1:200 scale)
  • dimensioned floor plans  (1:100 scale)
  • dimensioned elevations (1:100 scale)
  • contours and ground levels
  • plans to indicate all building and structures on the property
  • clearly identify the proposal on the site, floor and elevation plans
  • identify the required setback on the site plan
  • include overall heights above natural ground level on elevations plans
  • site photos

When you are ready to submit your request, complete the Request for referral agency response (Building work) online form and select Express assessment as the request type.

Please note:  From 1 April 2019, the online form will have an updated look and feel.  The updates include:

  • renaming the form to 'Request for referral agency response (Building work)'
  • building certifier, property owner and application information are now displayed together on the applicant details page of the form
  • additional clarity for the technical and lodgement requirements throughout the form.

Alternatively you can apply by completing the hard copy forms.

Last updated:9 May 2019