Planning and building economic recovery initiatives

To help our city recover from the impacts of coronavirus, a range of free and discounted services will be available from 1 July. These discounts are designed to stimulate new building and construction, particularly smaller scale projects that align with Australian Government initiatives and provide work for smaller and medium businesses.   

New initiatives aimed at delivering faster, more efficient assessment for development applications will also commence from July 2020.

Planning and building economic recovery initiatives:

Application fee reductions

Development Services fee discounts, eligibility criteria and timeframes are outlined below:

Standard prelodgement meeting

Fee details Valid dates
Free lodgement* 1 July to 30 September 2020
50% discount on lodgement* 1 October to 31 December 2020

*conditions apply – see Discounted ‘open door’ prelodgement meeting service details below.

Domestic development – houses (excludes demolition)

For applications where Council’s domestic development fee applies: 

  • a new dwelling house
  • extensions to a dwelling house that are not minor 
  • a home-based business.
Fee details Valid dates

Free lodgement - Lodged after 1 July and not withdrawn (specifically for the purpose of getting a refund and then relodging)

1 July to 30 September 2020
50% discount on lodgement 1 October to 31 December 2020

Note:  This fee discount does not apply for applications lodged via Council’s RiskSMART service.

Eligible organisations

For applications lodged on behalf of charitable and not-for-profit organisations whereby the proposal is for a non-commercial use.

Fee details Valid dates
Free lodgement - Other than for commercial development 1 July to 31 December  2020

Auto-extension to the currency period of a development approval for one year only

For approvals due to expire by 1 June 2021.

Fee details Valid dates

50% discount on lodgement - Eligible where this is the first extension to the currency period.

1 July 2020

Dedicated House and Homes assessment team 

From 1 July 2020 Council will dedicate a new team to prioritise and assess small domestic scale applications (other than subdivisions) to stimulate new building and construction, particularly smaller scale projects that align with Australian Government initiatives and provide work for smaller and medium businesses.  

Council will target a turnaround of 20 business days for code assessable, well-made development applications. This excludes time during which the application’s progress is subject to the applicant’s action. This target will not apply for impact assessable applications, but these will still be handled by the dedicated team for priority.

The eligibility criteria and use types for assessment via the House and Homes team are:

  • new dwelling house
  • extension to dwelling house (including sheds and carports) 
  • dwelling house triggered by an overlay (new house and extensions to an existing house)
  • demolition (including partial) of a dwelling house 
  • dwelling house with a reconfiguration of a lot (one into two) 
  • dwelling house with boundary realignments (not including LGIP matters)
  • section 81 and s82 changes to a development approval where associated with any of the above application types.

To support the streamlined assessment of all development applications lodged with Council, applicants are encouraged to submit well-made applications at the time of lodgement. This means completed Council lodgement forms, plans and reports outlining the proposed development against the relevant requirements of Brisbane City Plan 2014.

New Building and Construction Hotline - 133 PLAN (133 7526)

This new hotline will enable those doing building and construction work to get prompt advice during the construction phase of their project. Customers can seek clarification on the intended outcome of a specific condition of approval or where complying with a condition of approval may be unachievable. 

Enquiries will be answered 24/7 by the Customer Service Centre. Calls received via the hotline will receive prompt advice from a qualified officer (by close of business the next business day). This will help customers understand the necessary steps to follow to allow their project to progress with minimal delay in accordance with Council’s conditions of approval.  

The hotline will be available from 1 July 2020.

Discounted ‘open door’ prelodgement meeting service

This prelodgement meeting service is being offered as a free service from 1 July until 30 September 2020, and 50% off the standard fee from 1 October until 31 December 2020.  

Conditions and requirements:

  • Up to three potential issues for a development proposal identified by the customer at lodgement.  
  • Proposed plans will need to be lodged to request a prelodgement meeting. 
  • A meeting record will not be provided, but customers are welcome to take their own notes.

To apply, complete the Development Services enquiry form and select the ‘open door’ prelodgement meeting service option.

Standard prelodgement meetings are still available in line with Council’s Schedule of Fees and Charges for 2020-21.

Automatic extension of time for eligible existing development approvals

Automatic extensions of one year will be applied to requests to extend the currency period of a development approval (‘sunset clause’ extension). This is applicable for approvals due to expire by 1 June 2021.

This automatic extension only applies where previous requests to extend the currency period have not already been approved.

Faster assessment for a request to change a development approval 

A network of dedicated Council officers will streamline the assessment process where minor changes (Planning Act 2016 s81) are required to the plans and/or conditions of an existing development approval that is shovel ready. This will assist projects where minor changes are required at key milestones of construction or to respond to changed circumstances resulting from the coronavirus pandemic to prioritise these decisions, to avoid delays in achieving the final delivery of the project.

Shovel ready definition below:  

  • when there are change applications for existing approvals as a result of compliance/enforcement/plan sealing, (where the constructed development does not reflect the approval); or
  • where there are challenges during construction and proactive change requests are made to solve problems on site; and
  • where the operational work approvals are all in place and contractors have been engaged. This case would include changes to development staging, changes to uses in existing built form and referrals from the 133 PLAN Building and Construction Hotline.

Council will target a turnaround of 20 business days for code assessable, well-made change applications. This excludes time during which the application’s progress is subject to the applicant’s action. 

To support the streamlined assessment of all development applications lodged with Council, applicants are encouraged to submit well-made applications at the time of lodgement (e.g. completed Council lodgement forms, plans, reports outlining the proposed development against the relevant requirements of Brisbane City Plan 2014). Council’s Request to Change a Development Approval lodgement form has been updated to assist customers to meet the well-made lodgement requirements. Changes to gross floor area or building height are not included.

Reduced minimum value for bonding uncompleted works 

To assist companies with cashflow, the minimum value of works eligible for consideration for a bond has been reduced. Requests for Council to accept a bond for uncompleted work (Reconfigure a lot) or relating to conditions of approval (Material Change of Use), may now be accepted where the value of work outstanding is greater than $25,000 (previously the minimum value of work accepted for bonding was $50,000 or above).

This reduction is valid from 1 July 2020 until 30 June 2021.

Brisbane green buildings incentive

This new incentive encourages the development of new, well-designed, green and energy-efficient residential buildings. It aligns with our vision of a world-class, design-led city and recognises the benefits of green infrastructure, including positive impacts for the environment, economy and health and well-being for our community.

Eligible developments that meet one of the determined design criteria will receive a financial incentive equivalent to 50% of the infrastructure charges paid for Council networks.

Design criteria will include a range of design element options that encourage developments to move towards best practice green and energy-efficient design in Brisbane.

Draft criteria include:

  • obtaining a Green Star certified rating (a minimum of 5 stars) from the Green Building Council Australia
  • complying with criteria and sub-elements in Council’s New World City Design Guide - Buildings that Breathe 
  • achieving zero net carbon emissions
  • achieving a minimum specified green plot ratio.

The incentive scheme is being finalised and will be backdated in applicability to 1 July 2020. The exact policy criteria is currently being drafted and will be ready in the coming months.

Last updated:10 July 2020