Guide to preparing a landscape concept plan

Landscape works positively contribute to the amenity and environmental sustainability of urban and suburban areas in our city. Quality landscaping can also add to the value of your property. Brisbane City Council assesses planned landscaping as part of the development application process. This ensures the intended landscaping will function appropriately and integrate with the development and character of the area.

This guide outlines Council’s expectations regarding preparation and submission of landscape concept plans as well as the benefits of lodging these plans as part of a development application.


What is a landscape concept plan?

A landscape concept plan is a scaled drawing of a development conceptually showing the extent, function, context and attributes of areas to be landscaped. The scope of a landscape plan may extend to works outside of the site, such as streetscape works or overhanging vegetation located on adjoining sites. An example is shown in the landscape concept plan fact sheet.

Why are landscape concept plans required?

Landscape concept plans help Council assess development applications against the Landscape work code and relevant sections of other codes, for example, the Multiple dwelling code. These codes are part of Brisbane City Plan 2014 (City Plan).

The plans assist in determining whether a development will contribute positively to the green, subtropical character of the city and create safe and functional environments for people to live, work, visit and invest in.

If a landscape concept plan is documented well enough to give Council confidence in a good quality outcome, Council is more likely to place a ‘private certification condition’ on the development approval. This means a detailed landscape plan will not be required as an operational works or Council compliance assessment application, saving you time and money on the development process.

When are landscape concept plans required?

Landscape concept plans should be lodged for all applications that include landscape works, including public and private works.

Who should prepare a landscape concept plan?

Landscape concept plans should be prepared by an experienced and qualified landscape architect or landscape professional.

A landscape architect will be able to provide advice on elements and site layout changes that may be required in order to satisfy Council’s planning requirements, or work with other consultants involved in the development to suggest an appropriate landscape design.

Required components of a landscape concept plan

Drawing conventions

All drawings must be uniquely referenced, show a north point, scale bar and legend. Ensure that you include a title block containing the plan/drawing number, date of preparation and plan/drawing author.

Existing vegetation

  • existing vegetation (proposed to be retained or removed) surveyed in location including street trees 
  • Tree Protection Zones graphically illustrated (in accordance with AS 4970–2009 Protecting trees on development sites) including species, height, spread and diameter at breast level.

Proposed works

  • built form outlines illustrated as different line types including outlines for basements, buildings, balconies and roofs and openings for doors and windows
  • services mapped as different line types
  • site levels shown as contours or spot levels and sections where needed to clarify design intentions (e.g. retaining walls, batters and site boundaries)
  • communal and private open space graphically differentiated and depicting proposed passive and active recreation opportunities
  • internal depths of all containerised planters.

Proposed planting works

  • deep planting areas shown in differing graphical treatment including dimensions, annotated area in square metres and percentages of site cover shown
  • tree, shrub and groundcover plantings drawn at typical mature size and graphically differentiated by function (for example shade trees, buffer trees, feature trees, flowering trees and deep planting trees)
  •  indicative planting schedule differentiating plantings by function and showing stock size (in accordance with City Plan’s Schedule 6.24 – Planting species planning scheme policy)
  • garden bed widths with dimensions.

Streetscape works

  • existing and ultimate footpath, front boundary, kerb line, finished floor level at property boundary and back of kerb level
  • dimension distance from ultimate back of kerb to ultimate property boundary
  • existing street trees surveyed in location (proposed to be retained or removed) shown with Tree Protection Zones graphically illustrated, with height, spread and diameter at breast level included.

Submitting a landscape concept plan

An electronic copy of the landscape concept plan should be included with the documentation you submit as part of your application at the time of lodgement.

More information

For more information about landscape concept plans please contact Council’s Development Services, Engineering and Specialist Services team by emailing the team or phoning 07 3403 8888.

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