How to use Brisbane City Plan 2014

Brisbane City Plan 2014 (City Plan) is a technical document used by Brisbane City Council to assess new development. This page aims to help you use City Plan.

Preparing a development application can be a complex task. Find out about the types of industry experts who can help you with your building or development project.

To assist you in navigating City Plan, read the following information:

Where to start   

You need an understanding of your site details to navigate City Plan, including your property's zone and if it is located in a neighbourhood plan or affected by an overlay. 

Find this information by undertaking a property enquiry search by:

  • using Council's City Plan online
  • referring to the individual maps in City Plan.

The following steps outline this how to search the City Plan to locate the information needed.

Step 1 - Zoning

Refer to the zone maps in Schedule 2 of City Plan to check the zone of your property and/or zone precinct. You can also find this information by doing a simple property enquiry search, using City Plan online. Write this information down for your use later in determining your level of assessment.

Step 2 - Neighbourhood plan

Your property may also be within a neighbourhood plan. Check if a neighbourhood plan or neighbourhood plan precinct applies to your property by using the neighbourhood plan maps in Schedule 2. You can also find this information by doing a simple property enquiry search, using City Plan online. Write this information down for your use later in determining your level of assessment.

Step 3 - Overlays

Your property may also be within an overlay. Check if overlays apply to your property by using the overlay maps in Schedule 2, or doing a simple property enquiry search, using City Plan online. Write this information down for your use later in determining your level of assessment.

Determining whether a development application is required

If you are considering developing your site, determine whether a development application is required to be submitted to Council, or if you need to undertake your own assessment against City Plan.

Step 1 - Defining your development

Determine how you development proposal is defined under City Plan. If you are unsure of the category of land use for your development, consult the definitions in Schedule 1 of City Plan.

Step 2 - Type of development

Determine the type of development for your proposal.

Types of development are terms identified under the Planning Act 2016. The key types are:

  • making a ‘material change of use’ (MCU)
  • carrying out ‘building work’
  • 'reconfiguring a lot' (RoL)
  • carrying out 'operational work'.

Definitions of these terms are in Schedule 2 (section 6) of the Planning Act 2016.

This is an important stop to understand the need for a development application.

Step 3 - Category of development and category of assessment

The category of development given to different types of development has an impact on:

  • whether you need to lodge a development application
  • how your development application will be assessed by Council.

Your proposal will either:

  • be exempt from assessment against City Plan
  • be required to comply with identified requirements for accepted development in City Plan (where you don't need to submit a development application to Council)
  • be assessable development that will require you to submit a development application to Council or;
  • prohibited development (development for which a development application may not be made, as outline in Schedule 10 of the Planning Regulation).

Category of assessment - assessable development

There are two categories of assessment for assessable development, namely code and impact assessment

If your development is for one of the following uses and you require the category of assessment advice, phone Council on 3403 8888 to speak to a town planner.

If your proposal is not one of the uses listed here, find a step-by-step description for determining the category of development and category of assessment in Part 5.3.2 of City Plan. Alternatively, use the basic instructions provided below.

Step 3.1

To begin, check if the development is listed in Part 5.4 of City Plan (regulated category of development and assessment prescribed by the Regulation’), by reference to the tables within Part 5.4. If your development is not listed in this section, proceed to Step 3.2.

Step 3.2

If the development is not prescribed a category of assessment and you know the type of development, you can refer to the relevant section of Part 5 of City Plan:

  • section 5.5 for development that is a material change of use
  • section 5.6 for development that is reconfiguring a lot
  • section 5.7 for development that is building work
  • section 5.8 for development that is operational work.

Once you know the zone and zone precinct of your property and the definition of your development, find your proposed type of development in the left hand column of the table of assessment. If you are unsure what type of development your proposal is, refer to Step 1.

Step 3.3

If a neighbourhood plan applies to your property, check the relevant neighbourhood plan table in section 5.9 - Categories of assessment - Neighbourhood plans. Neighbourhood plans can change the categories of assessment for the zone.

Step 3.4

If an overlay applies to the property, refer to section 5.10 - Categories of assessment - overlays to determine if the overlay further changes the category of assessment.

Once you have determined your level of assessment, find out more information about accepted development, code assessment and impact assessment and if you will need to submit a development application to Council.

Step 4 - Assessment criteria (assessment benchmarks)

Find 'assessment benchmarks' by referring to the assessment criteria column in the applicable category of assessment. These tables identify the assessment criteria, usually in the form of codes, applicable to your proposal.

Where the assessment criteria column refers to ‘prescribed secondary code’, find what secondary codes will apply to the assessment of the proposal in section 5.3.5 of City Plan 2014.

Other codes that may apply to a development proposal include zones codesneighbourhood plan codes and overlay codes.


Each code has a standard format which tells you:

  • what types of development it applies to
  • the purpose of the code
  • the assessment benchmarks.

Acceptable outcomes

Development your development meets the acceptable outcomes. These are adjacent to each performance outcome, located in the right hand column. 

If your proposal does not exactly meet the acceptable outcome, or there is no acceptable outcome specified, demonstrate how the proposal meets the performance outcome.

There is no ‘relaxation’ of an acceptable outcome. 

If an acceptable outcome is not met, or there is no acceptable outcome specified, address the performance outcome.

If you require more information or assistance, please contact Council.

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