Setting up an industrial business

""If you would like to set up an industrial business, find out the key facts about the property, and use the following information to find out if your project needs planning approval.

Property details

The zoning of your site, if it is located in a neighbourhood plan area and if there are any overlays located on the property will affect the requirements for your development application, and the type of application needed.

Visit PD Online to find out these key facts for your property.

Industry zones

Brisbane City Plan 2014 classifies industrial land into zones and zone precincts based on the expected impacts from industrial activity. This means industrial areas are appropriately separated from sensitive land use zones, such as residential areas, and allows for lower category of assessment for industrial development.

Examples of intended development by zone and zone precinct

The following summarises the industry zones and zone precincts in the City Plan, and gives examples of the types of development intended in each area.

Zone and zone precincts Examples of intended development
Low impact industry
  • warehouse
  • service industry
  • low impact industry
  • medium impact industry that mitigates amenity, health and safety impacts.
Industry General industry A zone precinct
  • warehouse
  • service industry
  • some non-residential uses that support industry (e.g. cafe).
General industry B zone precinct

A mixture of:

  • medium impact industry (e.g. panel beater shop)
  • low impact industry (e.g. mechanic)
  • high impact industry that mitigates amenity, health and safety impacts.
General industry C zone precinct

A mixture of:

  • high impact industry (e.g. metal plating works)
  • medium impact industry
  • low impact industry and some non-residential uses that support industry uses (e.g. cold store).
Special industry

Special industry (e.g. oil refinery).

Industry investigation

Appropriate interim uses until the land is made ready for future industry uses (e.g. industrial storage).

Extractive industry Extraction and processing of resources and associated activities, including their haul routes (e.g. hard rock quarry).

Industrial land uses are mostly appropriately located in industrial areas. Some industrial uses, such as extractive industry or special industry, need to be located in zones specific to their use.

In some circumstances, non-industrial uses may locate in industrial areas where they do not compromise the long-term functioning of the area for industry.

Industrial use definitions

The City Plan defines a number of industrial land uses. You will need to find out which land use definition applies to your proposed industrial development to determine which zone and zone precinct it should be in and what the requirements are for that zone.

Low impact industry

Low impact industry premises are used for industrial activities that include the manufacturing, producing, processing, repairing, altering, recycling, storing, distributing, transferring or treating of products and that have one or more of the following attributes:

  • negligible impacts on sensitive land uses due to off-site emissions, including aerosol, fume, particle, smoke, odour and noise
  • demand imposed upon the local infrastructure network consistent with surrounding uses
  • generally operates during the day (e.g. 7am to 6pm)
  • off-site impacts from the storage of dangerous goods is negligible
  • the use is primarily undertaken indoors.

Business examples include repairing motor vehicles and fitting and turning workshops. You can view the Industry thresholds table (SC1.1.3) in the City Plan to see if your business is defined as a Low impact industry.

Medium impact industry

Medium impact industry premises are used for industrial activities that include the manufacturing, producing, processing, repairing, altering, recycling, storing, distributing, transferring or treating of products and that have one or more of the following attributes:

  • potential for noticeable impacts on sensitive land uses due to off-site emissions, including aerosol, fume, particle, smoke, odour and noise
  • potential for noticeable off-site impacts in the event of fire, explosion or toxic release
  • generates high traffic flows in the context of the locality or the road network
  • lifts demand on the local infrastructure network
  • requires on-site controls to minimise risks from emissions and dangerous goods
  • the use is primarily undertaken indoors
  • evening or night activities are undertaken indoors and not outdoors.

Business examples include spray painting and surface coating, transport depot, wooden and laminated product manufacturing (including cabinet making, joining, timber truss making or wood working). You can view the Industry thresholds table (SC1.1.3) in the City Plan to see if your business is defined as a Medium impact industry.

High impact industry

High impact industry premises are used for industrial activities that include the manufacturing, producing, processing, repairing, altering, recycling, storing, distributing, transferring or treating of products and that have one or more of the following attributes:

  • potential for significant impacts on sensitive land uses due to off-site emissions, including aerosol, fume, particle, smoke, odour and noise
  • potential for significant off-site impacts in the event of fire, explosion or toxic release
  • generates high traffic flows in the context of the locality or the road network
  • generates a significant demand on the local infrastructure network
  • the use may involve night-time and outdoor activities
  • on-site controls are required for emissions and dangerous goods risks.

Business examples include abattoir, concrete batching plant, boiler making and engineering, and metal foundry. You can view the Industry thresholds table (SC1.1.3) in the City Plan to see if your business is defined as a High impact industry.

Special industry

Special industry premises are used for industrial activities that include the manufacturing, producing, processing, repairing, altering, recycling, storing, distributing, transferring or treating of products and that have one or more of the following attributes:

  • potential for extreme impacts on sensitive land uses due to off-site emissions, including aerosol, fume, particle, smoke, odour and noise
  • potential for off-site impacts in the event of fire, explosion or toxic release
  • on-site controls are required for emissions and dangerous good risks
  • the use generally involves night-time and outdoor activities
  • the use may involve the storage and handling of large volumes of dangerous goods
  • requires significant separation from non-industrial uses.

Business examples include tannery, rendering plant, oil refinery, waste incineration, manufacturing or storing explosives, power plant and manufacturing fertilisers. You can view the Industry thresholds table (SC1.1.3) in the City Plan to see if your business is defined as a Special industry.

Service industry

Service industry premises are used for industrial activities that have no external air, noise or odour emissions from the site and can be suitably located with other non-industrial uses. These types of businesses include audio visual equipment repair, film processing, clock and watch repairs, computer repairs, dry cleaning, hand engraving, jewellery making, laundromat, locksmith, picture framing, shoe repairs and tailor.

Research and technology industry

Research and technology industry premises are used for innovative and emerging technological industries involved in research design, manufacture, assembly, testing, maintenance and storage of machinery, equipment and components. The use may include emerging industries such as energy, aerospace and biotechnology. These types of businesses include aeronautical engineering, computer component manufacturing, medical laboratory and computer-server facility.

Other industrial land uses

Extractive industry

Extractive industry premises are used for the extraction and processing of extractive resources and associated activities, including their transportation to market. These types of businesses include a quarry.

The Extractive industry zone is to provide for the extraction of natural resources such as sand, gravel, quarry rock, clay and soil. Development such as storage, processing, treatment and transportation facilities may be facilitated within the Extractive industry zone only where ancillary to the extractive industry.

Intensive animal industry

Intensive animal industry premises are used for the intensive production of animals or animal products in an enclosure with food and water provided either mechanically or by hand. This use includes the ancillary storage and packing of feed and produce and includes feedlot, piggery, poultry and egg production.

Rural industry

Rural industry premises are used for storage, processing and packaging of products from a rural use. This use includes processing, packaging and sale of products produced as a result of a rural use where these activities are ancillary to a rural use on or adjacent to the site. These types of businesses include packing sheds.

City Plan requirements

For many industry uses, the Industry code and the relevant zone code will contain requirements for development in industrial zones. Secondary codes may also apply, such as the filling and excavation code, infrastructure design code, landscape works code, stormwater code, transport, access, parking and servicing code, and the wastewater code.

Neighbourhood plans and overlays may also contain additional requirements which can affect development requirements for your site. Neighbourhood plans can provide locally specific requirements for your area. Overlays mapped in the City Plan may also specify development requirements. For industry, these may include the Industrial amenity overlay, Critical infrastructure and movement network overlay (for medium, high and special industry) and the Flood overlay (where in an area subject to flooding).

Check your site details to determine if you have overlays or neighbourhood plans that apply to your property.

Other approvals to consider

More information

If your proposed industry requires a planning approval or your premises are located within a neighbourhood plan area or have an overlay, contact Brisbane City Council's Business Hotline 133 BNE (133 263) for advice specific to your situation.

Find out more information about how to apply for development approval.

You may need to engage a town planner or engineer for expert help with your application.

If you wish to find out more Council's fact sheet Industry Zones can provide additional information.

03 July 2017