Demolishing, removal and relocating
Before demolishing, removing or relocating a property, you should find out the key facts about the property and then use the following information to find out if your project needs planning approval.
When demolishing or removing is exempt
Demolishing or removing a building may not require planning approval from Brisbane City Council. Brisbane City Plan 2014 identifies demolishing and removing projects are exempt from planning approval if they meet all of the following:
- not on a site listed on the Heritage Register
- not on a site in the Pre-1911 building overlay
- on a site in the Traditional building character overlay where the entire building was constructed after 1946 (Council has aerial photos taken in 1946 that will assist you in determining whether your building was erected in or prior to 1946)
- not a commercial character building
- not 'rooming accommodation' (often known as a 'registered boarding house')
- not on a site where demolition is assessable under a neighbourhood plan.
You can demolish free-standing outbuildings without planning approval, as long as they were built after 1946.
Minor demolition work that is exempt
For a dwelling house in the Traditional building character overlay and the Pre-1911 building overlay, there are some instances where minor demolition work is exempt from planning approval. These include, but are not limited to, the following examples:
- demolition of an internal wall or feature
- demolition of a stair
- demolition of a post-1946 addition, extension free-standing outbuilding
- demolition of any post-1946 alteration to reveal the original design or reconstruction with the original form and materials, including roof material, wall cladding, windows, stumps, lower floor enclosures and verandah enclosures
- demolition of features including windows, doors, balustrades, window hoods and fretwork forming part of the building constructed in 1946 or before where the demolition enables replacement of the feature with the new features of the same style and appearance consistent with traditional building character.
Raising an existing house where the resultant maximum height does not exceed 9.5m is identified as minor building work and in most cases is exempt development under the City Plan. Where exempt, no planning application is required. However, minor building work is not exempt in some neighbourhood plan areas and a planning application will need to be made.
- demolition to facilitate internal building work or a fitout that does not materially affect cultural heritage significance
- altering, repairing or removing furniture and fittings that do not contribute to cultural heritage significance
- altering, repairing or removing building finishes that do not contribute to cultural heritage significance, such as paint, wallpaper and plaster.
Council advice should be sought to assist in determining whether demolition works are exempt.
In some cases, Council may consider work to occur on a heritage place to be minor in nature, and allow work to occur under a heritage exemption certificate. Find out more about heritage exemption certificates and how to apply for a heritage exemption certificate for work on a local heritage place.
Demolition of any building or structure in a Principal or Major centre zone requires planning approval and is code assessable where the demolition is part of a committed program to exercise an existing development permit and a temporary park is created. A committed program can be demonstrated through a statutory declaration from the landowner that within three months of demolition, building work will commence on the site to affect an existing development permit.
When an application is required for demolition or removal
Where a planning application is needed, it is recommended you seek specialist consultant advice as specialist reports will be required to support your case that demolition is justifiable. This may include a report from a structural engineer if you are suggesting the building is structurally unsound.
Building approval is separate from planning approval. A building approval is required before doing demolition work. You can arrange for building approval of your project through a licensed private building certifier. You must give the certifier scaled and detailed plans prepared by a draftsperson or architect.
Private building certifiers can be found using the Queensland Building and Construction Commission's Find a Local Contractor search.
If you are moving a house to Brisbane from another local government area, you may need approval from that local government to remove the house.
You will need other permits in addition to planning and building approval, such as: