Demolishing, removal and relocating
Before demolishing, removing or relocating a property in Brisbane City Council, find out the key facts about your property. Your project may need planning approval.
When demolishing or removing is accepted development
Demolishing or removing a building may not require planning approval from Council. This applies if your project meets all of the following requirements outlined in the Brisbane City Plan 2014:
- not on a site listed on the Heritage Register
- not on a site in the pre-1911 building overlay
- for entire buildings constructed after 1946 on a site in the traditional building character overlay
- 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.
Council aerial photos taken in 1946 may help identify buildings constructed in or prior to 1946.
You can demolish free-standing outbuildings without planning approval, as long as built after 1946.
Minor demolition work that is accepted development
There are some instances where minor demolition work does not require planning approval. This applies to a dwelling house in the traditional building character overlay and the pre-1911 building overlay. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- 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. Includes 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 or before 1946. Demolition enables replacement of old for new features of the same style and appearance consistent with traditional building character.
Raising an existing house, where the maximum height does not exceed 9.5m, is minor building work. This is accepted development in most cases under the City Plan. You do not require a planning application where minor building work is accepted development. However, you require a planning application for minor building work that is not accepted development in some neighbourhood plan areas.
- demolition to facilitate internal building work or a fit-out 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.
Contact Council to determine whether demolition works are accepted development.
In some cases, Council may consider work to occur on a heritage place to be minor in nature. Council may allow 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. This applies where the demolition is part of a committed program to exercise an existing development permit and the creation of a temporary park. A statutory declaration from the landowner demonstrates a committed program. The declaration must state, within three months of demolition, building work will commence on the site. This requirement affects an existing development permit.
When an application is required for demolition or removal
If your project requires a planning application, Council recommends you seek specialist consultant advice. Specialist reports can support your case to justify demolition. 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. You will need a building approval before doing demolition work. A licensed private building certifier can arrange building approval. You must give the certifier scaled and detailed plans prepared by a draftsperson or architect.
Private building certifiers are available on the Queensland Building and Construction Commission's find a local contractor search.
If you are moving a house to Brisbane, you may need approval from the local government area your house is being moved from.
You will need other permits in addition to planning and building approval, such as: