Dual occupancy | Brisbane City Council

Dual occupancy

Under Brisbane City Plan 2014, duplexes are referred to as dual occupancy.

If you are planning to undertake a dual occupancy development, you will first need to find out the key facts about the property (zoning, overlays, lot size and if the property is included in a neighbourhood plan) and then use the following information to find out if your dual occupancy project needs planning approval. 

Definition

The City Plan defines a dual occupancy as the use of a premises where it contains two dwellings on one lot (whether or not attached) for separate households.

A dwelling is a building or part of a building used or capable of being used as a self-contained residence that must include the following:

  • food preparation facilities
  • a bath or shower
  • a toilet and wash basin
  • clothes washing facilities.

A dual occupancy may be contained on one lot or each dwelling unit may be contained on its own lot subject to a Community Title Scheme.

A dual occupancy is not a dwelling house or a multiple dwelling, these are defined differently in the City Plan.

Development application required

Proposals for dual occupancy require a planning application.

Technical reports are required for this type of application and it is recommended you seek help from a professional consultant, such as a town planning consultant for assistance in preparing an application. A proposed dual occupancy may be suitable for fast-tracked assessment using the RiskSMART process.

Preferred locations

A dual occupancy can be code assessable if your property is in one of the following zones.

Residential zones

Medium density residential zone

In the Medium density residential zone, a dual occupancy is code assessable if no higher than:

The proposal should comply with the criteria outlined in the Dual occupancy code, Medium density residential zone code and any Prescribed secondary codes of the City Plan. If the project does not comply with the codes then an impact assessable development application may be required.

Please note, where the site is located within a neighbourhood plan, or is affected by an overlay, the development may be subject to an alternative category of assessment and additional assessment benchmarks may apply.  

Low-medium density residential zone

In the Low-medium density residential zone, a dual occupancy is code assessable if no higher than:

  • 3 storeys and 11.5m in building height in the Up to 3 storeys zone precinct
  • 3 storeys and 11.5m in building height in the 2 or 3 storey mix zone precinct, where the site has frontage to a road with a reserve width of 15.5 m or more and any part of the site is within 400 m walking distance of a railway or busway station
  • 2 storeys and 9.5m in building height in the 2 storey mix precinct.

The proposal should comply with the criteria outlined in the Dual occupancy code, Low-medium density residential zone and any Prescribed secondary codes of the City Plan. If the project does not comply with the codes then an impact assessable development application may be required.

Please note, where the site is located within a neighbourhood plan, or is affected by an overlay, the development may be subject to an alternative category of assessment and additional assessment benchmarks may apply.

Character residential zones

In the Character residential zone, a dual occupancy is code assessable if in the Infill housing zone precinct, where:

  • any house constructed in 1946 or earlier is retained
  • no greater than 2 storeys and 9.5m in building height
  • and complying with the criteria in the Dual occupancy code, Character residential zone code and any Prescribed secondary codes of the City Plan.

If the project does not comply with the codes then an impact assessable development application may be required.

Please note, where the site is located within a neighbourhood plan, or is affected by an overlay, the development may be subject to an alternative category of assessment and additional assessment benchmarks may apply.

Other locations

If your proposed dual occupancy is not in one of the preferred locations listed above, contact Council on 07 3403 8888 for advice specific to your situation.

Building approval

Building approval is separate from planning approval. Once you have planning approval for a dual occupancy, you will need to obtain building approval.

You can arrange for building approval through a private building certifier. Private building certifiers and building consultants can be found using the Queensland Building and Construction Commission's Find a Local Contractor search. You must give the certifier scaled and detailed plans prepared by a draftsperson or architect.

More information

If you are located in an overlay or neighbourhood plan area and would like to find out how this will impact on your proposal, you can contact Council on 07 3403 8888.

03 July 2017