What is traditional building character in Brisbane

What kinds of development permits are there?

Now, we don’t want to complicate this too much but it is important to understand the kinds of permits that could be required as a town planner.

Under the Planning Act 2016 (PA), there are varying levels of assessment that can trigger the need for a Development Approval or Permit. Depending on what you are proposing, it could require a specific Development Permit or ‘component’ of a development. For example, a material change of use (MCU), building work (BW), reconfiguring a lot (ROL/RAL), operational work (OPW), etc. – We’ll go into what they are in the next topic.

Ever heard someone use the term ‘DA’. This usually means ‘Development Application’ but it can also mean ‘Development Approval’ (aka a Development Permit). Unfortunately, DA gets used pretty broadly so don’t be worried if you get confused when someone is talking about a ‘DA’.

When applying for a Development Application, you will be applying for a Development Permit for X (e.g. an MCU). It is important to understand what each permit means, as defined within the PA, so you can later identify what parts of the planning scheme might apply to the project.

There are three different kinds of development approvals that you can apply for to the local council under the Planning Act. These include:

  • A preliminary approval
  • A development permit
  • A combination of both a preliminary approval and a development permit

An example might be, you will obtain a ‘Development Permit for Reconfiguring a Lot‘ that gives you permission to then subdivide a property into X number of lots. Or a ‘Development Permit for a Material Change of Use (Dwelling house) which then allows you to build a new dwelling house on a vacant parcel of land.

Most of the time, if you need an approval for a smaller development application, you’ll be obtaining a ‘Development Permit’ as Preliminary Approvals are more for larger scale developments that involve ongoing permits as part of the development being undertaken. For example, a greenfield development that is in a Rural Zone might get a Preliminary Approval for future commercial and residential works that make it easier for approval later on.

Learn more about development permits in our free ‘Town planning 101’ course here: https://learn.urpec.com.au/courses/town-planning-101-qld/

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