What is a development?

The types of development under the Planning Act are:

  • Material Change of Use
  • Reconfiguring a Lot
  • Operational Work
  • Building Work.

(Note: Plumbing and drainage work is not recognised) and is separately subject to the Plumbing and Drainage Act).

Approvals are required to be obtained for the above when specified in council's Planning Scheme, the Planning Act and/or the Building Act and Building Regulations.  

To assist you with the type of development application you will need, we have provided more information below:

  • In many instances, you will need a Material Change of Use (MCU) application when you want to start a new use on a premises, change the way a premises is used, increase the intensity of scale of an existing activity or re-establish a use that had previously been abandoned.  The following are examples of uses that will all trigger the need for a development application to be lodged with Council.  

    • run a quarry
    • build an office or shop
    • build a duplex or unit/townhouse complex.

    In order to determine the specific requirements please refer to the planning scheme. 

    You may still need to obtain building and plumbing approval.

    Check out the Queensland Government's website for more information on MCU:

    Changing the use of a property (material change of use) | Business Queensland


  • You will need a Reconfiguring a Lot Application, if for example you want to:

    • create lots by subdividing another lot
    • change the boundary alignment between lots
    • create an access easement.

    Check out the Queensland Government's website for more information on Reconfiguring a Lot

    Reconfiguring a lot | Business Queensland

  • You will need an Operational Works Application for work such as:

    • excavating/filling where the applicable planning scheme criteria are not met
    • installing advertising signage where the applicable planning scheme criteria are not met
    • road and other infrastructure works that will become a council asset
    • clearing vegetation where the applicable planning scheme criteria are not met

    Unsure what type of Development Application/s you need for your project? Contact council on 1300 307 800 to discuss further.


  • You will need to submit a building application before doing most types of building work. These include:

    • building
    • repairing
    • altering
    • underpinning (foundational support to strengthen a building)
    • moving or demolishing a building
    • excavating or filling (relating to the construction of a building).

    Find out more information here.

  • You will need to submit a plumbing application for some plumbing works. Examples include building and installing swimming pools, and water and sewer connections.

    Other activities that may need a building application include:

    • tree works on protected vegetation on public or private land
    • construction of driveways and crossings.

    You can combine building and plumbing applications. This may reduce the amount of paperwork you need to provide.

    Unsure whether your project needs building or plumbing approval? Talk to a private building certifier, or call council on 1300 307 800.

    For more information click here.

All development applications go through a standard assessment process to make sure they are assessed equitably. The Development Assessment (DA) Rules explain how development applications in Queensland must be lodged, assessed and decided

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