Development Assessments

Planning

  • Generally, planning approval determines what uses and activities can occur on the land to minimise any potential impacts on surrounding properties.
  • Applications for planning approval are assessed against Balonne Shire Council Planning Scheme.

Building

  • Building approvals ensure buildings are constructed to standards that address health and amenity, safety (structural and fire) and sustainability.
  • Applications for building approvals are assessed against the building assessment provisions, which include the Building Code of Australia and the Queensland Development Code.

Process

If a planning approval is required for a development:

  • You’ll need to lodge a planning application for assessment to Council first.
  • Following the planning approval by Council, you will then need to lodge a separate building works application.

In the Balonne Shire, many changes require development approval. Some primary examples where a development application must be lodged are set out below (including but not limited to):

  • building any free-standing permanent structure
  • extending or raising an existing structure
  • building a retaining wall over one metre high or a fence over two metres high
  • erecting signs.
  • clearing native vegetation
  • demolishing an existing building or structure (in part or in full)
  • changing the use of the land (e.g. a house to a block of units; an office to a retail shop; a wheat farm to a piggery)
  • altering the exterior of a heritage place
  • carrying out significant structural changes to an existing building.

Unless the property is heritage listed, you do not need a development application if you are, for example:

  • painting or redecorating the interior or exterior of a structure
  • remodelling a kitchen or bathroom
  • performing minor internal structural changes to an existing structure.

Types of Development 

Material change of use - Using the building, structure or the land for something different than it is currently being used for, commencing a use on the land that has been intentionally abandoned, or expanding the existing use - whether it be an increase in the scale of the operation or the intensity of the use. 

Reconfiguring a lot - changing the existing layout of a lot either by way of boundary realignments, subdividing into more lots, amalgamating multiple lots, leasing part of the lot extending beyond 10 years and creating an easement for access purposes.  

Operational work - Activities that alter the shape or form of the natural land. 

Building work - Constructing a new building or structure or extending an existing building or structure. 

Levels of Assessment 

Exempt Development: Does not require a planning permit/development approval by Council.

NOTE: Building approval may still be required for any construction or plumbing works.

EXAMPLES

  • Development for the purpose of a park
  • Development involving the supply of road transport infrastructure in existing roads.

Self Assessable Development: Providing the applicant complies with the relevant self-assessable outcomes of a zone and any applicable development codes as identified in our Planning Scheme, then no Development Approval by Council is required.

NOTE: Building approval may still be required.

EXAMPLES

  • Dwelling House in the Residential Precincts
  • Home Based Business in the Residential Precincts  

Code Assessable Development: An assessable development requires the applicant to submit a development application to Council for assessment. Council will then assess the development against the relevant parts of the Planning Scheme and state planning guidelines to decide if the development will be approved, refused, or approved subject to special conditions. It does not require public notification.

EXAMPLES:

  • Industry Activity in the Industrial Precinct 
  • Caretakers Residence in the Industrial and Commercial Precincts

Impact Assessable Development: This type of development requires the applicant to submit a development application to Council for assessment. Impact assessment for new development is generally required where there is a need to consider the impacts of the proposal. Impact assessable development must also be publicly advertised by the applicant for either 15 or 30 business days. Council must give consideration to all properly made submissions in completing its assessment of the development.

EXAMPLES

  • Extractive Industry i.e. Gravel Pit, Quarry
  • Intensive Animal Industry i.e. Cattle Feedlot

in all Zones and Precincts. 

Schedule a chat with our Planning and Development Officer before submitting your application and receive free information and advice about the process for your application.

Types of land uses and their resulting level of assessment can be found here. 

Types of Approval

  • Development permit, which approves the proposed development and authorises the development to be carried out.
  • Preliminary approval, which approves the proposed development, but does not authorise the development to be carried out.
  • Variation request, which seeks to vary the effect of any local planning instrument in effect of the premises.
  • Combination of a development permit and a preliminary approval.