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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can Council issue my building approval?

Building work that is assessable development must have a building approval issued by a building certifier.

Building Certifiers can be either Council Building Certifiers (certifiers employed by Council) or Private Building Certifiers(certifiers who provide a private certification service completely independent of Council).

In addition to the building approval other approvals such as a siting variation or amenity & aesthetics referral agency approval may be required.  These approvals are issued by Council regardless of whether you engage a Council building certifier or a private building certifier.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

Ask your building company if they are using a Council building certifier or a private building certifier.  If a private building certifier has been engaged to certify your building works and you have been advised a referral agency application has been submitted to Council ASK for a copy of the Council receipt as this will detail the lodgement date of the application.

Council is unable to assist you with the progress of your privately certified building application, however provided you are the intended owner of the building you can contact Council, with the details of your referral agency application receipt, and Council will advise you of the applications progress.

2. What is a 'Private Certifier' and what is their role?

A private building certifier is licensed by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC), to issue Building Approvals, however they do not work for the government or for a Council.  They are Private Building Surveyors with the regulatory authority to issue Building Approvals.  Their role once engaged, is to ensure each building they have approved is built to the minimum standards specified in the relevant codes and complies with the approval itself.

3. Can I do the work myself or do I need a builder?

Building works can be carried out by a registered builder or an Owner Builder.  Where the value of work is $11,000 or more, Owner Builders will be required to provide proof of the Owner Builders Number for proposed work when you lodge an application.  For more information about undertaking Owner Builder work please refer to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) website Owner Building page.

4. What forms will I need to complete when lodging a building application?

IDAS forms one (1) and two (2) will need to be completed when lodging a building application.  These forms are available at the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning website or from the Council Office.

5. Do my plans need to be certified by an Engineer?

Footings, structural steel, reinforced concrete sections of the proposed building work and any works outside of the capacity of AS1684 all need to be designed and certified by a Queensland Registered Engineer.

6. Can I get an Engineer to do the inspections?

The Building Certifier must carry out all mandatory inspections.  This is stipulated on your decision notice. When a person other than the Building Certifier is to inspect the staged inspection, they must be considered a competent person by the Building Certifier.

7. What are the minimum boundary setbacks for residential properties?

Refer to the General Building Guidelines for Residential Properties (PDF, 1.2 MB).

8. Can I build over or near relevant infrastructure - Stormwater, Sewer, Water Main?

Building work over or near relevant infrastructure must be assessed against Queensland Development Code Mandatory Part 1.4 (MP 1.4) 'Building over or near relevant infrastructure'.

MP 1.4 applies to all building work for a building or structure to be carried out on a lot that contains, or is adjacent to a lot that contains relevant infrastructure (sewer, water main, storm water drain or combined sanitary drains).

The Sustainable Planning Regulation 2009 prescribes relevant service providers as a concurrence agency for the purpose of referrals for MP 1.4 when the proposed work does not comply with the acceptable solutions of the code or is for an applicable class 2-9 building.

For building over/near Water or Sewer please contact Queensland Urban Utilities on
13 26 57 or visit their website www.urbanutilities.com.au/Development_services/

For building over/near Stormwater please contact Ipswich City Council on 3810 6980 or email: plandev@ipswich.qld.gov.au

For build over/near Stormwater applications only please use the following form:

Building over/near Stormwater Infrastructure (PDF, 386.8 KB)

Further information and factsheets are available at the Department of Housing and Public Works website:

www.hpw.qld.gov.au/construction/BuildingPlumbing/Building/Pages/BuildOverInfrastructure.aspx

Factsheet: General information about the Queensland Development Code Mandatory Part 1.4 - Building over or near relevant infrastructure (MP 1.4)

9. What is home warranty insurance?

Home warranty insurance is insurance paid to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission by the builder when undertaking residential construction work exceeding a value of $3,300 (including GST).  The "Confirmation of Insurance" document needs to be forwarded to your building certifier to allow the Building Approval to be issued.  The insurance is paid on all residential work including unit developments up to a certain number of storeys.

10. What is QLeave?

The Building and Construction Industry Portable Long Service Leave Levy, Building and Construction Industry Training Fund Training Levy and Workplace Health and Safety Fee are payable on the total cost of all building and construction work in Queensland costing $150,000 or more.  The levies and fees are usually paid by the project owner and must be paid prior to receiving a development permit (Building Approval).  If a development permit is not given, they must be paid prior to the start of work.  The combined levies and fee are calculated at 0.425% of the total cost of work and can be paid at any Australia Post office or agency, or directly to QLeave.

11. Does my garden shed require approval?  Where can I put it on my property?

In accordance with the Queensland Building Act 1975, a building approval is required for the construction of a carport, shed or garage where any of the following apply:

  • A plan area of more than 10m²; or
  • an overall height of more than 2.4m; or
  • a mean height of more than 2.1m; or
  • any side longer than 5m; or
  • not freestanding (attached to another building or structure).

Mean height is the total elevational area of the building divided by the horizontal length of the building facing the boundary.

Note:  If approval is not required for the shed, the following should be considered:

  • The shed should be securely fixed to a concrete slab or footing system; and
  • It should be placed at least 1.5m clear of Infrastructure on the site; and
  • The roof water must be taken to a lawful point of discharge and should not cause a nuisance to the neighbouring sites; and the area around the shed and fences and/or retaining walls in close proximity should be maintenance free.

For further information refer to the Carports, Sheds, Garages or the like - Fact Sheet

12. What inspections are involved and what is the process?

Inspections that are required are noted on the decision notice, which is issued upon approval of the application.  Council requires 24 hours notice when booking in an inspection.

Note: Councils Development Application (DA) Number will need to be quoted when booking inspections.

13. How long before my building approval will lapse?

Check the conditions of the approval on the decision notice.

14. Will there be any additional fees?

Additional fees may be required if Town Planning, Siting variation, Amenity and Aesthetics, or Plumbing and Drainage application/s are required for the approval.  Additional fees will also apply for reinspections of approved work and for an amendment to an existing approval.

15. Can I build on an easement or close to it?

Building work proposed to be over an easement will require written consent from the registered holder of the easement.  This can be obtained by conducting a Title Search over the property.

16. What BCA Class is a particular type of Building or Structure?

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission provides a list of Building Classes as set out in the Building Code of Australia - Classification summary of buildings and structures.

Please refer to the Department of Housing and Public Works website for any further information.