Development approval - Sunshine Coast Regional Council - Queensland


You will require a development approval if you intend to propose a development that will require you to:

  • carry out building work, plumbing or drainage work, or operational work - building a house, garage or extending an existing building or structure or making changes to the land itself (e.g. earthworks, vegetation clearing, building a pontoon)
  • reconfigure a lot - subdividing land or carrying out other actions such as amalgamating lots or rearranging boundaries
  • make a material change to use of premises - a new use of a building, structure or land, or intensifying an existing use (e.g. expanding a shopping centre, or developing a new hotel on land that was previously occupied by an office).

There are 3 categories of development:

  • prohibited development - approval will not be given
  • assessable development - approval is required
  • accepted development - approval is not required.

If a development is an assessable development, it may be either a code assessable development or an impact assessable development. Code assessable developments do not require public consultation, while impact assessable developments do.

You can assess which category your development falls into by using a categorising instrument, which includes the state legislation and local categorising instrument (such as a local government's planning scheme). A categorising instrument can specify the categories of assessment that apply to development (and other matters, such as assessment benchmarks). If no categorising instrument categorises particular development, the development is accepted development.

Service type


A licence defines the need to obtain recognition / certification and registration to undertake a certain business activity.


Exemption certificates release you from the need to get approval for assessable development. An exemption certificate is a statutory mechanism to deal with the inappropriate categorisation of development or if the effect of a proposed development is considered to be inconsequential. They are only issued in exceptional circumstances. The exemption certificate has effect for two years from the issue date or a later day stated in the certificate.

Eligibility requirements

Please use the contact details for information regarding eligibility requirements.

Ongoing eligibility requirements

Where a development approval has been given, you will need to ensure that you have obtained any other necessary licences / permits before starting the development. You should also check the currency period on your approval - that is, the length of time you have to start the development.


6 years.


Fees Details for this service in table format.

Task Type Business Structure Description
Apply Application All

Fees vary. Please contact the council for more information.

Application process


Where a local government is the assessment manager, you can apply for this approval by completing and submitting the relevant application(s) to the Chief Executive Officer at the council address for the area in which the development will take place.

Where the Queensland Government is the assessment manager, the best method of lodgement is via the MyDAS online preparation and lodgement system.

Throughout the assessment process notices will be exchanged between you and the assessment manager and any referral agencies. The assessment manager has a set period of time to finalise each step of the process and decide the outcome of your development application.

The assessment manager can issue three types of decisions on a development application:

  • approval of all or part of the development application - this allows you to proceed with the development (subject to any other required permits)
  • approval of all or part of the development application, with conditions - this allows you to progress with your development, but only in line with the conditions attached to the approval
  • refusal - you are not permitted to progress the development.

Lodgement process

  • Step 1 - find out whether you need to lodge an application
  • Step 2 - if a development proposal is identified as assessable development, you need to lodge a development application to the correct assessment manager. Some applications will require additional assessment by a referral agency
  • Step 3 - prepare and lodge a 'properly made' application
  • Step 4 - assessment begins
  • Step 5 - a decision is made
  • Step 6 - appealing a decision and resolving disputes
  • Step 7 - once your application has been approved or approved with conditions and all relevant appeal periods have ended, the development approval takes effect.

Approval time

The development approval process can take anywhere between 2 weeks and 4 months, depending on the complexity of the application.


You cannot transfer this approval.

Additional information

You should contact the relevant local government or agency to ascertain whether additional licences / permits are required for your development activities. For matters where the state has jurisdiction, pre-lodgement advice can be obtained by contacting the State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA).

Administering agency

Sunshine Coast Regional Council

Contact details

Contact Email, Phone and Address Details for this service in simple two column table format, header then data.

Please use these contact details for help or more information:


Sunshine Coast Regional Council

Operating address: 10 First Avenue
Maroochydore, Queensland 4558
Operating address: 1 Omrah Avenue
Caloundra, Queensland 4551
Operating address: Cnr Currie and Bury Streets
Nambour Queensland 4560
Mailing address: LOCKED BAG 72
Sunshine Coast MC, Queensland 4560
Phone: 03 5475 7272
Phone: 1300 007 272
Fax: 07 5475 7277
Website: Sunshine Coast Regional Council (Opens in new window)