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City Plan

Building our city, enhancing our lifestyle.

City Plan

Our City Plan sets out a fresh and innovative approach to managing and supporting long term growth and is a crucial tool in shaping the Gold Coast into a mature, world-class city.

On 10 May 2016 the Council of the City of Gold Coast resolved to adopt Minor and Administrative Update 2. This update has been incorporated into City Plan Version 2 to create City Plan Version 3 which commenced on 17 May 2016.

View the City Plan Version 3.

Access the City Plan

More than two years in the making, guided by the community and industry, our new City Plan commenced on 2 February 2016. View the City Plan which links with our mapping solution to provide an interactive and simple way of navigating the City Plan. For more information, access the City Plan.

Access Interactive Mapping

The City of Gold Coast Interactive Mapping solution provides residents with the ability to access and interpret City Plan maps. It combines City Plan maps and aerial photography, with supporting information such as property searching and reporting, in an easy to use format. For more information, access the Interactive Mapping.

City Plan updates

We have committed to an ongoing program of updates to the City Plan. Major updates are planned to occur on a six monthly basis while minor and administrative updates will occur on an as needs basis. For the latest information, visit the City Plan updates page.

Superseded and historic Planning Schemes

For all information relating to past planning schemes, view the superseded and historic versions of the City Plan and Gold Coast Planning Scheme 2003.

Improve our City Plan

We are committed to continually improving the City Plan and encourage collaboration through the use of our online tool 'Improve our City Plan'. Use this tool to ask a question or offer suggestions to improve the City Plan.

City Plan practice notes and fact sheets

Refer to the practice notes and fact sheets for printable versions of useful information regarding some of the key changes to the City Plan.

Planning and Development Alerts

Our fortnightly Planning and Development Alert provides the latest news on planning and developing on the Gold Coast. Read previous alerts or subscribe to our alerts.

Related information

Jump to key information
  • What is a City Plan?

    A City Plan (planning scheme) helps us to continuously manage growth and change by setting direction and reflecting community aspirations.

  • Why is a new City Plan necessary?

    The Sustainable Planning Act 2009 requires us to review our planning scheme every 10 years to ensure it continues to respond to growth and changes at a local, regional and state level.

    The City Plan (the plan) identifies areas for building more homes, acts as a catalyst for new jobs, provides for good transport connections and protects our green spaces from urban sprawl.


  • When was the City Plan implemented?

    On 11 December 2015 Council of City of Gold Coast resolved to adopt the City Plan along with a minor update. City Plan Version 2 incorporating Update 1 commenced on 2 February 2016.

  • How do I view the City Plan?

    You can view the City Plan online.

    Should you require further assistance with navigating or accessing the City Plan please contact 07 5582 8944 or email

  • What area does the City Plan apply to?

    The City Plan applies to all land within the Gold Coast area, with some exceptions such as the Southport Priority Development Area, which is subject to the proposed Southport Priority Development Area Development Scheme under the Economic Development Act 2012.

  • Will the City Plan affect me?

    City Plan is an important document that will assist in shaping the future of the entire City of Gold Coast area.

    If you own a property or business on the Gold Coast or live, work or holiday here, the plan may affect you. The plan will impact on what you can do with your property, or what others around you can do.

  • Does the City Plan affect my existing use rights?

    Although proposed zoning and/or relevant provisions may be different in the plan, existing lawful  use rights are protected under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009. Accordingly, a new planning instrument such as the City Plan cannot affect:

    • an existing lawful use of premises;     
    • a lawfully constructed building; or        
    • an existing development approval.
  • What is a zone and how do I check the zone applying to my land?

    A zone is a land-use planning tool in the draft plan, which determines what uses you can and cannot do on your property. The current Gold Coast Planning Scheme 2003 uses the term ‘Domain’ for this purpose.

  • What is an overlay?

    An overlay map identifies different features that also need to be considered when developing land, for example, flooding or heritage.

  • How do overlays affect my development?

    An overlay may apply to all or part of your property and your property may also be affected by more than one overlay. Overlays may affect the type and level of assessment and design requirements such as building height, landscaping or vehicle access.

  • Where can I find the overlays that affect my property?

    To see if your property is affected by an overlay go to the City’s interactive mapping tool and search your address. By clicking on your property you can view your property report which will list all the overlays applicable to your site.

  • How has the City Plan been made easier to use?

    Written in plain English, City Plan contains clear development requirements and prioritises the regulatory effort on those outcomes that matter most to the future economic productivity and prosperity, and liveability of the Gold Coast. It cuts red tape by reducing levels of assessment and eliminating the requirement for further planning approvals on low risk land uses. The plan incorporates land use provisions to facilitate and manage growth, development and change in the City, such as zones and codes.

  • Can I lodge a development application under the current Gold Coast Planning Scheme 2003? (under the superseded planning scheme)

    When City Plan commenced on 2 February 2016, the Gold Coast Planning Scheme 2003 became ‘a superseded planning scheme’.

    Under the provisions of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009, a person may request that a proposed development be assessed and decided under the superseded planning scheme (Gold Coast Planning Scheme 2003). This request must be made within one year of the new planning scheme (City Plan) taking effect and may be agreed to, or refused.

    For further information on requests to apply a superseded planning scheme, please refer to the Queensland Government’s website.

  • How will the City Plan impact on other Priority Development Areas (PDA) within the city (currently Southport PDA and Parklands PDA)?

    Designated PDAs under the Economic Development Act 2012 will be administered through a PDA development scheme rather than the City Plan.

    The plan acknowledges the PDA and while the PDA requirements are not included in the plan, they have been prepared so that they work together.


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