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Planning and building

The Gold Coast is a vibrant and attractive city. We are working hard to maintain our enviable lifestyle and ensure our city continues to thrive in a sustainable way.

Development application process

Development applications are assessed under the Planning Act 2016 and the Development Assessment Rules.

The development application assessment process begins after an application has been submitted and the City determines the application to be properly made.

Part 1: Application

Properly made application

When preparing your application you must meet the requirements of Section 51 of the Planning Act 2016 for your application to be considered properly made. If the application does not meet the identified criteria, assessment may not be able to start.

Applications must be:

  • lodged in the relevant approved forms to the assessment manager
  • accompanied by the required fee
  • lodged with written consent of the owner (where applicable)
    • Please note: the State Government have an applicant template with the information required for obtaining owner's consent from an individual and/or company.
  • accompanied by the documents required under the approved form.

Please follow the below links for information on:

Confirmation notice

The assessment manager will issue a confirmation notice within 10 business days of lodgement of a properly made application for:

  • impact assessable applications
  • variation requests
  • applications that require referral.

The assessment manager may issue a confirmation notice within 10 business days for a code assessable applications that do not require referral.

If an action notice has been given, the assessment manager will issue a confirmation notice within 5 business days after the applicant gives notice that the action notice has been complied with.

Part 2: Referral

For applications that require referral, an applicant must give a copy of the application and confirmation notice (if applicable) to the referral agencies within 10 business days after Part 1 (Application) has ended, or a further period agreed between the applicant and the assessment manager.

The applicant must also notify the assessment manager within 5 business days, once the material has been given to each referral agency.

Part 3: Information request

An applicant can elect whether Part 3 (Information request) will apply unless the application:

  • is for an environmental authority
  • is for a decision under section 62 of the Transport Infrastructure Act 1994
  • includes a variation request
  • is for assessable building work.

An applicant can elect to not receive an information request in all other instances when lodging their development application.

If Part 3 (Information request) does apply, the assessment manager or referral agencies may request the applicant to provide further information via an information request.

Part 4: Public notification

Under the Planning Act 2016, certain applications are required to be publicly notified. To make a submission on a development application, visit the have your say on a development application page.

Adjoining land owner request form

The adjoining land owners request service is provided under the Planning Act 2016 to an applicant of a development application requesting the details of owners of adjoining properties for the purpose of public notification.

Find the link to the Adjoining land owner request form below.

Part 5: Decision

The application is assessed by the assessment manager and a decision is made to approve or refuse the application. The assessment manager issues a decision notice and advises any applicable referral agencies or submitters of properly made submissions of the decision. Most development approvals have development conditions.

Part 6: Changes to an application

When an application is still undergoing assessment, the applicant is able to make minor changes to the development application without affecting the development assessment process.

They may also make changes to the development application without affecting the development application process:

  • as a result of dealing with a matter raised in a properly made submission; or
  • in response to an information request; or
  • in response to further advice provided by an assessing authority.

Any other changes to an application whilst it is still undergoing assessment may have an impact on the development assessment process.

Part 7: Miscellaneous

An application may lapse if the applicant does not carry out the following actions in the timeframe prescribed under the Development Assessment Rules:

  • they do not properly refer the application to a relevant referral agency and advised the assessment manager
  • they do not correctly publically notify the application
  • they do not give notice of compliance to the assessment manager for the application requiring public notification.

An applicant may stop the clock (stopping a current period) for any part of the development assessment process, unless the application:

  • has lapsed
  • is not properly made
  • is in response to a show cause or enforcement notice
  • is in the public notification period.

Appeals

After the City of Gold Coast has made a decision on an application, an applicant or eligible submitter to the application may appeal against the decision. These appeals are generally dealt with in the Planning and Environment Court, although certain matters may be appealed to a development tribunal.

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