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Planning & 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.

Property search requests

Find the Search Request Forms below.


Our Contact Centre processes payment for search fees via the following methods:

  • credit (sundry debtor) account 
  • cheque (please attach to back of search form)
  • credit card.

To obtain an application form, please contact us.

Search fee payments can also be made in person at your nearest City of Gold Coast Customer Service Centre.

Delivery of search results

Written search results are normally available within 10 working days of the application being received by us (except for the Full Town Planning Certificate which can take up to 40 working days).

Key information

  • What is a Planning and Development Certificate (PDC)?

    Anyone may apply for a PDC. The three types of PDCs under SPA are Limited, Standard and Full.

  • What types of PDCs can I apply for?

    PDCs provide potential property owners, lawyers and property developers with information about planning scheme provisions, infrastructure charges or agreements and development approvals for specific premises.

    Council, as a local government authority, must provide particular documents to the public, including the provision of PDCs under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA). The conditions for the various types of PDC are outlined in Sections 738, 739 and 740 of SPA.

  • What information is provided in a limited PDC?

    Section 738 of SPA outlines the detail contained in a Limited PDCs. The purpose of a Limited PDC is to identify general planning information that applies to a specific site. These PDCs are commonly used for due diligence and conveyancing matters.

    A Limited PDC must contain:

    • a summary of any planning scheme provisions (generally what is identified on an ISIRT for a property) applying specifically to the premises, including any infrastructure charges schedule or regulated infrastructure charges schedule
    • a description of any regulatory provisions or draft regulatory provisions applying to the premises (eg SEQ Regional Plan)
    • a description of any designations applying to the premises

    Limited PDCs do not provide any information regarding development approvals that are applicable to the particular premises.

  • What information is provided in a standard PDC?

    Section 739 of SPA outlines the detail contained within a Standard PDC. A Standard PDC provides all of the information contained within a Limited PDC and also identifies

    • the relevant development approvals applying to a specific site that have not lapsed
    • information recorded in the infrastructure charges register or regulated infrastructure charges register
    • information relating to agreements (in relation to a condition of approval)

    A Standard PDC must contain the information required to be contained in a Limited PDC plus:

    • a copy of every decision notice or negotiated decision notice for a development approval for the premises that has not lapsed
    • details of any minor changes to the development approval (ie permissible change) or compliance permits and certificates
    • a copy of every continuing approval mentioned in repealed IPA, Section 6.1.23(1)(a) to (d)
    • details of any decision to approve or refuse an application to amend a planning scheme made under s4.3 of the repealed Local Government (Planning & Environment) Act 1990 (eg rezoning application), including any conditions of approval
    • a copy of every compliance permit or compliance certificate in effect at the time the Standard Planning and Development Certificate is given
    • a copy of each master plan applying to the premises
    • a copy of any information recorded for the premises in the infrastructure charges register or regulated infrastructure charges register
    • a copy of any judgment or order of the Planning and Environment Court about the development approval
    • a copy of any agreement to which the Local Government or a concurrence agency (eg Main Roads, DERM etc) is a party about a condition of the development approval; and
    • a copy of any infrastructure agreement applying to the premises to which the Local Government is a party
    • a description of each amendment , proposed to be made by the Local Government to its planning scheme, that has not yet been made at the time the certificate is given (eg Council has formally adopted amendments to the Planning Scheme, but these have not yet commenced)

    A Standard PDC does not provide any information regarding the compliance or fulfilment of development conditions. If details regarding the fulfilment of conditions is required, a Full Planning and Development Certificate may be required.

  • What information is provided in a full PDC?

    Section 740 of the SPA details the information contained in a Full PDC. Full PDCs are generally requested for commercial enterprises, or requested when the sale of land involves a number of land uses operating on the site - for example shopping centres, Q1 type developments, mixed developments such as Circle on Cavill.

    A Full PDC also:

    • confirms Council’s conditions for development approvals on the premises that have not lapsed
    • provides a statement of whether or not the conditions have been complied with
    • outlines details of any court judgements and court orders in regard to the development approvals

    A Full PDC must contain the information required to be contained in a Limited and Standard PDC plus:

    • details of any current development approval, compliance permit or master plan containing conditions, and a statement of fulfilment or non-fulfilment with each condition at a stated day (after the certificate was applied for)
    • if there was an infrastructure agreement that Council is party to, including:
      • any obligations that have not been fulfilled, including details of the nature and extent of non-fulfilment
      • details of any security given and whether any payment required under the security has been made
    • advice of any prosecution for a development offence in relation to the premises that the Local Government is aware of; or proceedings for a prosecution for a development offence in relation to the premises that Council is aware of.
  • How do I apply for a PDC?

    Customers must complete Council’s Corporate Search Request Form and pay the relevant fee for the particular certificate type. Council’s Register of Fees and Charges outlines the applicable fees.

  • How long does a PDC request take to process?

    SPA determines the timeframes in which Council must provide the PDC requested by the customer. The timeframes are:

    • Limited PDC - within five business days of the request being made
    • Standard PDC - within 10 business days of the request being made
    • Full PDC - within 30 business days of the request being made
  • Will a PDC always give me all of the information I am looking for?

    A PDC is not always the answer to obtaining the information relating to the Planning Scheme and Development Approvals for a premise. For example, PDCs only provide copies of those development approvals that have not lapsed on a property. You may require a complete history of a property identifying all development applications lodged on a site, regardless of if they were approved or still valid.

    To obtain a complete history of a site other searches, for example rate searches, you may need to apply for these separately to complete your legal obligations. Council searches do not provide information that is the responsibility of other organisations covered by other legislation.

    For more options for sourcing information see:

    Planning and Development online
    Copies of decision notices/plans of development
    Building and development
    Right to Information Act 2009

  • Who can I contact to find out more about PDC applications?

    For more information contact Council’s Planning Development Certificate team.

    Phone: (07) 5582 8319