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Referral agency assessment applications

Referral agency assessment applications

City of Gold Coast acts as a referral agency in relation to assessing whether proposed buildings and/or structures comply with boundary setbacks, site cover, amenity and aesthetics.

All other statutory assessment functions must be carried out by the assessment manager (private building certifier), in accordance with the provisions of the Building Act.

Types of referral agency assessment applications

Each of these applications requires a different fee and supporting information to be provided. Details are outlined below.

Full referral agency assessment application

A full assessment application is required if the proposal does not meet the eligibility criteria for an express application.

Referral agency assessment express application

The purpose of a referral agency assessment (RAA) express application is to provide a faster assessment period (five business days) together with a reduced application fee. An RAA express application is meant only for low risk referral agency assessment matters and includes both siting variation and amenity and aesthetics assessments.

To be eligible for an RAA express application, you must meet basic criteria detailed in the revised lodgement requirements for referral agency applications (RAAs), otherwise a ‘standard’ referral agency assessment application is required with a longer assessment timeframe and a higher application fee. In either case, you only need to complete the referral agency assessment application form.

To have your RAA express application determined in a five (5) business day period, the application needs to be submitted via the City’s online form.

If lodgement is via hard copy over a customer service counter or mail, assessment in five (5) business days or a reduction in fees will not apply.

Referral agency assessment amended application

An amended referral agency assessment application is an application where a change is proposed to an aspect of the development that has already been endorsed by the City as the referral agency and included in a formal referral agency response. Should a new aspect of development be required for assessment that has not already referred to by the City in the referral agency response, a new referral agency assessment application is required together with an additional application fee.

Amenity and aesthetics application

An amenity and aesthetics application will be required when a Class 1 building (dwelling) proposes a Class 10 building or structure (e.g. garage, carport, shed, swimming pool, fence, etc.) that is detached from the dwelling and which exceeds or includes the following criteria:

  • a combined floor area for all (existing and proposed) detached Class 10 buildings or structures (such as sheds and carports) that exceeds:
    • 36m2 on a site area under 800m2
    • 54m2 on a site area between 801m2 and 2000m2
    • 72m2 on a site area between 2001m2 and 4000m2
    • 108m2 on a site area between 4001m2 and 8000m2
    • 150m2 on a site area between 8001m2 and 40,000m2 (four hectares)
  • a height of any detached Class 10 building or structure (such as sheds and carports) that exceeds:
    • 4.5 metres in total height or 3.5 metres of ‘mean’ height above natural ground level
  • includes any shipping containers, railway carriages, truck and van bodies and the like on a site over 1500 square metres in area. Should such buildings or structures be proposed on land greater than 1500 square metres, it must be demonstrated that either the topography of the land or either existing or proposed landscaping will effectively screen the development from adjoining properties and roadways
  • all relocatable homes
  • roof mounted solar panels on Class 1 buildings that are:
    • not parallel to the roof surface; or
    • more than 300mmm above the roof surface; or
    • closer than twice the distance between the underside of the panel and roof from any roof edge
  • solar collector buildings (Class 10) or structures.

Advisory notes

Class 10 detached buildings associated with a dwelling, with a gross floor area more than 150m2 on a site over 40,000m2 are exempt and no application is required.

  • Where additional detached Class 10 buildings are present, the above parameters relate to the combined gross floor areas for detached Class 10 buildings on the site.
  • A shipping container, railway carriage, truck or van body is not permitted on a site under 1500m2.

How to lodge and reasons for decision

Lodgement requirements

The following information notes detail the format which the application should take, as well as the express option for the application subject to qualifying criteria that enables the application to attract a lesser application fee and a shorter assessment period. 

Information notes should be read in conjunction with:

For further information on the legislation, please refer to Schedule 9, Part 3, Division 2, Tables 1, 3 and 7 and Division 3, Table 7 of the Planning Regulation 2017.

How can I lodge a referral agency assessment application?

City of Gold Coast provides the following options for lodgement:

  1. Online lodgement (eLodgement) below.
  2. Mail or lodge in person at any of our customer service centres.

City officers are available to provide assistance with any issues regarding lodgement. Please call the Planning Enquiries Centre on 07 5582 8708.

Register for My Account

The City has a new information technology system for major customer, property and revenue functions. As part of this new system, you can register for My Account – a secure online portal to lodge applications, access your information, request services and manage your accounts from one location.

You will need to sign in to My Account to use our ‘pay later’ option when submitting an application and requesting an invoice for payment. With My Account, you will also have 24/7 convenience to:

  • pay bills and manage your sundry debtor account
  • make service requests and track progress
  • perform property searches
  • update your details
  • lodge and track licence and permit applications
  • lodge and track development applications.

As a registered user of My Account, you have the additional benefit of personal details pre-filled in your service requests and application forms.

For more information and to register, visit My Account.

Referral agency assessment - Statement of reasons

Under section 54 of the Planning Act 2016, the City acts in its capacity as a referral agency for building applications where the applicant seeks to vary setbacks and/or site cover provisions prescribed by the City Plan. We also act as a referral agency for amenity and aesthetics applications.

In view of this, the City is required to provide a referral agency response to the assessment manager (private building certifier) for inclusion in the building approval decision notice.

The below sample statements of reasons explain the rationale behind the City's referral agency response for the various application types where the City acts in its capacity as a referral agency for the different application types.

For further information regarding a statement of reasons for a specific building application, please contact us on 07 5582 8866 or mail@goldcoast.qld.gov.au.

General statement of reasons in relation to building setbacks

General statement of reasons in relation to building setbacks
Details of proposed development  The proposed development is a Class 1 building and/or an associated Class 10 building or structure resulting in the prescribed setback being encroached.
Prescribed matters The proposed development was assessed against, or had regard to, the following prescribed matters under section 55(2) of the Planning Act 2016:

  • Performance Outcome 1 (PO1) of the applicable zone code.
Reasons for decision Following an assessment of the development application against all of the assessment benchmarks listed above, it was determined:

  • The proposal is responsive to site constraints while still achieving an acceptable level of amenity for neighbouring properties;
  • The proposal will provide variation in built form that contributes to streetscape character.
Matters prescribed by a regulation Not applicable

General statement of reasons in relation to waterway setbacks

General statement of reasons in relation to waterway setbacks
Details of proposed development The proposed development is a Class 1 building and/or an associated Class 10 building or structure resulting in the prescribed waterway setback being encroached.
Prescribed matters The proposed development was assessed against, or had regard to, the following prescribed matters under section 55(2) of the Planning Act 2016:

  • Performance Outcome 9 (PO9) of the Coastal erosion hazard overlay code.
Reasons for decision Following an assessment of the development application against all of the assessment benchmarks listed above, it was determined:

  • The proposal maintains the long term integrity of the foreshore stability structure;
  • The proposal ensures the hydraulic performance of the waterway is not compromised;
  • The proposal allows for future maintenance of the foreshore stability structure;
  • The proposal does not adversely affect the scenic amenity of the foreshore or waterway environment;
  • The proposal provides unimpeded access through to neighbouring properties for revetment wall maintenance.
Matters prescribed by a regulation Not applicable

General statement of reasons in relation to site cover

General statement of reasons in relation to site cover
Details of proposed development  The proposed development is a Class 1 building and/or an associated Class 10 building or structure resulting in the maximum prescribed site cover being exceeded. 
Prescribed matters The proposed development was assessed against, or had regard to, the following prescribed matters under section 55(2) of the Planning Act 2016:

  • Performance Outcome 2 (PO2) of the applicable zone code
Reasons for decision Following an assessment of the development application against all of the assessment benchmarks listed above, it was determined:

  • The proposal maintains a balance between built form and green areas to achieve an open landscaped setting for future residents;
  • The proposed built form outcome contributes to neighbourhood character while maintaining an acceptable level of amenity.
Matters prescribed by a regulation Schedule 9, Table 1, Item 4 of the Planning Regulation 2017.

General statement of reasons in relation to amenity and aesthetics

General statement of reasons in relation to amenity and aesthetics
Details of proposed development  The proposed development is for a Class 10 building or structure in association with a Class 1 building. 
Prescribed matters The proposed development was assessed against, or had regard to, the following prescribed matters under section 55(2) of the Planning Act 2016:

Reasons for decision Following an assessment of the development application against all of the assessment benchmarks listed above, it was determined:

  • The building or structure, when built, will not have an extremely adverse effect on the amenity or likely amenity of its neighbourhood;
  • The aesthetics of the building or structure, when built, will not be in extreme conflict with the character of its neighbourhood.
Matters prescribed by a regulation Schedule 9, Division 2, Table 1, Item 1 of the Planning Regulation 2017.

Related information

Jump to key information
  • What are the requirements for owner's consent?

    Written consent of the owner of the premises

    All current registered owners must provide written consent.

    Where a change of ownership of the premises has occurred within the last six months, a copy of the solicitor’s letter or title documentation advising the transfer date is recommended to be submitted with the application.

    Where a power of attorney has been granted authority to sign for an owner, a certified/signed copy of the power of attorney documentation including dealing numbers is recommended to be submitted with the application.

    Where the owner is a company or corporation, written consent is required as follows:

    1. the ACN number; and
    2. the names, titles and signature(s) of
      • two directors of the company, or
      • a director and the company secretary, or
      • the sole director plus written confirmation that the company has only one director.

    Where the owner includes a body corporate, written consent is required as follows:

    1. the body corporate seal; and
    2. a body corporate
      • resolution providing written consent to the making of the application, including the names, titles and signature(s) of the chairperson and one member, or
      • letter of written consent to the making of the application including the names, titles and signature(s) of the chairperson and the secretary, or
      • letter of written consent to the making of the application from each lot/unit owner included in the body corporate.

    Other ownership arrangements

    • Leased land – the lessors of the land must give owner’s consent.
    • Dedicated parkland – the owner or the trustee, within the terms of the trust or reserve, must give owner’s consent.

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