Setbacks for buildings or structures

A setback is the minimum distance a building or other structure must be set back from a property boundary of the lot. It is measured from the outer most projection of a building or structure to the boundary line.

Setback requirements will depend on where your property is located. Setbacks can be determined by:

For most properties, the City Plan will provide the building setbacks that apply to your property.

Finding your setbacks

City Plan

Building setbacks vary depending on zoning and overlay requirements.

For definitions and more information on the main residential zones go to the following sections of the City Plan:

Use City Plan interactive mapping to search your property. Click on your property. Select ‘View a City Plan property report’ to see the residential zone code.

Queensland Development Codes

Table 1.5-1 of the City Plan details when the Queensland Development Codes provide alternative provisions to the City Plan. They mainly relate to structures.

Previous development approvals

Earlier development approvals are tied to the land even after land subdivision. Conditions on a large area of land that is subdivided into house blocks also apply to the house blocks.

Earlier development approvals can have setback requirements as part of reconfiguration of lot conditions (ROL), plans of development (PODs), building envelope conditions, Material Change of Use conditions (MCU) and subsequent change applications.

Previous development approvals can be searched through PD Online. If you cannot find the approval on PD Online, it may because the plan of development was issued before July 2006 and part of a staged subdivision. To access this information, you may request for copy of decision notice or plan of development. For more information visit our buying and researching property page.

Due to the complexity of earlier development approvals you may need to consult an industry professional for help.

Separate legal Acts

Some areas of the Gold Coast are covered by legislation that alter the operation of the City Plan.

These areas are detailed in part 10 of the City plan and include:

  • Hope Island Resort
  • Royal Pines
  • Jupiters Casino
  • Robina Central
  • Cypress Gardens
  • Couran Cove
  • Sanctuary Cove
  • Southport Priority Development Area

More information

Contact us on 1300 465 326 or email: