Referral agency assessment

Building and construction COVID-19 economic stimulus incentive – 50% fee reduction ceased 1 October 2021

A referral agency is usually a government department or authority that has specific interests, for example city planning and environment protection. An agency assesses the potential impact of development on those interests.

Under the Planning Act 2016, City of Gold Coast acts as a referral agency, assessing building applications that deal with:

  • boundary setbacks
  • site cover
  • amenity and aesthetics
  • building close to infrastructure.

Applications are lodged:

  • by a private building certifier as part of a building approval
  • as a preliminary approval before applying for building approval.

We are required to provide a referral agency response to the assessment manager (private building certifier) to include in the building approval decision notice.

To ensure you address all relevant City Plan criteria in your referral agency application, refer to this table(PDF, 148KB).

Types of referral agency assessment applications

Each of these applications requires a different fee and supporting information. Refer to the relevant application form for details.

Referral agency assessment express application

A referral agency assessment (RAA) express application is only for low risk assessment matters including siting variation and amenity and aesthetics assessments. You must meet specific criteria to be eligible for an express application.

If lodged online, the RAA express application will be determined within 5 business days.

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 amended application

This application is made when a change is proposed to an aspect of the development that we have already approved. If a new aspect of development needs to be assessed, then a new RAA application is required together with an additional application fee.

Amenity and aesthetics application

An amenity and aesthetics application is required when a Class 1 building (a dwelling such as a house) proposes a Class 10 building or structure (e.g. garage, carport, shed, swimming pool, fence, etc.) that is detached from the dwelling.

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:

Payment

Log in to My Account to use our 'pay later' option when submitting an application and requesting an invoice for payment. For more information and to register, visit My Account.

How to apply

Use this form to request a referral agency assessment for:

  • siting variation
  • amenity and aesthetics
  • other matters – Refer to the Planning Regulation 2017, Schedule 9, Part 3:
    • Division 2, Tables 1, 3 and 7
    • Division 3, Table 7.
  • an express application
  • minor change.

Refer to the application form for information on how to apply and application fees. For help preparing your application, call the Planning Enquiries Centre on 07 5582 8708.

Online

Step 1.Gather your documents

You need to submit supporting information with your application. Please refer to the online application form for details.

Step 2.Complete and submit our online form

You may also need to complete the Adjoining owner/s comments in relation to referral agency assessment(PDF, 198KB) form to provide comments about a proposed development. See online application form for details.

Apply online

In person

Step 1.Gather your documents

You need to submit supporting information with your application. Please refer to the application form for details.

Step 2.Complete the application form

Complete the Referral agency assessment application form(PDF, 537KB)

You may also need to complete the Adjoining owner/s comments in relation to referral agency assessment(PDF, 198KB) form to provide comments about a proposed development. See application form for details.

Step 3.Visit one of our customer service centres

Submit your application and pay at one of our customer service centres Monday to Friday between 8.15am and 4.30pm.

By mail

Step 1.Gather your documents

You need to submit supporting information with your application. Please refer to the application form for details.

Step 2.Complete the application form

Complete the Referral agency assessment application form(PDF, 537KB)

You may also need to complete the Adjoining owner/s comments in relation to referral agency assessment(PDF, 198KB) form to provide comments about a proposed development. See application form for details.

Step 3.Send us your completed application and payment

Post to:

Planning Assessment, City Development
Economy Planning & Environment
PO Box 5042
Gold Coast MC QLD 9726