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 the Building referral agency assessment provisions(PDF, 376KB)
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 minor 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.
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:
Referral agency assessment application form(PDF, 546KB)
Information notes for referral agency assessment express applications(PDF, 398KB)
Advisory notes(PDF, 477KB) for the design and siting of buildings and structures
Amenity and aesthetics declaration(PDF, 415KB)
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 more information, please contact us on 1300 465 326.