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Planning and 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.

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Structures can provide space, storage and access to your property. Find out all of the information you will need to know if you want to construct any of the below structures as well as additional information on other common structures and the approval required.

Please note: a building setback may also be required, please refer to Building setbacks and plan of development page for further information.

Carports and garages

Most houses may be built in residential parts of the city without a planning application, subject to meeting some basic rules. 


A gatehouse is defined as a small building at the entrance to a house. 


A shed is a non-habitable Class 10a building used in conjunction with a residential use on the same site. Under the City Plan, a shed is subject to the same assessment process as a dwelling house.

Retaining walls

Minimum standards for developments, categorisation of retaining walls and details regarding building approvals. 

Other common structures requiring an approval

Building approvals can be obtained by contacting a private certifier. Please see the private building certifier page for further information.

Class 10a

Building Classification Description of Work
Pergola Unroofed structure
Patio Roofed structure
Patio/open shade/shelter/Bali hut Plan area over 10 square metres;
or any side is longer than five metres or over 2.4 metres high.
Storage shed Plan area (i.e. includes overhang) is over 10 square metres
Green house/shade house or similar Plan area (i.e. includes overhang) is over 10 square metres
Carport Any size
Stable/animal accommodation Plan area over 10 square metres;
or any side is longer than 5 metres.
Garage Construction of a new garage
Converting a garage portion of a dwelling to a habitable area
Gazebo Plan area over 10 square metres;
or any side is longer than 5 metres.
Tent/marquee Over 500 square metres area

Class 10b

Building Classification Description of Work
Flag pole Within 6 metres of the road frontage boundary;
or within 1.5 metres rear and side boundary clearance;
or exceed 3.5 metres above the ridgeline of the house.
Aerial / antenna / satellite dish If satellite dish exceeds 900 millimetres in diameter;
if device is attached to a building, and is 3.5 metres above the building/structure; or
if the device is free standing, is more than 10 metres above the natural ground surface.
Fence Swimming pool fence/spa pool fence – unless the fence is prescribed building work, is minor repairs in Schedule 2B or maintenance in Schedule 2C of the Queensland Building Regulation;
boundary fence over 2 metres above the fence’s natural ground surface.
Pontoon Any size
Retaining wall Retaining wall over 1 metre in height above the wall’s natural ground surface;
retaining walls constructed closer than 1.5 metre to any other structure, regardless of height;
retaining walls with surcharge loadings (i.e. have weight bearing load applied to the top of the retaining wall), regardless of height.
Screening wall Over 2 metres in height
Detached decks and/or decks associated with a Class 10b structure (e.g. swimming pool) Higher than 1 metre above the natural ground surface; or
10 square metres in area plan area; or
any side is more than 5 metres in length.
Sunhood The area of the sunhood is greater than 2 square metres
Sign Detached from a building (freestanding); and
higher than 2 metres; and
wider than 1.2 metres.
Roofing Re-roof with dissimilar materials e.g. replacing corrugated iron roofing with tiles
Portable pools and spas Have a maximum volume over 2000 litres;
can be filled with more than 300 millimetres of water;
have a filtration system;
pool barrier (fence).
Swimming pool Any size
Solar panels and solar hot water system On roof of building,(subject to conditions)

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