Building services

As of 1 March Council will no longer provide an active building certification service and is therefore phasing out this service.

The decision follows a strategic review which identified that private building certifiers in the region adequately service the building industry. This approach is consistent with that of other local governments.

Council will not accept new development applications for building works from 1 March. Council will continue to provide ongoing certification and inspections for properties that have already been issued a valid development permit.

If you have current building approvals with Council, or are looking to lodge a new development application for building works prior to 1 March, please contact the Building Services team on 4044 3044 so we can assist.

If you are thinking of doing any building, remodelling work, extensions or renovating, you should contact Council's Building Team. Our helpful staff can provide general advice on the current requirements and fees for all types of building work to ensure you comply with relevant local and state laws.

Select from the topics below to find out more information about building requirements.

Building applications and approvals

Building approvals - also known as 'building permits, 'development approvals' and 'building certifications' - are required before you start most types of building and structural work. A siting dispensation is required to build closer than allowable minimum setbacks. More

Certification and inspections

Building certification ensures construction complies with legislative requirements. Building inspections may be required as part of your building work. A Certificate will be issued to verify the building work has been completed in compliance with the approved plans and building regulations. More

Driveways and easements

Information about constructing driveways and crossovers, and building work over an easement. More

Fences - boundary, dividing and pool

Information about boundary and dividing fences, the Neighbourhood Disputes Resolution Act and Queensland's mandatory swimming pool fencing requirements. More

Council Referral Agency Assessments

For certain building works applications, Cairns Regional Council is a Referral Agency. This section contains information on when and how to make an application for Referral Agency Assessment. More

Swimming pools and spas

All new swimming pools and spas require building approval from Council. You must also register your pool or spa with the Queensland Government. Pool safety certificates are required when selling or leasing a property with a pool. More

Cyclone affected region

The Cairns Regional Council area is a cyclonic region as specified in the Building Code of Australia. Because of this, construction detailing and tie-down requirements are more stringent than in non-cyclonic zones.

Building plans

You may request a copy of your approved building plans, but Council cannot guarantee that all plans are available for older properties.

Building complaints

Complaints about unlawful building or development work (eg, illegal buildings or structures, swimming pools and fencing) can be submitted in writing to Council, lodged via our online form or you can contact Customer Service to lodge your complaint.

Dial before you Dig

Before you carry out any ground works, you should telephone 1100 or visit to find out what services are underground.


This information is provided as a general guide only. For more information and to discuss your specific requirements, contact Council's Building Services team.

Last updated: 17 February 2017