Understanding development

Development types

Reconfiguring A Lot

Creating lots by subdividing another lot, amalgamating two or more lots, rearranging boundaries, creating an easement to give access from a road, dividing land into parts by agreement.

Material Change Of Use

Start of a new use, re-establishment of a use that was abandoned, or a material increase in the intensity or scale of the use of the premises.

Material change of use applications will need to identify the proposed use. Use definitions can be found in Schedule 1.1 of the CairnsPlan 2016(CairnsPlan 2016).

Operation Work

Covers a range of different activities, such as:

  • extracting gravel, rock, sand or soil from a place where it naturally occurs;
  • forest practices and clearing vegetation;
  • excavating, filling or other work in, on, over or under the premises that materially affects the premises or its use;
  • placing an advertising device on a premises;
  • operations relating to taking or interfering with water;
  • roadworks on a local government road.

Building Work

Building, repairing, altering, underpinning (vertical or lateral support), moving or demolishing a building or other structure.

Plumbing Or Drainage Work

Domestic and commercial plumbing and drainage works, including on-site sewerage facilities.

Levels of assessment

TheSustainable Planning Act 2009defines levels of assessment for development. The table below provides an explanation of whether or not approval (via the lodgement of a development application) is required for the different levels of assessment.

Level of Assessment

Council Approval Required

Exempt Development

No

Self-Assessable

No, if the proposed development complies with all of the Acceptable Outcomes from the applicable codes under CairnsPlan 2016.

If self-assessable development does not comply with one or more of the identified Acceptable Outcomes of the applicable code(s), it becomes code assessable.

Development Requiring Compliance Assessment

Yes, compliance permit

Will be assessed against the compliance outcomes of the applicable code(s) identified in the assessment criteria.

Assessable Development

Yes, development permit

Will be either:

  • Code assessable, requiring a detailed assessment against the applicable codes. This also includes development which is self-assessable but does not meet all of the Acceptable Outcomes.
  • Impact assessable, being development which could result in impacts requiring significant assessment (against the entire planning scheme, to the extent relevant), and/or involving land uses which require public notification.

Prohibited Development

No, application/request cannot be made for prohibited development (listed under Schedule 1 of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009).

Applicable zoning and overlays

To determine whether approval is required for a proposed development, the parts of CairnsPlan 2016 which apply to the site / property need to be identified.

1. Determine the property's zone

CairnsPlan 2016 divides the city into 'zones' to indicate areas of preferred land use (e.g. community facilities, industry, rural residential, conservation). There are also Local Plans applicable in some areas which cater for specific needs in localised areas.

2. Determine if any overlays apply on the property

Overlays may apply on all or part of the property. Overlays indicate areas where provisions exist to manage natural hazards (e.g. bushfires, flooding), preserve values (e.g. heritage, environmental/biodiversity) and manage the built environment (e.g. infrastructure, airports, transport).

Last updated: 25 February 2016