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, 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).

Last updated: 25 February 2016