Landscaping Operational Works

Generally, landscaping within private property boundaries does not need approval unless it involves removal of street trees (for example, to construct a crossover or driveway) or the property is covered by specific planning codes.

If your landscaping proposal is not compliant with any of the assessment criteria for Accepted Development, you will need to lodge an Operational Works Application for Landscaping for Council approval.

A properly made application should include:

  1. A cover letter;
  2. (Operational Works Applications for Landscaping) must include DA Form 1, obtained from Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning (DSDMIP) or (Landscaping Endorsement Applications) must include the Application for Endorsement of Landscaping Plans
  3. Plans in accordance with the Planning Scheme Policy - Landscaping  ( PDF, 1.11 MB ) guideline;
  4. All supporting information required to assist with the assessment of the development application (such as arborist or environmental report and vegetation protection, restoration and remediation plan/specifications, traffic management plans/guidance schemes, visual impact assessments, details of fencing;
  5. An assessment against the planning scheme CairnsPlan2016;
  6. Payment of relevant application fees, (please refer to Development Fees & Charges.  More than one fee may apply for applications that cover multiple application types); and
  7. Where a professional landscape architect/landscape designer has been engaged, they are also responsible for supplying a statement of compliance.

The Operational Works application should be a standalone application whereby all relevant plans and information referred to is supplied together for assessment.  The Operational Works application should not have to rely on other applications already submitted or reports yet to be obtained from other sources.

A professional landscape architect/landscape designer can help to ensure your landscape plan is acceptable to Council and applications lodged by a professional attract a lower overall application fee. If the plan is not acceptable, this may lead to delays in the assessment of your proposal as amendments may be required to meet the planning scheme performance outcomes and the standards of the FNQROC Development Manual.  These amendments may include incorporating sufficient landscaping area, specifying suitable plant species to the Cairns environment and/or to meet conditions of any related approvals.

Where you engage a professional landscape architect/landscape designer, they are also responsible for:

  • undertaking a final inspection
  • submitting as-constructed landscaping plans (where required) to Council, and
  • ensuring all works have been undertaken in accordance with the approved/endorsed plans and FNQROC Development Manual requirements.
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Last updated: 14 December 2020