How to submit a properly made development application and referral agency request

Heath with development plans

The Planning Act 2016 and development assessment rules

The Planning Act 2016 (the Act) is Queensland’s principal development legislation that coordinates planning at the local, regional and state levels. The Act manages the processes by which development occurs and includes provisions relating to:

  • what is development; and
  • how development applications must be lodged, notified and assessed. 


Mandatory requirements for development applications

Section 51 of the Act outlines a series of mandatory criteria that an application must satisfy to be deemed to be a properly made application. It is important that applicants satisfy the requirements for properly made applications under the Act so that Council is able to accept the application.

All development applications must be properly made in accordance with Section 51 of Act and its regulations.  For a development application to be properly made it must be accompanied by:

  • The relevant application forms which can be found on the Queensland Government planning website.
  • Owners consent if required under Section 51 of the Act.
  • Any supporting information nominated as mandatory on the relevant application forms such as a planning report.
  • Any relevant application fee set out by Toowoomba Regional Council for administering the application.


Ways to submit an application


Plumbing and drainage applications can be easily submitted and paid for using the online customer service portal, 24/7. It allows applicants to track the progress of their applications submitted through the portal by using one user account per business/individual with ease. 

Council encourages use of this service wherever possible. Register today to benefit from the full value and use of the portal!

Further information about the portal can be found in the 'Submit your development application online' article.


Applications can be emailed via

In person

Applications can be submitted in person to your local customer service centre.

The application must be submitted to meet Council’s requirements.

  • 1 hardcopy of all application forms, plans and supporting documentation; or
  • A CD or thumb drive, with the documents saved as separate PDF files not more than 2MB each in size, and saved in the following order:

a. application forms and owner’s consent (if required)

b. plans

c. other supporting information, such as:

- reports (each saved separately);

- an outline of the development proposal;

- details of how the application addresses the relevant codes and constraints;

- any additional information requested on the forms; and

- any supporting information for the Priority Infrastructure Plan.


Development application requirements

The Toowoomba Regional Planning Scheme is the relevant planning scheme for development applications made within the Toowoomba Regional Council local government area. Applicable codes for a development application may include:

    1. zone codes;

    2. local plan codes;

    3. overlay codes;

    4. statewide codes;

    5. use codes; and

    6. development codes.

All applications under the Toowoomba Regional Planning Scheme must satisfy the mandatory requirements of the Act.

Schedule 6 of the planning scheme comprises Planning Scheme Policies. Planning Scheme Policy No.1 sets out the requirements for the preparation of development applications made to Toowoomba Regional Council under the Act.

Mandatory requirements for Material Change of Use applications

  • All applications for a Material Change of Use (MCU) must provide a site plan and a statement about how the proposed development addresses the planning scheme and any other documents that are relevant to the application;
  • A statement about the intensity and scale of the proposed use;
  • Information outlining the existing or proposed floor area, site cover, maximum number of storeys and maximum height above natural ground level for existing or new buildings;
  • Information that states the existing or proposed number of on-site car parking bays, type of vehicle cross-over and vehicular servicing arrangement;
  • Where the application involves the re-use of an existing building provide plans showing the size, location, existing floor area, existing site cover, existing maximum number of storeys, and existing maximum height above natural ground level of the buildings to be reused;
  • Floor plans and elevations need to be drawn to scale as identified in Planning Scheme Policy No.1;
  • Plans show the size, location, proposed site cover, proposed maximum number of storeys and proposed maximum height above natural ground level of the proposed new building work;
  • Where the application involves the re-use of existing works provide plans showing the nature, location, number of on-site car parking bays, existing area of landscaping, existing type of vehicular cross-cover of the works to be reused; and
  • Where the application involves new operational work provide plans showing the nature, location, number of new on-site car parking bays, confirmed proposed area of new landscaping, proposed type of new vehicle cross-cover, proposed maximum new vehicular servicing arrangement of the proposed new operational works.

Mandatory requirements for Reconfiguring a Lot application

  • All applications for Reconfiguring a Lot must provide a site plan and a statement about how the proposed development addresses the planning scheme and any other documents that are relevant to the application;
  • Additional relevant information can assist in Council’s assessment of the application and contribute to a timely decision.  In the case of subdivision by lease, three copies of the relevant agreement, dealing or instrument executed by the parties concerned are to be submitted with the application together with copies of the plans incorporated in the agreement, dealing or instrument; and
  • Proposed lots must be able to identify road centrelines, proposed intersections and cul-de-sac heads, proposed open space and drainage reserves must be appropriately staked or marked for ease when undertaking a site inspection.

Mandatory requirements for Building and/or Operational Works applications:

  • All applications for Operational Works must provide a site plan and a statement about how the proposed development addresses the planning and any other documents that are relevant to the application; and
  • Furthermore, all applications for Operational Works involving earthworks, roadwork, stormwater drainage, water reticulation, wastewater reticulation, street lighting, public utility services and landscape works should provide drawings that reflect on all points identified in Planning Scheme Policy No.1 - Mandatory requirements for Building and/or Operational Works applications.

Additional information required by development and overlay codes

Section SC6.1.6 of the Planning Scheme entitled ‘Additional information required by development and overlay codes’ in Planning Scheme Policy No.1 sets out additional information requirements triggered by specific development and overlay codes. Codes that are applicable include:

  • Bushfire hazard overlay code - A site specific bushfire hazard assessment and bushfire management plan must be provided.

  • Flood hazard overlay code - Flood hazard assessment must be provided.

  • Environmental significance overlay code - An ecological assessment report of the site and surrounding area must be provided to show compliance with performance outcomes. Building envelopes must be shown on site plans. The purpose of this report is to help minimise adverse impacts on ‘areas of ecological significance and waterways and wetlands’ and to maximise the beneficial impacts of the development. This report should also be prepared by a suitably qualified person, and follow all other preparation requirements as identified in Appendix 1 in SC4.1 – Planning Scheme Policy No.1 – Development application requirements.

  • Agricultural land overlay code - Development applications for non-agricultural development must provide a land resource assessment in accordance with SPP1/92 Planning guidelines: The identification of good quality agricultural land.

  • Neighbourhood character overlay code - A neighbourhood character assessment must be undertaken if demolition of a neighbourhood character place is proposed. The neighbourhood character assessment matrix is located in Appendix 2 in SC4.1 – Planning Scheme Policy No.1 – Neighbourhood character assessment.

  • Heritage overlay codeA Heritage Impact Statement and Conservation Management Plan must be provided before development can occur if it is affected by the heritage overlay.

  • Extractive industry code - A biodiversity impact assessment, an Environmental Management Plan, an Integrated Water Cycle Management Plan, a noise and vibration impact assessment, an Air Pollution Management Plan, a Water Management Plan, a traffic analysis and a Management Plan must be provided.

  • Integrated water cycle management code - A Stormwater Quality Management plan, Erosion and Sediment Control Plan, Waste Water Management Plan and a Monitoring and Maintenance Plan must be provided.

  • Transport, access and parking code: Preparation of a traffic impact assessment report is required.

  • Landslide hazard overlay code: A site specific geo-technical analysis must be provided.


Referral triggers

There can be times when the State Government, or other agency, has an interest in a development application. These development applications are required to be lodged to these agencies for their comment as well. Other agencies can include the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service, or Ergon Energy. The Planning Regulation 2017 sets out when another agency is required to have input into an application.

Some of these triggers can include, but not limited to:

  • development on or near a state-controlled road;
  • development near a railway line; or
  • development located in an easement for the benefit of distribution of electricity.

The applicant will be required to contact the relevant referral agency to determine their requirements.


Further assistance

Contact Council’s Technical Advice Team on 131 872 to obtain further assistance on making a properly made application. 


Related information

Online form Online Customer Service Portal

Online form Toowoomba Regional Planning Scheme

smartFormLinkIcon 32x32 Planning Regulation 2017

smartFormLinkIcon 32x32 Planning Act 2016

Last Updated: Friday, 28 June 2019 19:29
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