Application for building siting discretion (INFO 022)

An application for a building siting discretion is a request made to Council to allow a building or structure to be sited closer to a boundary line than allowed by the acceptable solutions of Mandatory Parts 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 of the Queensland Development Code (QDC).


When an application for a building siting discretion is required

A siting discretion application is to be submitted with Council when you cannot meet the requirements of the acceptable solutions of the QDC. This application allows Council to consider your proposal based on the performance provisions of the QDC, and the supporting reasons presented within the application.

How to make a siting discretion application

Where an application for siting discretion is required, you will need to submit the following:

  • A correctly completed application form (see Related documents) including, in as much detail as possible, supporting reasons for your request; and
  • A site plan distinctly indicating all structures on-site and including the proposed structure in the requested location at a minimum scale of 1:200 with all dimensions clearly marked. The site plan should show:
  • the north point.
  • the location and site area of the land to which the application relates.
  • the boundaries of the relevant land.
  • any road frontages of the relevant land, including the name of the road.
  • the location and use of any existing or proposed buildings or structures on the relevant land with relation to at least 2 adjoining boundary lines. The measurements must be taken to the outermost projection of the building (ie. fascia). Where extensive demolition or new buildings are proposed, two separate plans (an existing site plan and proposed site plan, may be appropriate.
  • any existing or proposed easements on the relevant land and their function.
  • the location of any proposed retaining walls on the relevant land and their height.
  • Floor plans drawn to scale (1:50, 1:100 or 1:200 are the recommended scales) which show:
  • the north point.
  • the room layout with all rooms clearly labelled.
  • the existing and proposed built form (for extensions only).
  • the gross floor area of the existing and of each proposed floor area.
  • Elevations drawn to scale (1:100, 1:200 or 1:500 are the recommended scales) which show plans of all building elevations and facades, clearly labelled to identify orientation (eg. north elevation).
  • The appropriate application fee (Open Planning & Developement fees and charges).

Required specifications

  • Minimum specifications for documents and plans submitted to Council are to be 1:200

How to submit an application


Siting discretion 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

Next steps after submitting an application

  • A site inspection of the subject property may be undertaken; and
  • Written advice of the decision will be forwarded to the mailing address nominated on the application form.

Further approval requirements

Development approvals for building, planning and/or plumbing works may be required. For rural zoned land the construction of a dwelling may require that an application is submitted with Council's planning section, whereby the setbacks of the Toowoomba Regional Planning Scheme are not met.


When a building siting discretion isn't required

Generally, the acceptable solutions of the QDC require that single storey buildings are set back 1.5 metres from both the side and rear boundaries and 6 metres from any boundary adjoining a road. The acceptable solutions make allowances for the construction of buildings on narrow allotments, and for the siting of non-habitable buildings such as carports and garages in certain circumstances.

Carports – within the 6 metre setback

You may locate a carport within the prescribed 6 metre road boundary setback whereby there is less than 2.5 metres clearance on either side of your dwelling and no alternate location. It is considered that vehicular access to the rear of the block is restricted, so a carport may not able to be practically located anywhere else on the allotment.

Carports and garages – within the side and rear boundary setbacks

You may locate a carport or garage within the prescribed 1.5 metre side and rear boundary setbacks whereby the following requirements are met:

  1. the height of the building, within the boundary clearance is not more than 4.5m and has a mean height of not more than 3.5m; and
  2. the total length of all buildings or parts, of any class, within the boundary clearance is not more than 9m along any one boundary; and
  3. the class 10a buildings or parts within the boundary clearance are located no closer than 1.5m to a required window in a habitable room of an adjoining dwelling.

Mean Height may be determined by, calculating the total elevational area of the building facing the boundary line, and dividing this by the total length of the building

Narrow allotments

Where you have a block with a particularly narrow street frontage, namely 15 metres or less, the required side and rear boundary setbacks may be reduced depending on the width of the street frontage and the height of the building.

Two storey construction

Where you are proposing to construct a building in higher than 4.5 metres, the acceptable solutions of the QDC prescribe an increased boundary setback of 2 metres.


Further information

For further information in relation to an application for a building siting discretion, contact the Building & Compliance Branch on 131 872 or visit your nearest Customer Service Centre.



The information contained in this article is a guide only. This information has been prepared by Toowoomba Regional Council to help people gain an understanding of the Toowoomba Regional Planning Scheme. Please consult the Toowoomba Regional Planning Scheme for detailed information including maps (zones, local plans, overlays and priority infrastructure plan), provisions and policies. The content of this information sheet is not intended to replace the provisions of the Toowoomba Regional Planning Scheme.


Related documents

smartFormLinkIcon 32x32 Online Customer Service Portal

PDF Development - Referral Agency response building works under the Building Act 1975 APP 005 (for print)

PDF INFO 022 Application for a Building Siting Discretion Information Sheet

smartFormLinkIcon 32x32 Queensland Development Code

Last Updated: Friday, 28 June 2019 19:00
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