There are rules that set out the distances that single detached housing and other associated structures can be from front, rear and side property boundaries. Find out more about the standard requirements and how to apply for a siting discretion if necessary below.
The Queensland Development Code generally sets out where and how single detached houses, associated outbuildings like sheds and attached duplexes can be located on a property – this includes requirements such as boundary setbacks, site coverage and car parking. There are different requirements for lots under 450m2, and for lots 450m2 and over.
These will not apply to your property if the Toowoomba Regional Planning Scheme specifies alternative setbacks or site coverage. One example is for dwellings and associated outbuildings in a ‘Rural zone’ where different setbacks are applied. In a ‘Rural Residential’ zone there may be alternative provisions for site coverage.
Detached duplexes (i.e. townhouse) are also not governed under the Queensland Development Code. Rather, the design requirements are contained within the Toowoomba Regional Planning Scheme.
Single detached dwellings, carports and garages - lots over 450m2
The Queensland Development Code Mandatory Part (MP) 1.2 holds the design and siting standards for single detached dwellings (and associated outbuildings like carports and garages) on lots over 450m2. Generally, the proposed buildings must be:
- 6m from all road boundaries – for a corner lot or a lot with multiple road/laneway frontages, this applies to all road boundaries,
- 1.5m from all side and rear boundaries and
- a maximum of 50% of the site covered with roofed area.
Side and rear boundary setbacks may be different if the building/structure is higher than 4.5m.
If you can meet these requirements, as well as the other requirements in MP1.2, you do not need to apply for a siting discretion.
There are some exceptions available for certain structures, and criteria associated with each. Some examples include:
- a carport in the front boundary setback where there is no side access past the house or alternative location.
- a shed or carport up to the side or rear boundary, provided there is less than 9m total length of buildings within the same setback.
- swimming pools.
- fences, retaining walls or a combination of both, up to 2m in height.
- roofed gatehouses.
- nominating a road frontage for a corner lot, where the width of the block is less than 24m.
If you can meet the criteria associated with one of these exceptions, you do not require anything in writing to confirm this. Contact Council’s Technical Advice team on 131 872 to discuss the exceptions in greater detail and whether you can meet them.
Single detached dwellings, carports and garages - lots under 450m2
The Queensland Development Code Mandatory Part (MP) 1.1 holds the design and siting standards for single detached dwellings (and associated outbuildings like carports and garages) for lots under 450m2. Generally, the proposed buildings must be:
- 3m or 4m from all road boundaries – this will change depending on the type of street that you are building in,
- 1.5m from side and rear boundaries,
- a maximum of 50% of the site covered with roofed area.
Side and rear boundary setbacks may be different if the structure is higher than 4.5m.
If you can meet these requirements, as well as the other requirements in MP1.1, you do not need to apply for a siting discretion.
There are some exceptions available for certain structures, and criteria associated with each. Contact Council’s Technical Advice team on 131 872 to discuss the exceptions in greater detail and whether you can meet them.
Preliminary approvals and plans of development for new subdivisions
Sometimes when an estate is approved to be subdivided, the developer can put a document in place called a ‘preliminary approval document’, ‘variation approval document’ or ‘plan of development’. This document overrides the rules in the Planning Scheme and Queensland Development Code. It can often include alternative setbacks or application requirements for houses built within that estate. It is recommended that purchasers of lots within new estates check with their developer or real estate agent to see if this is in place. Otherwise, contact Council’s Technical Advice team on 131 872 to determine if your vacant lot will be affected.
Attached duplex housing
The Queensland Development Code Mandatory Part (MP) 1.3 holds the design and siting standards for attached duplex housing. Refer to the Queensland Development Code part for further information or contact Council’s Technical Advice team to discuss.
Detached duplex housing
The design and siting standards for detached duplex housing is contained in the Toowoomba Regional Planning Scheme. If you cannot meet the design criteria, you are required to lodge a Material Change of Use development application with Council.
Submitting a siting discretion
If you cannot meet these setbacks or wish to locate a structure within the setbacks, you will need to make an application for a ‘siting discretion’.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications can be submitted in person to your local customer service centre.
To make an application, you will need to submit the following:
- Application form ‘Development - Concurrence agency referral building works assessable against the Building Act APP 005 form’ (see Related information) with as much detail as possible, including supporting reasons for your request.
- A set of plans meeting the requirements listed on the form.
- The appropriate application fee as per Council's fees and charges.
After you submit your application:
- A site inspection of the subject property will be undertaken.
- An assessment of the proposal will be carried out.
- Formal advice will be issued on the outcome of the application.
If you are required to lodge a siting discretion application for relaxed boundary setbacks, then you will require a building approval. To determine if your proposal requires a building works application, contact Council’s Building Certification section on 131 872.