Development application process
  • Last updated:
  • 20 Sep 2021
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Council oversees development on the Sunshine Coast in accordance with the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014. Under the scheme, applicants may need approval for certain developments.

On 3 July 2017, the Planning Act 2016 commenced and established a new planning system in Queensland. This replaces the Sustainable Planning Act 2009.

Applications made before 3 July 2017 are assessed under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009.

You can view these Acts on the Queensland Government Legislation website.

The development assessment process is set out in Statutory Instrument called the DA Rules. The assessment process involves the following parts:

  • Part 1 - application
  • Part 2 - referral
  • Part 3 - information request
  • Part 4 - public notification
  • Part 5 - decision.

Not all parts apply to every development application. Similarly, not all actions within each part may apply.

To view the DA Rules, visit the State Government website.

Development applications must be made using:

  • the state government's DA forms, and in some cases
  • relevant council application forms.

For more information, refer to development application forms.

Unitywater handles approving applications to its water and sewerage networks for:

  • connections
  • disconnections, and
  • alterations.

All non-trunk connection applications need to be prepared and submitted to Unitywater by a registered certifier.

For further information on water and sewerage connection applications visit Unitywater.

All new roads, including private roads, created as part of a sub-division application must have council's approval. To apply, complete a road naming application form[287KB].

More information

Refer to council's:

Allocation of road names and street numbers

On occasions it may be necessary to adjust or change existing road names and street numbers e.g. to cater for development or redevelopment of land. This includes private roads.

It is your responsibility to confirm the property address with council before submitting a building application. Especially where a property has two road frontages.

For example, a change may occur where the driveway access is established on a different street to the current property address.

Secondary dwellings, single detached dwellings and annexed units

A separate street or unit number, or use of alpha suffixes will not be issued. This is contrary to the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014 definitions.

Please contact council's Property Addressing Officer on (07) 5441 8178 or email

In some circumstances, you may wish to change your development approval and council may need to approve these changes before you can start your project.

There are three types of change applications, including:

  • changes that are generally in accordance with approved plans
  • minor changes to approved plans or conditions, and
  • other (not minor) changes to approved plans or conditions.

To ensure any request to change your application is processed as soon as possible please:

  • complete the Planning Act form 5
  • pay the relevant fees
  • clearly describe each change and whether it affects any conditions of approval
  • clearly mark all changes on the plans, and
  • include a full set of plans, not just the amended pages.

Prior to lodging any change request, council encourages you to seek initial advice from Development Services to confirm the process and information required.

Generally in accordance (GIA)

If changes are very minor, council may consider them to be generally in accordance with the approved plans. These changes must not:

  • result in any changes to conditions of the development approval
  • create an increase in development yield. For example increase the number of lots in a subdivision, or adding a unit to a multiple dwelling or apartment building, or
  • require new or additional assessment of a technical matter. For example slope stability, bushfire or ecological matters.

You need to write to council to request a generally in accordance change. You also need to provide council with amended plans showing the proposed changes.

Council will assess the changes against the approval. If the changes are considered substantially the same as the approved plans and documents, council will provide you with a letter referencing amended generally in accordance plans.

If the proposed changes are determined not to be substantially the same, you will need to lodge a minor change or other change application.

Minor change

A minor change to your development approval must not:

  • result in substantially different development
  • include any type of prohibited development
  • require public notification if this was not required for the original application other than the State Assessment Referral Agency (SARA), if there were no referral agencies for the development application, or
  • require a referral agency to assess the changes against a matter that was not assessed when the original application was made.

Other change

You may request an other change to your development approval where the change involves substantially different development. An other change generally follows the same timeframes as a new development application and in some cases may require public notification.

A development approval remains current for between two to six years, depending on the type of approval issued. Approvals generally specify the applicable currency period. Before your development approval lapses, you may apply to extend the currency period.

Use council's extension application form to request an extension of the currency period of a development approval.

Visit the Queensland Treasury website.

If you need help, please contact council's development services.

You can check Development.i to view details of lodged applications.