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Development application & assessment information

  • Planning Act 2016

    In Queensland, statewide legislation establishes the framework and overarching policy for land use planning.

    Commencing 03 July 2017, the new Planning Act 2016  (Planning Act) will establish a new planning system for the state and replace the Sustainable Planning Act 2009.

    While key elements and the structure are renewed and regenerated, the Planning Act remains similar to the current Sustainable Planning Act in many ways and will be familiar to many users.

    To find out more information about the Planning Act visit

  • Application forms & fees

    The Development Assessment (DA) Forms are the approved forms under the Planning Act 2016 and must be used for applications lodged under this Act (all applications lodged from the 03 July 2017).

    Company owners and individual owners consent MUST be submitted with all development applications. Template’s for owners and company declarations are available here.

    The current list of fees and charges are available in the Adopted Fees and Charges 2017/18 (HINT: Town Planning Fees start on page 40).

  • Navigating our planning scheme

    A planning scheme can seem like a complicated document to try and navigate, especially if you are not used to it.

    For assistance with the basic navigation of the Central Highlands Regional Council Planning Scheme 2016 please refer to the Navigating the Planning Scheme- Fact Sheet.

  • Development applications explained

    Types of development

    Material change of use

    Using the building, structure or the land for something different than it is currently being used for, or the same use more intensively. Examples: Changing a retail shop into a food and drink outlet, a 30 site caravan park to a 60 site caravan park, vacant lot into an office, shop, industrial use etc. 

    Reconfiguring a lot

    Subdividing the land or making changes to the boundaries. Examples: Subdividing one lot into multiple lots, dividing land into parts by agreement, re-aligning the boundary of a lot, creating or changing and easement giving access to a lot.

    Operational work

    Activities that alter the shape or form of the land. Examples: Earthworks (i,e. filling of excavation), vegetation clearing, erecting a sign.

    Building work

    Constructing a new building or structure or extending an existing building or structure. Examples: Building a new building or structure (e.e house, shed, garage, etc.), Part or complete demolition of a building or structure, repairing, altering or extending a building or structure.

    Types of approval

    A development approval is a:

    • Development permit, which approves the proposed development and authorises the development to be carried out.
    • Preliminary approval, which approves the proposed development, but does not authorise the development to be carried out.
    • Variation request, which seeks to vary the effect of any local planning instrument in effect of the premises.
    • Combination of a development permit and a preliminary approval.

    Categories of Development and Assessment

    Accepted development:-

    One of the changes in the Planning Act 2016 is the consolidation of self- assessable and exempt development into one category; Accepted Development. Accepted Development:

    • is to be assessed against all the identified accepted outcomes of the applicable codes identified in the assessment benchmarks column and any applicable overlay codes of the planning scheme; and
    • complies with all the accepted outcomes of all the applicable codes.
    • An application is not required to be lodged to council.

    An example of Accepted Development is a Home Based Business. For further information on Home Based Businesses see the Home Based Business Fact Sheet.

    For further information on accepted development see the Accepted Development Fact Sheet.

    If the accepted development does not comply with all accepted outcomes the development will require a code assessable application.

    Assessable Development

    Code assessable development:-

    • is to be assessed against all the applicable codes identified in the assessment benchmarks column and any applicable overlay codes of the planning scheme; and
    • complies with:-
      • the purpose and overall of the code; and
      • the performance or acceptable outcomes of the code.
    • An application is required to be lodged to council.

    Note: code assessable development can occur as a result of accepted development not being compliant with one or more of the identified accepted outcomes of the applicable codes.

    Impact assessable development:-

    • is to be assessed against the planning scheme – including zone codes, use codes and overlay codes (to the extent relevant).
    • An application is required to be lodged to council; and
    • public notification is required to be undertaken by the applicant.
  • Home Based Business

    Under the Central Highlands Regional Council Planning Scheme 2016 a home based business is defined as a dwelling used for a business activity where subordinate to the residential use.

    For further information on Home Based Businesses please view the Home Based Business Fact Sheet

  • Meeting Request


    The Development Assessment Team is happy to offer an informal meeting where you can discuss potential applications or town planning enquires. A prepared application is not required however it is important that you provide us with some basic information to allow us to provide more specific advice around what is required. To request a Meet-a-Planner meeting please complete the Meet-a-Planner – Request form

    Pre-lodgement Meeting

    The Development Assessment Team is happy to offer a pre-lodgement meeting service. This meeting does require you to have a prepared/ all but finalized application. To request a pre-lodgement meeting please complete the Pre-lodgement meeting request form

    Lodge the completed form by email ( and we will book a meeting at the earliest available time.

  • Peparing and lodging a development application

    Preparing an application

    Information on how to prepare a development application and the steps associated with the assessment process can be found on this link.

    For more information on the development assessment process please refer to the DA Process fact sheet.

    Lodging by email

    The preferred method of lodging a development application is via email.

    Files will need to be prepared in accordance with the accepted format:

    • PDF format;
    • Unzipped;
    • Plans/ images flattened;
    • Unlocked with no password protection and created by a software program; and
    • Files cannot be created via scanning.

    We can accept emails up to 50Mb at one time and if you choose to lodge your application via email, you MUST be able to receive emails that are a minimum of 50Mb in size.
    File names must be the name of the type of document (for example ‘DA forms’ or ‘Assessment Report’).

    When submitting DA forms, all forms must be combined into a single PDF document and named appropriately.

    When submitting the planning report and any appendices, if the total file size is 10Mb or less it is appropriate to submit these as a single file, however if the planning report and appendices exceed 10Mb in size it is required that these are broken down and submitted separately.

    Email your files to

  • Search requests

    A search inspection request form 2017/18  is to be completed for the following searches:

    • Planning & Development Certificate (including limited, express, standard and full)
    • Engineering searches (including flood search, water/sewerage location and additional adjoining lot information)
  • Making a submission

    In accordance with the Planning Act 2016  certain development applications are required to go through a period of public notification.

    Public notification informs the community of the proposal and provides the community with an opportunity to make submissions that must be taken into account before the development application is decided.

    During the public notification period, the community can make submissions about a development application to the assessment manager, who will consider these when making their decision. The submissions must be ‘properly made’, which means they must be in writing, on topic, signed and submitted by the due date.

    The ‘Applications currently on public notification’ tab below contains a list of development applications currently on public notification.

  • EDQ Blackwater & Blackwater East PDA

    Delegation of development assessment powers to Central Highlands Regional Council
    The Minister for Economic Development Queensland (MEDQ) has agreed to a request from Central Highlands Regional Council (CHRC) to delegate development assessment within the PDA to the Council.

    From 4 July 2016, CHRC is responsible for assessing any development applications on behalf of the MEDQ. All development applications will continue to be assessed against the Blackwater and Blackwater East PDA Development Scheme’s under the Economic Development Act 2012 (ED Act).

    What happens to existing development approvals within the Blackwater or Blackwater East PDA?
    All existing development approvals remain in effect.

    How do I lodge a new application once delegation has commenced?
    All new development applications are to be lodged with CHRC. See above ‘Lodging a development application’ for further details.

    Will the development scheme continue to apply?
    Yes, development applications will continue to be assessed against the Blackwater PDA Development Scheme under the Economic Development Act 2012 until the PDA is revoked. EDQ will work closely with CHRC to prepare for the revocation process.

    Who will assess compliance and undertake plan sealing for existing PDA approvals?
    Compliance assessment and plan sealing will be undertaken by CHRC.

    What if I want to lodge a change to an approval granted by the department?
    Changes to approval applications are to be lodged with CHRC.

    Blackwater PDA Development Scheme

    Blackwater East PDA Development Scheme 

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