Coast building approvals hit seven-year high
  • Wednesday 10 February 2016

Sunshine Coast Council had the busiest year on record in terms of development, including issuing $1.28 billion of building approvals in 2015, the highest value of building approvals in seven years.

Council today published its 2015 Development Indicators Annual Highlights Report which presents a selection of statistics on activity in the local development market.

Director of Regional Strategy and Planning Warren Bunker said the number of building approvals issued in 2015 was 20% higher than in 2014.

“Development has continued to increase at a steady pace on the Sunshine Coast and we’re working towards a sustainable economy by facilitating development that will provide the infrastructure and employment needed to support the larger population we’re predicted to have in the future,” Mr Bunker said

“Significant developments approved in 2015 include the YOUI headquarters and Coles supermarket in Sippy Downs, aged care facilities at Coolum and Warana, and a large medical complex in Birtinya, all of which will generate local employment opportunities, both during construction and beyond.

“The 2015 construction value included $217 million new multiple unit dwellings (a 46% increase compared to 2014), $648 million new dwellings (a 21% increase) and an additional $415 million of other buildings (commercial, manufacturing, etc), which represented a 7% increase on last year’s figures.

“The long-term trends indicate that local development activity has not only stabilised since the downturn between 2008 and 2012 but has continued to show steady increases year on year.

“Development enquiries increased in 2015 when 39,500 were received compared to 30,000 in 2014, representing a 32% increase on 2014’s figures, and the total number of development applications received in 2015 was 14,485, which was a 32% increase on the 11,002 in the previous year.

“Council’s plan sealing process resulted in 2813 lots being created in 2015, compared to 2135 in 2014, which was a 32%increase.

“There was a 3%increase in the number of lots approved through council’s reconfiguration process in 2015, with 1500 lots approved compared to 1450 in 2014.

“Operational works applications increased 22% in 2015, as well as 148% since 2011.

“Change applications increased 21% between 2014 and 2015, contributing to a 61%  increase between 2012 and 2015.

“Applications to reconfigure lots have continued to grow, increasing 58% compared to 2014.

“November 2015 was an especially busy month in terms of lot creation as 429 lots were created, which is the largest monthly lot approval since 2009, and contributed to the 21%  increase in plan sealing applications during the year.

“Since free pre-lodgement meetings that enable customers to clarify requirements prior to development application lodgement were introduced in 2012, the service has continued to be popular, experiencing a 24% increase in 2015 (compared to 2014), and a 170%  increase in take up between 2012 and 2015.

“Development has increased significantly on the Sunshine Coast over recent years with the 2015 figures showing a 92%  increase in building approvals since since the $669 million recorded in 2012, an 80% increase in the number of plan sealing applications since 2012, and a 94% increase in the number of material change of use applications since 2012.”

Fast Facts (comparing 2015 to 2014)

2015 Building approvals

  • $1.28 billion building approvals (20% increase)
  • $217 million approved new dwellings (46% increase)
  • $415 million approved other buildings (7% increase)
  • $648 million new dwellings approved (21% increase)

2015 Development enquiries

  • 39,000 development enquiries received (compared to 30,000, a 32% increase)

2015 Total applications received

  • 14,485 applications received (compared to 11,002 received in 2014, a 32% increase)

2015 Lots approved and created

  • 2813 lots created (compared to 2135 in 2014, a 32% increase)

The 2015 Sunshine Coast Development Indicators Annual Highlights Report is available on Council’s website at

Development applications can be viewed via PD Online and Open Data