• Last updated:
  • 06 Jul 2022

Carports are a popular choice for providing off-street covered parking.

The Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014  has requirements relating to location, height and size of carports.

The Queensland Development Code (QDC) describes a carport as a class 10a building, other than a garage, providing covered vehicular parking.

Do I need approval to build a carport?

Yes. To build a carport, first you need a building work permit from a private building certifier.

You will need to provide your private building certifier with plans for your carport. A building designer or architect may be able to assist in the design process.

If you plan to construct a driveway along with your carport, refer to our driveways page for more information. Your private building certifier can provide further advice.

Carport design requirements

The dwelling house code in the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014 requires all carports for a dwelling house:

  • preserve the amenity of adjacent land and dwelling houses
  • do not dominate the streetscape
  • maintain an adequate area for landscaping adjacent to the road frontage, and
  • maintain visual continuity, pattern of buildings and landscape elements within the street.

When a carport is not built to address these design requirements, problems can arise relating to:

  • reduced perception of safety
  • loss of trees and landscaping within front yards
  • increased parking on street
  • reduced activity and visibility, enclosing the street. 

Design requirements for carports are also identified for different zones:

In a residential zone, carports:

  • may not exceed a height of 3.6m above natural ground level
  • total floor area may not exceed 56m²
  • are setback at least 6m from any road frontage boundary
  • are setback at least 1.5m from any side or rear boundary, or
  • may be located within the 1.5m side or rear boundary clearance where:
    • the mean height is not more than 3.5m above ground level
    • the total length of all buildings within 1.5m of any side or rear boundary does not exceed 9.0m in length, and
    • the carport is not located within 1.5m of a window of a habitable room within an adjoining dwelling.
  • in addition to the main dwelling and any other roofed structures, carports must not exceed 50% of the area of the lot.

In rural or rural residential zones:

For lots more than 2 hectares, carports must be:

  • setback at least:
    • 40m from a State controlled road or an extractive industry transport route
    • 20m from any other road.
  • setback at least 10m from any side or rear boundary.

For lots 2 hectares or less, carports must be:

  • setback at least 10m from any road
  • setback at least 3m from any side or rear boundary at least 3m.

What if my carport does not comply with these design requirements?

Your private building certifier will need to lodge an application with council to assess and decide the alternative design.

Use the dwelling house code checklist to help you prepare your application.

The correct application type will differ depending on:

  • location 
  • site specifics
  • your proposed carport design.

 Generally, you should:

  • apply to council for a development permit for building work (DBW) for proposed height and floor area variations
  • consult with your private building certifier for proposed variations to setbacks or site cover. They will refer your application to council for a concurrence agency response (CAR).

Alternatively, you can request an early referral agency response before lodging your development application for building work with your private building certifier. Where council grants an early concurrence agency approval, this can be included with the building work application lodged with your private building certifier. No extra referral to council is needed.

An early concurrence agency response is valid for 2 years.

Contact council's development services for more answers about carports and their design requirements.