Development advice services
  • Last updated:
  • 07 Sep 2021
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Council offers a range of free and paid development advice services.

You can get advice for:

  • general enquiries
  • specific enquiries which need written advice
  • pre-lodgement services, and
  • post approval services.

For general enquiries, the best place to start is to call or email us.

For more detailed information, check our user guide[1410KB]

We recommend you contact development services to confirm which service best fits your proposal.

Benefits of development advice

Upfront advice can save you time. By seeking advice in the early stages of a proposal, you can ensure you address all identified development issues. This can improve the quality of your application. It can also streamline assessment timeframes and reduce costs. 

Development advice can help you understand what supporting information you may need to provide. We can also explain the process and clarify timeframes.

As part of this service we can identify specific technical issues, and relevant legislative and planning scheme requirements.

Initial advice enquiries are free of charge. They are great if you have a simple enquiry or if you are new to the development assessment process. They provide pre-purchase and general advice.

To make an initial enquiry, you can contact development services by:

  • phone call or web chat between 8.30am - 5.00pm on business days
  • email
  • face to face at our counter at 10 First Avenue Maroochydore between 8.30am - 4.30pm on business days
  • book in for a meeting with a technical officer (2 maximum in attendance).

You might have questions like:

  • do I need a development approval
  • what information do I need to provide
  • what other approvals might I need, or
  • how does the development process work.

Benefits include:

Pre-concept, pre-purchase or specific development enquiries, including:

  • fee estimate
  • written advice - available for a fee, refer to the fees and charges
  • town planning appraisal - available for a fee
  • planning and development search certificates - available for a fee.

Examples of advice that might be sought through this process include:

  • written advice for specific land use enquiries or confirming existing use rights. The response may include confirmation of:
    • category of assessment, assessment criteria and applicable codes for a proposed land use
    • existing lawful use rights for a particular property
    • town planning requirements for businesses and liquor licenses (including seasonal produce stalls).
  • town planning appraisals for a particular development proposal based on detailed plans. The response may include:
    • details on compliance with the planning scheme provision
    • details on existing development approvals
    • applicable property notes for a property.

Please note: These services are not intended to provide an indication of support or otherwise for a particular development proposal. To discuss the particular merits of a proposal, please refer to the prelodgement services section.

Prelodgement services are suitable for advice on specific issues. These may relate to a site or a proposed development.

Council can provide a dedicated team to work together with your project team. Together they can set out the prelodgement and application approach to complex or major development.

Prelodgement services are available for a fee, refer to the fees and charges.

We can help you with:

  • detailed prelodgement meetings, including meeting notes
  • personalised case management pre-application meetings
  • advice from senior council officers from multiple disciplines
  • pre-assessment technical reports.

To help us give the best advice, you need to have:

  • a detailed description of the request, and
  • supporting documentation prepared by suitably qualified consultant.

Examples of advice that might be sought through this process include:

  • detailed prelodgement meetings for:
    • sites with many overlays or constraints requiring technical input
    • development with moderate to high complexity. Example mixed use development, subdivisions or significant planning or technical matters.
  • personalised case management for:
    • dedicated council and applicant project teams to work together. This is during the pre-application and application stages
    • complex or major developments. Example master planned estates and highly complex planning matters or projects
    • high level issues. Refined over a series of meetings, commencing pre-concept through to detailed design
    • projects requiring tailored memorandum of understanding. This is to set out the prelodgement and application approach.
  • pre-assessment technical report service for:
    • review flood investigation. bushfire, ecology or other technical reports 
    • checking compliance with council's requirements before lodgement.

Once you have obtained your material change of use and/or reconfiguring of a lot approval, you may need engineering, environmental and landscaping feedback on detailed design and/or operational works requirements. First, you will need to have supporting documentation prepared by a suitably qualified consultant.

Post approval advice is available before you submit operational works applications, building format plans or survey plans.

These services include:

  • predesign meeting
  • post-assessment technical report - available for a fee, refer to the fees and charges.

Examples of advice include:

  • predesign meetings for all types of development in the post-approval stage
  • post-assessment technical report service to:
    • review flood investigation, bushfire, ecology or other technical reports
    • check compliance with council's requirements after approval.

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.

Council encourages you to seek initial advice from Development Services to confirm any change application process and what information may be required.

Find out how to apply for a change to your development approval or request a generally in accordance letter.

Before you request a service, you need to:

  • determine which service suits your needs best
  • gather all required information, including details of issues, concept plans and reports.

Our user guide[1541KB] outlines the information you need to request development advice.

You can request a development advice service online through MyCouncil (you will need to register to use this service). You will need to complete details and pay any applicable fee online for:

  • general development advice
  • predesign meeting requests
  • written advice
  • town planning appraisal
  • detailed prelodgement meetings
  • personalised case management, and
  • assessment technical report services.

Alternatively, you can submit the:

Council will be in contact within five (5) business days of submitting your request.