Where Can You Build a Dual Occupancy in Brisbane?

There are a few zones where you can propose a dual occupancy in Brisbane and the application will be limited to code assessment, meaning no public notification and no third party appeal rights:

Character Infill Zone (CR2)

a. Any pre-1947 house is retained
b. You do not exceed 9.5m and 2 storey building height

Low Medium Density Residential Zone (LMR, LMR2, LMR3)

a. If in LMR3 you can go to 11.5m and 3 storeys
b. If in LMR2 and within 400m walking distance of a transit station and has a frontage to a road with a reserve width of 15m or more you can go 11.5m and 3 storeys; otherwise 9.5m and 2 storeys
c. If in LMR you can go 9.5m and 2 storeys

Medium Density Residential Zone (MDR)

a. Must not exceed 5 storeys (or height specified in a neighbourhood plan)

If you do not meet the above criteria or your site is under a different zoning, this will likely trigger an impact assessable development application. Generally, Council will not support these types of applications unless well justified with the development being consistent with that existing in the area and community expectations.

We recommend contacting a UPQ town planner if you need to discuss a site’s potential further (07) 3535 0656.

Here are some additional points to remember when looking to propose a dual occupancy in a Character, Low-Medium or Medium density zoned site.

  • The neighbourhood plan requirements over rule the zone accepted outcomes
  • The general accepted outcomes for site area and site frontage are:
    • CR2 – 800m2 and 20m frontage
  • LMR (All) – 600m2 and 15m frontage
  • Building length accepted outcome is 25m
  • Car parking requirements are:
    • 1 space per 1 or 2 bedroom dwelling
    • 2 spaces per 3 or more bedroom dwelling
    • Parking may be provided in tandem spaces where 2 spaces are provided for 1 dwelling
  • Infrastructure charges will be applicable for the increase in dwelling density

Please note that a dual occupancy and a duplex are approved as a dual occupancy. A dual occupancy may be contained on one lot or each dwelling unit may be contained on its own lot subject to a Community Title Scheme.

Under Brisbane City Plan 2014 a dual occupancy is defined as:

a residential use of premises for 2 households involving
• 2 dwellings (whether attached or detached) on a single lot or 2 dwellings (whether attached or detached) on separate lots that share a common property; and
• any domestic outbuilding associated with the dwellings; but
• does not include a residential use of premises that involves a secondary dwelling.”

A dwelling is a building or part of a building used or capable of being used as a self-contained residence that must include food preparation facilities, a bath or shower, a toilet and wash basin and clothes washing facilities.

** Please note that whilst we will always attempt to provide the most current and accurate information, planning legislation is regularly amended. It is recommended that you speak with an experienced private town planner prior to proceeding with any development (07) 3535 0656

How to Avoid a Town Planning Application – Brisbane Houses

If you are designing a house or house extension within the Brisbane City Council local government area and have a site which is below 450m2 and/or is located in the traditional building character overlay you may not require a town planning application.

Should you comply with all the below items your development will be considered ‘accepted development’ and will not require a development application to be lodged with Council.

Please note that you must comply with both columns if your site is a small lot and in the traditional building character overlay.

**This advice does not replace the professional opinion of a private town planning consultant and is for educational purposes only

 

Small Lot Houses (Sites <450m2)

 Aerials and sewer vents on the roof
 Enclose under an existing house (unless site is affected by an environmental overlay)
 1 open patio/gazebo with a maximum height of 3m and roofed area of 16m2
 Swimming pools, spas and ancillary shade structures where no more than 3m high with a maximum roofed area of 10m2
  An unenclosed roofed ground-level walkway between buildings with a maximum width of 1.3m and maximum height of 2.5m above finished ground level to the underside of the ceiling
 1 shed with a maximum roofed area 10m2 and maximum height 3m
  Roof structures over existing decks, balconies with a maximum height 9.5m above ground level
  A gatehouse with a maximum roofed area 3m2 and maximum height 3m
 Aerials and sewer vents on the roof
 A single car carport where a maximum of 6m depth x 3m wide (excludes eaves)
A double carport where a maximum of 6m x 6m (excludes eaves)
  • A minimum front boundary setback of 2m
  • A minimum side boundary setback of 1.5m
  • Maximum driveway crossover of 4.5m
  • If your site has a frontage of 15m or more, the total building footprint (including carport) cannot exceed 50%
Additional Requirements where involving renovations and extensions to an existing building 
  Your total building footprint does not exceed 50% of the site area
  Roof decks and viewing platforms proposed are set back at least 1.5m from the side boundary and is no more than 7m above ground level or the height of an upper storey roof, whichever is the lesser
  Balconies, terraces, decks or roof decks that form part of the renovation or extension that result in a direct view into windows of habitable rooms, balconies, terraces and decks in an adjacent dwelling house, ensure that view is screened from floor level to a height of 1.5m above floor level
  Windows proposed within 2m at ground level or 9m above ground level of a neighbouring dwelling house only incorporates windows where they:
  • are offset from the window of a habitable room in the adjacent dwelling house to limit direct outlook; or
  • have sill heights of 1.5m above floor level; or
  • are covered by fixed obscure glazing in any part of the window below 1.5m above floor level; or
  • have fixed external screens; or
  • in the case of screening for a ground floor level, fencing to a height of 1.5m above ground floor level;
  • screening devices required are:
    • solid translucent screens, perforated or slatted panels or fixed louvres that have a maximum of 25% openings, with a maximum opening dimension of 50mm, that are permanently fixed and durable
    • offset a minimum of 0.3m from the face of any window
    • may be hinged to facilitate emergency egress only
Additional Requirements where raising a building
  Side boundary setbacks comply with the Building Regulation 2006
  Building height does not exceed 9.5m above ground level
  Windows proposed within 2m at ground level or 9m above ground level of a neighbouring dwelling house only incorporates windows where they:
  • are offset from the window of a habitable room in the adjacent dwelling house to limit direct outlook; or
  • have sill heights of 1.5m above floor level; or
  • are covered by fixed obscure glazing in any part of the window below 1.5m above floor level; or
  • have fixed external screens; or
  • in the case of screening for a ground floor level, fencing to a height of 1.5m above ground floor level;
  • screening devices required are:
    • solid translucent screens, perforated or slatted panels or fixed louvres that have a maximum of 25% openings, with a maximum opening dimension of 50mm, that are permanently fixed and durable
    • offset a minimum of 0.3m from the face of any window
    • may be hinged to facilitate emergency egress only

Houses in the Traditional Building Character Overlay

 You can move the pre-war house sideways, forwards or backwards as long as you the house remains orientated toward the primary street frontage and you have compliant boundary setbacks (see small lot code and traditional building character code)
 You can raise the dwelling house as long as you have a building height <9.5m (see neighbourhood plan for variations)
  If you are in the Latrobe and Given Terraces or Sherwood – Graceville district neighbourhood plan areas you will trigger assessment for raising a house
  You can demolish:
  • The rear of the dwelling, behind the highest roof point (unless on a corner site)
  • Internal walls or features (pre-war or post-war)
  • Pre-1947 external features as long as these are replaces with new features of the same style and appearance
  • Stairs, lifts and ramps
  • Outbuildings where are the rear of the house
  • Post-1946 additions and buildings
  • Post-1946 material to reveal the original design
  • Works previously approved by Council which did not require assessment of demolition works

  You can enclose under a existing building but only to the extent of the core of the building above along the front and side boundaries (unless in the Local character sub-category)

  You can construct an enclosed extension to the rear of the building (the rear being behind the highest roof point)

  Internal building work
  Decks, verandahs, balconies and other shade structures at the rear of the building (behind the highest roof point).
  In-ground swimming pool and/or spa inclusive of any unenclosed ancillary shade structure (if not at rear, shade is limited to 10m2 roofed area and 3m height)
  Garages and sheds can be constructed at the rear of the building
  Carports can be constructed:
  • At the rear of the building
  • Between the building and side boundary
  • In front of the house where the lesser of 6m or 50% of the lot width (excludes eaves)
  If you are in the Sherwood – Graceville district neighbourhood plan area or Local Character sub-category you will trigger assessment for a carport not at the rear of the building. Additional requirements to be met in the West End – Wooloongabba district neighbourhood plan area.

Subdivision Guide for the Moreton Bay Region

 

  • The below table specifies the minimum required lot sizes and frontages in particular areas of the Moreton Bay Region
  • Where no minimum lot size or frontage is specified, generally the density of the development is used to determine the number of lots potentially created
  • Where the subdivision specifics in the below table cannot be met, compliance with the applicable performance outcomes of the code must be demonstrated
  • It is important to note that the planning scheme does not support subdivision in the following areas:
    • Limited development zone
    • Emerging community zone – Interim precinct
    • Emerging community zone – Transition precinct (creating developable lots)
    • Caboolture West local plan where no Neighbourhood development plan is approved by Council and included in the Local plan
    • Redcliffe Kippa-Ring Local Plan Interim residential precinct
  • Where a property is already meets the minimum lot size or density in the below table, further subdivision of the property is unlikely to be supported.
  • If your property is affected by an environmental overlay, additional requirements may apply which may restrict the ability to subdivide the property.
  • You can find your property zoning and any identified overlays through the Council website or by contacting Urban Planners Queensland

 

 

NOTE: The below information should be used as a guide only and does not replace site specific town planning advice.

 

General Residential Zone

Precinct Min net residential density Max net residential density Minimum lot size Minimum frontage
Next generation neighbourhood precinct 11 lots per hectare

 

25 lots per hectare

 

Not specified

 

Not specified

 

Urban neighbourhood precinct – certain areas near Redcliffe Peninsula Line stations No lot density prescribed, but ultimate development must achieve a minimum of 75 dwellings per hectare Not specified

 

Not specified

 

Not specified

 

Urban neighbourhood precinct – all other areas No lot density prescribed, but ultimate development must achieve a minimum of 45 dwellings per hectare Not specified

 

Not specified

 

Not specified

 

Coastal communities precinct Not specified 11 lots per hectare 600m2 12.5m
Suburban neighbourhood precinct Not specified

 

11 lots per hectare 600m2

 

12.5m

 

 

Emerging Community zone

Precinct Min net residential density Max net residential density Minimum lot size Minimum frontage
Transition precinct (where on a developed lot or creating developed lots) 11 lots per hectare

 

25 lots per hectare

 

Not specified

 

Not specified

 

Transition precinct – Morayfield South urban area identified on ‘Figure 9.4.1.3.2.1 Morayfield South urban area

 

45 lots per hectare

 

Not specified

 

Not specified

 

Not specified

 

 

Township zone

Precinct Min net residential density Max net residential density Minimum lot size Minimum frontage
Township residential precinct Not specified 11 lots per hectare Not specified Not specified
Township industry precinct

 

Not specified

 

Not specified

 

2,500m2

 

Minimum width to depth ratio of 1:2 or 2:1
 

Caboolture West local plan

Precinct Min net residential density Max net residential density Minimum lot size Minimum frontage
Urban living precinct (where on a developed lot or creating developed lots) 11 lots per hectare (in accordance with the Neighbourhood Development Plan) 30 lots per hectare (in accordance with the Neighbourhood Development Plan) Not specified

 

Not specified

 

Town centre precinct Not specified

 

Not specified

 

In accordance with the Neighbourhood Development Plan In accordance with the Neighbourhood Development Plan
Enterprise and employment precinct Not specified

 

Not specified

 

1,000m2 40m
Rural living precinct Not specified Not specified

 

6,000m2, with an average of 8,000m2 Not specified
 

Redcliffe Kippa-Ring local plan

Precinct Min net residential density Max net residential density Minimum lot size Minimum frontage
Redcliffe seaside village precinct Not specified Not specified 1,000m  40m
Kippa-Ring village precinct Not specified Not specified 1,000m  40m
Local services precinct Not specified Not specified 1,000m  20m
Health precinct Not specified Not specified 1,000m  20m
 

Centre Zone

Precinct Min net residential density Max net residential density Minimum lot size Minimum frontage
Higher order centres (Caboolture centre, Morayfield centre, Strathpine centre and Petrie mill precincts) Not specified

 

Not specified

 

1,000m2

 

40m

 

District centre precinct Not specified Not specified 1,000m2 20m
 

Industry Zone

Precinct Min net residential density Max net residential density Minimum lot size Minimum frontage
Mixed industry business precinct Not specified Not specified 1,000m2 Minimum width to depth ration of 1:2 or 2:1
Light industry precinct Not specified Not specified 2,500m2 Minimum width to depth ration of 1:2 or 2:1
General industry precinct Not specified

 

Not specified

 

4,000m2 Minimum width to depth ration of 1:2 or 2:1
Restricted industry precinct Not specified Not specified 6,000m2 Minimum width to depth ration of 1:2 or 2:1
Marine industry precinct

 

Not specified

 

Not specified

 

4,000m2

 

Minimum width to depth ration of 1:2 or 2:1
 

Rural Zone

Precinct Min net residential density Max net residential density Minimum lot size Minimum frontage
Rural zone Not specified

 

Not specified

 

100ha (refer to Reconfiguring a lot code – Rural zone for exceptions) 100m

 

 

Rural Residential Zone

Precinct Min net residential density Max net residential density Minimum lot size Minimum frontage
Rural residential zone Not specified

 

Not specified

 

Refer to Overlay map – Rural residential lot sizes **
4 categories of minimum lot sizes apply:·       2ha·       6,000m2

·       3,000m2

·       No further reconfiguration

Not specified

 

 

3 Storey Houses in Brisbane – A Guide

With recent changes to the way three storey houses are assessed under Brisbane City Plan at the end of 2016 we thought we would provide detail process of how we would determine whether a house requires assessment (or how you can avoid assessment). This information has only regard to storeys, not building height which are similar but different issues from a planning perspective.

 

 Step 1: Defining what is a storey

You will firstly need to understand the legislative defintions of what actually constitutes a storey

A storey is currently defined as:

(a) means a space within a building between 2 floor levels, or a floor level and a ceiling or roof, other than—

(i) a space containing only a lift shaft, stairway or meter room; or

(ii) a space containing only a bathroom, shower room, laundry, toilet or other sanitary compartment; or

(iii) a space containing only a combination of the things stated in subparagraph (i) or (ii); or

(iv) a basement with a ceiling that is not more than 1m above ground level; and

(b) includes—

(i) a mezzanine; and

(ii) a roofed structure that is on, or part of, a rooftop, if the structure does not only accommodate building plant and equipment.

 

Further definitions to understand:

Basement means a space—

(a) between a floor level in a building and the floor level that is immediately below it; and

(b) no part of which is more than 1m above ground level.

 

Ground level means—

(a) the level of the natural ground; or

(b) if the level of the natural ground has changed, the level lawfully changed. 

Editor’s note—Section 1.7.5 provides that for the purpose of the definition of ground level in Schedule 1, the level of the natural ground is deemed to have been lawfully changed if the level of the natural ground level is the prescribed level.

 

In summary, you can have a building that appears as three storeys, but if one level meets the above criteria in bold, it is not considered a storey.

e.g.

  • 2 storeys + a basement level which does not protrude more than 1m above the defined natural ground level would not require a DA
  • 2 storeys + ground floor bathroom, laundry and stairway would not require a DA
  • 2 storeys + above ground garage = 3 storeys and would require a DA

It is important to note that you will still need to be below 9.5m and meet all other acceptable outcomes of the dwelling house and dwelling house small lot codes.

 

Step 2: Assess for Code Compliance

So using the above definitions you should know whether your house has or is being designed to be two or three storeys.  Now if you are at three storeys you will need to have your private urban planner assess against the dwelling house code (or dwelling house small lot code where applicable).

Specifically for building’s storeys, we refer to Acceptable Outcome AO2 below

AO2

Development in the Low density residential zone, Character residential zone, 2 storey mix zone precinct of the Low–medium density residential zone, 2 or 3 storey mix zone precinct of the Low–medium density residential zone, Rural residential zone, Environmental management zone, Rural zone or Emerging community zone results in a maximum building height of 9.5m and:

(a) 2 storeys; or

(b) 1 storey if the development also includes a space that is situated between one floor level and the floor level next above, or if there is no floor above, the ceiling or roof above that contains only a bathroom, shower room, laundry, water closet, or other sanitary compartment.

The acceptable outcome clearly states that a dwelling house should not exceed 2 storeys where within Low density residential zone, Character residential zone, 2 storey mix zone precinct of the Low–medium density residential zone, 2 or 3 storey mix zone precinct of the Low–medium density residential zone, Rural residential zone, Environmental management zone, Rural zone or Emerging community zone.

It should be clear by this point as to whether you will require a development application. Non compliance with the above will result in your private urban planner justifying the proposal against the below performance outcome PO2.

 

Development has a building height that:

(a) does not unduly overshadow adjoining dwelling houses and their associated private open space in terms of access to sunlight and daylight – to be demonstrated through shadow diagrams

(b) is consistent with the building height of dwelling houses prevailing in the immediate vicinity, meaning the building height of the majority (more than 50%) of all the dwelling houses in the same zone as the subject site and within 35m of any point of the street frontage of the subject site – to be demonstrated though mapping

(c) contains a 3 storey component only where necessary to enable a predominately 2 storey dwelling to address the local circumstances of topography (refer to below Figure); – to be demonstrated through a section and elevation plan

(d) may be higher than adjoining properties only to the extent required to achieve the minimum habitable floor levels required for flood immunity – only applicable to flood affected properties.