Does your carport or garage trigger a development application [DA] requiring town planning assessment by Brisbane City Council?


Step 1

As a private town planner, the first issue I resolve is to determine what your structure is defined as.

Is it a carport or is it a garage?


Carport as defined by the Queensland Development Code [QDC] means a class 10a building, other than a garage, providing covered vehicular parking.

Open Carport means a carport with –

  1. two sides or more open, and a side is also considered open where the roof covering adjacent to that side is not less than 500mm from another building or a side or rear allotment boundary; and
  2. not less than one-third of its perimeter open.

e.g. Your structure is a carport where it has a garage door and only 1 side enclosed. Your structure is not a carport where you have a garage door, 1 side enclosed and the rear of the carport is less than 500m from your house.


If your structure does not meet the above criteria it is defined as a garage.

Garage as defined by the QDC means an enclosed class 10a building, providing covered vehicular parking.


Step 2

The next item to been determined is whether your site is a small lot which is any street frontage allotment less than 450m2 in site area. If your property is equal to or more than 450m2 in site area the small lot code provisions do not apply to you and you can go straight to your building certifier for building approval [BA].

If your site is a small lot you will not trigger a DA where you comply with the following:

1 single carport where:
  • maximum depth 6m, excluding eaves;
  • maximum width 3m, excluding eaves;
1 double carport where:
  • maximum depth 6m, excluding eaves;
  • maximum width 6m, excluding eaves;
  • minimum side boundary setback 1.5m;
  • minimum front boundary setback 2m;
  • maximum crossover width 4.5m;
  • where on a lot with a street frontage width of 15m or greater, and the total building footprint of the dwelling and carport does not exceed 50%.

If you do not comply with the above requirements you will trigger a DA which will be assessed by Brisbane City Council.

If you are proposing a garage which is not set below the house with a 1m recess to any upper floor, this will trigger a DA.


Step 3

If your property is affected by the traditional building character overlay, whether a small lot or standard lot you will need to comply with the following outcomes to avoid a DA.

Be a carport, garage, shed or other outbuilding at the rear of the building; or
A carport if located:
    • between the building and side boundary; or
    • between the building and front boundary, where a maximum total width of 6m or 50% of the average width of the lot, excluding eaves, whichever is the lesser;

Watch out for these neighbourhood plans which create additional assessment criteria:

    • if not in the Sherwood—Graceville district neighbourhood plan area or the Local character significance sub-category of the Traditional building character overlay;
    • if associated with a dwelling house in the West End estate precinct of the West End—Woolloongabba district neighbourhood plan, where also complying with the requirements in AO13.2, AO13.3 and AO13.4 in that neighbourhood plan code;
    • if associated with a multiple dwelling in the Hillside character precinct of the Ithaca district neighbourhood plan, where also complying with the requirements in AO23.3 in that neighbourhood plan code

If you do not comply with the above criteria, you will be required to lodge a DA with Brisbane City Council.

Please note that whilst performance outcomes are generally accepted by Council for carports forward of a house, Council have been generally refusing garages forward of houses in character areas.  If your street has existing examples of garages forward of a house, you will more likely obtain development approval in this instance.


Step 4 

Check for any other environmental overlays which may require a town planning assessment against Brisbane City Plan 2014.

At this stage it would be best to speak with your private town planner on a case by case basis.

One thought on “Brisbane Carports and Garages
  1. Bob

    Hello, I am living in 4113 QLD. The land is in a court with 10 m frontage, land size is 950 m2. Could I build up a double garage at the back yard with a 3m side gate for vehicle entry?

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