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.