If a complaint against your development is received by your local Council under section 167 of the Planning Act 2016 they may issue a show cause notice if they reasonably believe that you are committing, have committed a development offence.

The show cause notice will be issued in the form of a letter which states the facts and circumstances and that may lead to the Council issuing an enforcement notice.

You are given a period to make representations, this period will be a minimum of 20 business days. Representations can be proof that you are not committing a development offence or that you will correct any issues, most of the time this may be in the form of a development application. Should Council be agreeable to your representations you

If your development offence relates to any of the below Council may issue an enforcement notice without a show cause notice:

  • A heritage place
  • There is a risk to persons or public health
  • Demolition work
  • Vegetation clearing
  • Removal of quarry material
  • Extraction of clay, gravel, rock, sand or soil from Queensland waters
  • There is a risk of erosion, sedimentation or an environmental nuisance

Enforcement notices come under section 168 of the Planning Act 2016.

So if Council don’t accept your representations to the show cause notice or your development offence is considered ‘urgent’ an enforcement notice will be issued.

The notice will be in a written format and require you to refrain from committing the offence and/or remedy the effect of the offence in a stated way.

Examples of what an enforcement notice may require within a stated period include:

  • Stop carrying out development
  • To demolish or remove development
  • To restore premises to the condition the premises were in immediately before development was started
  • To do, or not to do another act to ensure the development complies with a development permit
  • If the works are dangerous, you must repair, rectify secure or fence the works to protect people
  • To stop a stated use of premises
  • To apply for a development permit
  • To give the enforcement authority a compliance program that shows how compliance with the enforcement notice will be achieved

If the enforcement notice items are not reasonably resolved, you are off to the Planning and Environment Court.

If you would like to avoid being issued with a show cause notice, an enforcement notice and definitely do not want to end up in the Planning and Environment Court, contact your private town planner early on, prior to undertaking any building works if possible.


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