What can I do with my block?

An enquiry I often receive as a consulting Town Planner is “What can I do with my block?” or “I’m think of purchasing a property, but want to know that I can develop it.”  Town planners are (or at least should be) the best suited to answer this question as we specialise in understanding the complex regulatory environment surrounding land use development and how to present proposals for success.  Regulation affecting development potential comes from all tiers of government but is primarily the responsibility of State and local governments with each state having its own development system.

In Queensland, the Planning Act 2016 and the accompanying Planning Regulation 2017 sets the legislative framework for land development in the state.  It provides a host of measures but among its most important are how various state interests are considered in relation to potential development of a site and the requirement it places on local governments to each prepare a Planning Scheme for their local government area.  The Planning Scheme is the chief document that is consulted to determine what development can and can’t be done on a property and what the critical issues are that need to be considered in the project proposal.  Planning Schemes are substantial documents that  can be quite overwhelming if you are not experienced in navigating them.

Most Council’s in South East Queensland have a very helpful PD Online service (e.g. Brisbane City Council PD Online), that provides information about a property such as its zoning, size, real property description and mapping overlays.  This information needs to be interpreted against the Planning Scheme however, which is where the expertise of a Town planner is really vital.  To establish if there are any state interests that affect a site, there are other online searches to be undertaken and other statutory documents to be reviewed.  The input of other consultants such as civil engineers and environmental specialists at early stages is also often required.

To make it as simple and cost effective as possible for our clients to explore development potential whether on a property they own or are considering purchasing, we offer a specialised development investigation service by a qualified town planner.  This is offered as three standard options, depending on the scale of the project being considered as follows:

  • Preliminary Investigation
  • Development Investigation
  • Pre-lodgement Process

For more information on these investigation options please see Development Investigator


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