Other Planning and Development Information

Siting Concession (Referral Agency Assessment)

There are rules that govern the distance a house and other structures can be positioned from the front, rear and side property boundaries - known as setbacks – as well as site coverage (siting) and building heights.

Within Isaac, these are regulated by a combination of Isaac Regional Council’s Planning Scheme, and Queensland Development Code (QDC).

Do I need a Referral Agency Assessment?

A Referral Agency Assessment is only required for certain types of building works and only if those works do not comply with the acceptable outcomes of the codes and standards for design, siting provisions contained within the Queensland development code which can be found using the links below) depending on whether your lot is over or under 450m2.

MP1.1 Lots less than 450m

MP1.2 Lots larger than 450 m

How to apply for a Referral Agency Assessment for a Siting Concession

Preparing a Referral Agency advice request can be a complex task. Unless you understand the legal requirements and Council’s planning rules, you may find it useful to get expert help from a private building certifier or town planning consultant.

Referral Agency advice can be obtained in two ways:

  1. By a private building certifier as part of a building approval. 

    Applications lodged this way are processed in accordance with strict statutory timeframes. Council will provide the referral agency response to the assessment manager (private building certifier) to include in the building approval decision notice. To apply through a private building certifier, engage your preferred certifier and follow their advice.  Building Certifiers are the assessment managers of development applications for building work and will be able to assist you through the process from beginning to end including referring your application to Council if required. 
    Note: if you are engaging a building certifier, they typically take care of the application process on your behalf.

  2. As an early response for advice before applying for building approval
    A property owner can seek an assessment for early response before formally applying for building approval. Early response applications are not subject to specific timeframes for response, and Council has the right to provide a partial or no response.

If you require a sitting concession, either yourself or your building certifier should complete and submit a Siting Concession Application Form via email to records @isaac.qld.gov.au

Siting Concession Application Form(PDF, 637KB)

A fee is also required to assess the request.

Planning Search Requests 

If you are looking to buy or sell property in the Isaac Region, it's a good idea to research property information to inform your decision. There are a number of different searches you can do under the Planning Act which provide different levels of information. A fee is payable when applying for a limited, standard or full certificate with planning and development certificate for a premises. View our current fees below.

View the current Fees & Charges Schedule

These are explained below.

Limited Planning Certificate

The certificate gives you a summary of relevant planning scheme provisions, any variation approvals, state planning instruments, or any infrastructure charges recorded for the  premises. The certificate will also describe any designations applying to the premises.

Standard Planning Certificate

In addition to the information contained in a limited certificate regarding the premises, the standard planning and development certificate includes:

  • a copy of every decision notice or negotiated decision notice in effect for the premises
  • details for any changes to a development approval
  • details of any approval given to extend the currency period
  • a copy of every current deemed approval notice
  • a copy of any compliance certificate in effect at the time, including any changes to the certificate
  • details of any approval or refusal under the LGP&E Act
  • details of any exemption certificates
  • a copy of any judgement or order of the Planning and Environment Court or a tribunal about a development approval or a condition included in a compliance certificate
  • a copy of any agreement to which the local government is a party or has received a copy that a referral agency is a party
  • a copy of any infrastructure agreement to which the local government is a party or has received a copy under section 153 of the Act
  • a description of each amendment proposed to the planning scheme, that has not yet been made at the time the certificate is given
  • a description of a planning scheme that is proposed to replace the local government’s existing planning scheme and has not yet been made at the time the certificate is given
  • a copy of each master plan, decision or negotiated decision, Planning and Environment Court order or building and development committee.

Full Planning Certificate

In addition to the Limited and Standard information above, a full certificate must include:

  • a statement about the fulfilment or non-fulfilment of each condition that applies to a relevant approval
  • for any infrastructure agreements with the local government, details of any obligations that have not been fulfilled, and details of any security payments, either paid or unpaid
  • details of any prosecutions, or proceedings for a prosecution, under the Act, the old Act, or the repealed IPA that the government is aware of.

How long will it take?

Limited Planning and Development Certificates:  5 business days completion time from the date of lodgement.

Standard Planning and Development Certificates:  10 business days completion time from the date of lodgement.

Full Planning and Development Certificates: 30 business days completion time from the date of lodgement.

There is also an option for an urgent Full Planning and Development Certificate: 15 business days completion time from the date of lodgement.

Our aim is to provide quality customer service to our clients and every endeavour is made to supply property information by the time requested. If you provide us with an email address, we will be able to supply your property search information by email rather than by post.

How do I apply for a Planning Certificate?

Make a request for a planning and development certificate by completing our property search form and paying the applicable fee.

Property Search Form(PDF, 329KB)

You can also make a request for a planning and development certificate by submitting a completed property search form to one of our Council offices.

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We recommend that you opt for the search to be sent to you via email as this is the fastest method available for delivery.

Search results can be posted to you or collected from council's Customer Service Centre.


Exemption Certificates

Under Section 46 of the Planning Act 2016, Council may provide, in limited circumstances, an exemption from a development application.

Exemption certificates are only issued under special circumstances as outlined in the legislation.  If obtained, an exemption certificate removes the need for a development approval to be obtained for otherwise assessable development.

The Planning Act 2016 allows an owner of a premises to request an exemption certificate for particular assessable development where:

  • development is categorised assessable as a result of an error; or
  • development is categorised assessable solely due to circumstances that no longer apply; or
  • the effects of the development would be minor or inconsequential considering the circumstances under which the development was categorised as assessable development.

The certificates are not intended for large-scale or complex developments, or to rectify development that was undertaken without a permit. The applicant is obliged to comply with all other relevant requirements, eg obtain building and plumbing approvals.

An application to Council is required for this assessment.

A refusal from Council to issue an exemption certificate does not mean the proposed development is not supported in general. It means that your request has not met the relevant requirements to be eligible for an exemption certificate. In such cases, the proposal must be lodged as an application for assessable development under the planning scheme.

Register of Exemption Certificates

In accordance with the Planning Act, Council is required to keep a register of issued exemption certificates for public viewing:

Below is a register of exemption certificates:

Exemption certificates issued under the Planning Act

Decision Date  Development Description  Address   Notice of Decision
 16 November 2022  EXE22/0002 – Exemption Certificate – Dwelling house in the potential flood hazard area of the flood hazard overlay  651 Carmila West Road, Carmila Qld 4739, Lot 74 on MC284  Notice(PDF, 957KB)

October 2022

 EXE22/0001 – Exemption Certificate - Rural worker’s accommodation, dwelling house (secondary dwelling) and caretaker’s accommodation in the potential flood hazard area of the flood hazard overlay where compliant with the acceptable outcomes of the rural zone code  480 Notch Point Road, Ilbilbie, QLD 4738, Lot 12 on RP826114  Notice(PDF, 597KB)
Further Information

Plan Sealing

For development involving subdivision, you must obtain Council approval for the registration of the survey plan (commonly referred to as plan sealing) prior to registration of the lots with the State Government Department of Natural Resources.

Pursuant to Schedule 18 of the Planning Regulation 2017, a person may give notice to Council requesting an approval of subdivisions plans for plan sealing. Schedule 18 also lists the requirements that Council must follow when assessing and deciding a request for approval of plans of subdivision.

To avoid an Outstanding Criteria letter and delays to the assessment process, it is important to ensure the following steps are completed prior to lodgement of the request for approval of plans of subdivision:

Comply with all conditions of the development approval and any related approvals (e.g. Material Change of Use, Reconfiguring a Lot, Operational Work).

  • Pay all levied rates outstanding over the land.
  • Pay all outstanding infrastructure charges over the land.
  • Ensure that the plan has been prepared in accordance with the development permit.
  • Ensure compliance with relevant infrastructure agreement (if applicable).
  • Where applicable, collate any other information to be submitted with the application (e.g. Community Management Statement, Easement Documentation, Infrastructure Agreement).

If you have any questions regarding the plan seal process, please contact Council’s Planning Team by either emailing liveability.sustainability@isaac.qld.gov.au or any of the other available contact methods.

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Extending a development approval (currency period)

The currency period is the time period that an approval is valid for, after which a part of a development approval lapses.

The types of approval below generally have the following currency period:

  • Material Change of Use – six years
  • Reconfiguring a Lot – four years
  • Operational Works and Building Works Assessable against a Planning Scheme – two years

Before a development approval lapses, an applicant may lodge an Extension Application to extend the currency period of a development approval.

Standards and specifications – CMDG

The design and construction of municipal works in the Isaac region are to be undertaken in accordance with the standards and specifications provided in the Capricorn Municipal Development Guidelines (CMDG).

The CMDG provides guidance for the following matters relating to the design and construction of development works:

Approval and construction procedures

  • Construction specifications
  • Design specifications
  • Purchase specifications
  • Standard drawings

For more information about the CMDG, visit www.cmdg.com.au

State Mapping Resources

If you are planning on lodging a development application for Assessable Development (i.e. a Material Change of Use, Reconfiguring a Lot and Operational Works) with Council, it is important to determine if your application will require referral as part of the Development Assessment Process. 

When preparing a development application for assessable development, it is the applicant’s responsibility to identify whether there are any referrals associated with your application.

The State Government has online Development Assessment Mapping System (DAMS) which will assist you in identifying if your application will require referral to the State Government or a third party referral agency (i.e. for example Powerlink Queensland).   

The DAMS Mapping Resource can be accessed here 

Regional Plan

Statutory Regional Plans are long-term strategic documents that guide land use planning for state and local governments. They also indicate and set direction through contemporary policy frameworks and spatial representation how our regions will grow and respond to change over time.

They support economic growth, development and liveable communities while protecting natural resources and reconciling state interests outlined in the State Planning Policy.

The  Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday Regional Plan 2012 covers the Isaac region and can be downloaded from the State government website here.