We have answered a lot of common questions below, but if there is anything you would like to know more about, don't hesitate to ask!

Why use Gateway Survey & Planning?

At Gateway Survey & Planning, we make development simple, by providing the best advice for your specific goals. Unlike many other consultants, we are able to offer you the start to finish service required for the whole development process, which includes:

  • Provide preliminary town planning and development advice
  • Apply for and attend pre-lodgement meetings
  • Undertake contour and detail surveys and other required surveys
  • Prepare subdivision concept plans and proposal plans
  • Review building plans
  • Liaise with specialists such as engineers, architects, and ecologists
  • Prepare and lodge development applications
  • Negotiate with Council
  • Advise on required post approval works to comply with conditions of approval
  • Assist with obtaining fee quotes from required consultants
  • Peg new lots and prepare Survey Plans for subdivision
  • Survey buildings (apartments, townhouses) and prepare building format plan, exclusive use diagrams, and service location diagrams
  • Prepare disclosure plans
  • Undertake as-constructed surveys for civil works
  • Prepare and lodged the plan sealing application with Council. Which is the last step required prior to registering/creating the new titles.

In addition to the above, we can connect you to our network of trusted specialists with which we have established close relationships through hundreds of completed development projects.

How does GSP differ from other consultancies?

At GSP we ensure that you are accompanied throughout the whole process until you receive the approval to carry out your development all the way through to obtaining plan sealing so new titles can be created.

We aim to create a smooth, efficient and easy to understand process so that you are kept in the loop throughout the whole journey. If you need specialist advice that we cannot provide, we can refer experienced consultancies from our network developed throughout our lifespan as a company. We believe that no application is complete until you can sell or develop in your desired manner.

What is rooming accommodation?

'Rooming Accommodation’ permits landlords to rent out a dwelling/building to more than one person for example on room by room basis.

At the time of writing this, "Rooming Accommodation" is defined as:

"Rooming accommodation means the use of premises for—

    (a) residential accommodation, if each resident—
    1. has a right to occupy 1 or more rooms on the premises; and
    2. does not have a right to occupy the whole of the premises; and
    3. does not occupy a self-contained unit, as defined under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008, schedule 2, or has only limited facilities available for private use; and
    4. shares other rooms, facilities, furniture or equipment outside of the resident's room with 1 or more other residents, whether or not the rooms, facilities, furniture or equipment are on the same or different premises; or
    (b) a manager's residence, an office or providing food or other service to residents, if the use is ancillary to the use in paragraph (a).

      Examples of rooming accommodation – boarding house, hotel, monastery, off-site student accommodation

Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 says “a self-contained unit means a part of a building, forming a self-contained residence, that is under the exclusive possession of the occupier and includes kitchen, bathroom and toilet facilities”.

In summary the bedrooms cannot be “self contained” i.e. contain a kitchen and bathroom OR they may be provided with “limited facilities”. Each Council has their own interpretation of “limited facilities” as always obtain advice from a planner and / or Council on what is permitted within the bedrooms.

What is a pre-war dwelling?

A ‘Pre-war dwelling’ is a dwelling or structure built or commenced with construction prior to 1947 These dwellings are also referred to as pre-1947 dwellings. Brisbane City Council has aerial photography taken in 1946, which is publicly available on their interactive mapping to assist in determining whether a house was constructed prior to 1947 or not.

Pre-war dwellings in Wynnum in 1946.

Can I demolish my pre-1947 (Queenslander) house in Brisbane?

If your property is affected by the Traditional Building Character Overlay (previously known as Demolition Control Precinct) and the dwelling was constructed prior to 1947, Council approval is required to demolish the dwelling.

The application of the proposed demolition is to argue:

  • The dwelling has been substantially altered and its removal will not result in a loss of traditional character in the street AND / OR
  • The dwelling is deemed structurally unsound and not reasonably capable of being made structurally sound.

Brisbane City Council are unlikely to support removal of pre-1947 dwellings because their priority is to preserve the traditional building character throughout Brisbane. Furthermore Council is under pressure to protect Brisbane’s character by local residents and community groups, particularly in the face of increased densification of the city. Council will therefore very likely refuse the demolition of the dwelling and their decision will need to be appealed / overturned in Court.

How much does a subdivision cost?

Subdivision costs can vary depending on extent of civil works needed and Council requirements, however below is a rough estimate for a subdivision (1 lot into 2):

Development Application

  • Contour and Detail Survey,
  • Preparation of subdivision proposal plan,
  • Engineering Report (if required),
  • Preparation and lodgement of DA,
  • State Referral (if required),
  • Public Notification (if required),
  • Council application Fee.

    Budget: $8-$15k.

Post Approval Works

  • House demolition and site clearing,
  • Peg new lots and create Subdivision Plan,
  • Further Engineering approvals (if required),
  • Earthworks and Retaining (if required),
  • Stormwater Infrastructure,
  • New sewer and water connections,
  • Telco and Electrical works,
  • Install new concrete footpath (if required),
  • Pour new concrete driveway crossovers (if required),
  • Remove redundant crossovers (if required),
  • Council application Fee.

    Budget: $50-$100k.

Plan Sealing and Titles

  • Legal Fees,
  • Infrastructure charges / contributions,
  • Prepare and Lodge Plan Sealing application
  • Council Fees.

    Budget: $35-$40k.

A cheap 1 into 2 lot subdivision can cost anywhere between $60 and $100k. The costs will exceed this amount if underground electricity is needed and / or substantial civil works such as earthworks or extensions mains such as sewer and / or water.

How many lots can I create through subdivision?

The number of lots that can be created through subdivision completely depends on the site’s zoning, neighbourhood plan and the overlays affecting the site and if the site is vacant. Subdivision can also depend on other factors such as current services within the subject sites verge, street trees in the site frontage and the existing structures on the site and whether or not they can be demolished or if you would like them to be retained.

Still have further questions about how many lots you can accommodate? Please navigate to our ‘Contact Us’ page and enquire for free town planning advice using your preferred method of contact.

Do I need neighbour consent to develop my land?

For most instances of development assessment, adjoining neighbours or the broader community are not required to be notified that an application has been lodged.

Can I still create townhouses in Brisbane?

Townhouses, otherwise known as Multiple Dwellings, are no longer supported within the Low Density Residential Code.

What does a town planner do?

The role of a town planner within the context of a private consultant is to understand Council legislation and regulations in order to ensure the best chance of success for your development proposal in the most time and cost efficient manner. Gateway Survey and Planning have experience ranging from minor proposals such as 1 into 2 subdivisions and small carport and deck extensions to large subdivisions, housing developments and commercial uses. A town planner can act as a representative and liaise with Council throughout the development process to achieve a desirable outcome for all parties in a cost and time effective manner. Town planners can also attend pre-lodgement meetings with Council on your behalf.

At Gateway Survey and Planning, we encourage you to contact our planning team for free town planning advice received within one business day and to assess the development potential of sites currently owned by you, or sites you are looking to potentially purchase.

Without consulting a town planner, the risk of refusal or costly delay for a development application is increased exponentially. With town planning issues becoming increasingly more complex with the continuous change of legislation surrounding your Local Council area, town planners provide peace of mind, explaining the development application process to you and liaising with Council to get a desired outcome as quick as possible on your behalf. With our planning team comprising of members recently employed within Brisbane City Council, we have a direct line to familiar, senior Council staff which allows us to receive the quickest, most accurate answers.

When is the best time to contact a Town Planner?

Any time you are seeking town planning advice for property, we recommend giving us a call here at Gateway Survey and Planning. Ideally you would like to receive town planning advice before purchasing a property. That is why we offer free over the phone advice, or in certain circumstances, advice via a different medium within one business day of contact. This way we can ensure that you are not committing to purchasing land which may have no development potential.

How do I find out what overlays and zoning affects my site?

Generally your local Council will have free to use interactive mapping which can be used to identify which overlays and zoning are affecting your site and to what extent they may impact future development.

Zoning Map of Brisbane.

Do I need development approval to subdivide my land?

Yes, lodging a development application with Council is always required when subdividing land. Generally speaking, applications are either code assessable or impact assessable. Code assessable are applications which follow the standard application process which may even be suitable for RiskSMART (a fast tracked application process). Suitability for subdivision is circumstantial to the zoning, neighbourhood plan and overlays of the subject site. Contact Gateway Survey and Planning for planning advice at no cost. We will happily provide you with planning advice over the phone or via email which clarifies all viable development opportunities your land may have, as well as provide you with a written fee quote to give you an estimate of costs involved with your desired development.

How much does a planner cost?

The cost of a Town Planner can vary greatly dependent on the constraints affecting your subject site and the scale of your proposed development. If you are wanting to gain a rough estimate of costs involved with your desired development from start to finish, contact Gateway Survey and Planning today so that we can give you a quote for free.

What are the advantages of using a surveyor?

Surveyors can pinpoint services or features within your land that may impede or be advantageous for development. There are certain instances where these services or features can greatly impact your lands development potential and the overall outcome of your development.

What is a subdivision?

A subdivision is the act of dividing land into smaller lots that can be sold or developed. All subdivisions require a development application through your local council and will often require surveying in order to achieve accurate dimensions of your lot boundaries.

What does a surveyor do?

Surveying is an essential part of development. Surveying will give you pinpoint measurements of the location of services within your property and precisely locate and mark out the boundary lines of your property. Accurately understanding the dimensions and topography of any site is vital when determining whether or not a site is able to be developed, what manner you can develop a site, and whether or not your local Council is likely to support development. Cadastral surveyors are registered with the Surveyors Board to undertake surveys in relation to title boundaries.

Accurately understanding the dimension and topography of any site is key to ensuring what you plan to achieve will comply with building guidelines, local legislation and the end goal of your project.

What are the advantages of using a Town Planner?

The development assessment process can often be confusing and overwhelming, even factoring in only the Brisbane City Plan which clocks in at over 5500 pages long. At GSP we will provide you with town planning advice tailored to your needs and goals of development. At GSP we don’t aim to save you money on our quality service, we aim to make you money utilising our years of experience with using the legislation to create profitable outcomes for the developer. Our experience navigating local government legislation leads to outstanding customer service, providing prompt advice in a pinch and ensuring the project costs less and is able to start sooner, providing maximum return for our clients.

At GSP we believe in working with the Local Council in order to create desired outcomes for all parties, which is why we have a network of council staff to get quick answers on problematic aspects of development.

Can I remove trees within my property?

Vegetation within your property may be protected and as such may require approval for removal.

Vegetation within a property may have environmental overlays or local protection orders which restrict or prohibit pruning and removal. Each Council provides different vegetation protection policies and as such it is best to contact your local Council prior to removing vegetation to ensure no unauthorised removal occurs.

Generally speaking, vegetation within Council land is under Council protection. For example, if you wished to remove a tree in front of your property to construct a driveway you will likely require approval from Council. Unauthorised removal of vegetation can attract penalties including fines and compensatory planting at your expense. Even the pruning of street trees within the Council verge can result in a hefty fine.

What if Town Planning (DA) is not required for my property?

If we undertake a preliminary, in depth desktop assessment of your property and town planning advice isn’t necessary, our desktop assessment is free of charge. We only want your business if you need our service.

What information do you need from me?

Thinking about potentially developing your land or potentially buying a lot for the purpose of profit? All we need from you is the address! From there, over the phone or via email, we will provide you with preliminary advice via an in depth desktop analysis which will explain to you the development potential of your land, possible hiccups of development, any red flags and whether or not it is likely to be supported by your local council. Often, we can provide same day advice depending on the site, in some instances a five-minute phone call is all we will need to provide you with the best development outcomes and chance of approval.

Where does GSP operate within?

Our primary office is located at Wynnum and we have substantial experience lodging development applications all over South East Queensland including Brisbane City Council, Logan City Council, Redland City Council, and the Moreton Bay Region.

What is RiskSMART?

RiskSMART is a fast tracked development application service which a limited number of planning consultants can offer. Development application outcome is generally available within 5 business days. Before recently, RiskSMART required accreditation which Gateway Survey and Planning possessed, meaning that we will be able to lodge RiskSMART applications which we can assure you are considered to be approved.

How do I know if my development is suitable for RiskSMART?

Knowing if your development is suitable for RiskSMART is easy, because we will let you know. If we are performing an in-depth analysis of your property and we believe it may be suitable to be lodged through RiskSMART, we will advise you immediately. Our experienced survey and planning team will also provide different development outcomes for you to choose from if making alterations to plans will result in a RiskSMART suitable development application.

What if I can’t subdivide my land?

Development potential doesn’t always end at whether or not you can subdivide your land. Our team is experienced in providing development advice from their vast experience lodging and assessing development applications. Land may be suitable for multiple unit dwellings, dual occupancies, or rooming accommodation. Our customer first attitude to the development process means our goal is to tailor advice to the potential of your land.

How do I get a quote for your service?

Our service is only a phone call or message away. Feel free to navigate to our ‘contact us’ page to get a quote or advice from our specialists at your convenience. At GSP we don’t want to push you to an online medium unless that’s how you feel comfortable receiving information, if you prefer an over the phone call or a face-to-face consultation, our door is always open.

How long does town planning approval take?

The time a development approval takes is dependent on a number of different factors. Depending on the complexity of the development, GSP can have your development lodged within a week of your enquiry or receiving all required documents. It is also dependant on the level of assessment of the development, if the development is:

  • Code assessable and RiskSMART suitable: approval can be received as little as five days after lodgement. If you communicate that you would like the development to go through RiskSMART, we at the GSP team will provide development opportunities that would be able to;
  • Code assessable: Code assessable development can take 45 business days from lodgement date.
  • Impact assessable: If the development is impact assessable, it can take anywhere between 65 to 90 business days from lodgement date. This is dependent on the required public advertisement.

These time frames are also impacted by Council’s current workload.

What we’ve been told

We can help you bridge the gap between plan and project

Get in touch to talk to an expert in land surveying and town planning, with superior knowledge of Brisbane and South-East Queensland.