Brisbane Demolition Projects - What You Need to Know

Brisbane Demolition Projects - What You Need to Know


Before you embark on demolishing, removing and relocating your property, it is paramount that you assess your property and use the information herein to determine whether you need planning approval for your project.

Instances Where Removing Or Demolishing Is Accepted

You may not need a Brisbane City Council planning approval whilst removing or demolishing.

That being said, your removal or demolition project must meet the following requirements as outlined in the guideline - Brisbane City Plan 2014.
  • The demolition or removal should not be on a property that is the Heritage Register
  • The demolition or removal should not be on a property in the Pre-1911 building overlay
  • The structure should be of a commercial character
  • The building should not be a rooming accommodation/ registered boarding house
  • The demolition or removal should not be in an area where demolition should be assessed under the neighborhood plan
  • The demolition or removal should not be done on building that has Traditional building character overlaying the entire structure for building built after 1946.

Tip: The council does have aerial photographs taken in 1946 that will help you determine whether the structure was built on or before 1946

In a nutshell, you can demolish any free-standing building that was built after 1946 without any planning approval.

Acceptable Minor Demolition Work

If the structure in question has a Pre-1911 building overlay and a Traditional Building character overlay, you can still do minor removals and demolitions without having planning approval. Such instances will include:
  • The demolition of an internal feature or wall
  • The demolition or removal of a stair
  • The demolition or removal of an addition constructed ?" that is a free-standing outbuilding extension
  • Demolition or removal of any post-1946 alterations to help you reveal the original design or to aid in the reconstruction of the structure to its original form by using the original materials, whether it be the floor, the walls, the windows, the veranda, and the stumps.
  • The demolition of features such as windows, doors, window hood, fretwork, balustrades that were installed on or before 1946, where the intention is to use replacement features with the same style. As such, the replacement feature will ensure structure retains its traditional style, form, and appearance.

Another accepted development is raising an existing house up to a height not exceeding 9.5m is considered as minor work in most cases. Therefore, you do not need planning applications and approvals from the city for this type of project. However, some planning neighbourhood requires property owners to seek approval even for the minor building works.

In cases where the house has a Heritage overlay, minor demolition and removal is only accepted development in only some Local heritage place sub-category and entails:
  • A demolition that is done in aid of fitout and or internal building work but does not materially affect or change the heritage significance.
  • Repairing, altering, and or removing fittings and furniture that do not affect or contribute in any way to the cultural heritage significance.
  • Repairing, altering, and or removing building finishes that do not affect or contribute to the cultural significance. This will include elements such as plaster, wallpaper, and paint.

With the above in mind, property owners, developers, and managers should seek council advice to determine whether their intended demolition or removal works are accepted development.

There are some cases where Council will consider the intended work on a heritage structure to be minor in nature. As such, they will allow work to go on under a heritage exception certificate. Read more about the heritage exception certificate and the process and requirements needed when applying for one.

You will need planning approval when the property lies within the Major Centre zone or Principle zone. The same case applies where the place is code assessable even where the demolition is part of a committed program and the demolition is done in exercise to the existing development permit, for instance, where a temporary park has been created.

Using a statutory declaration, the landowner can demonstrate that building work will begin within 3 months of the demolition to effect an existing development permit.

When Do You Need to Apply For Demolition And Or Removal

In cases where you need a planning application, homeowners should consult a specialist for advice. After all, you will need a specialist’s report to justify and support the demolition and removal. Some of the reports that you will need to include structural engineer reports to prove or suggest that the structure is unsound.

Learn more at:
https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/construction/workplace-hazards/demolition
https://www.qbcc.qld.gov.au/demolition
https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/planning-building/do-i-need-approval/residential-projects/dwellings/demolishing-removal-relocating
https://www.totaldemolitionbrisbane.com.au/