Height controls on buildings

How high is too high? Know your building heights.

Restricting building heights is one of the hot topics of the general community, particularly when new Planning Schemes are being written. But what happens when your design forces you to exceed the height allowance?

Building heights are reflected by the local Council’s desired development outcomes for particular suburbs and areas. Most houses in suburbia do not exceed two storeys in height and the majority of houses comprise of only a ground level floor. However, onsite conditions can occasionally force a house to be constructed higher off the ground than a standard “slab on ground”. For example, if a property has a steep slope or is subject to flooding. This might mean your home has to be built at a higher level to avoid potential hazard, possibly forcing you to exceed the allowable building height. If this happens you must apply to your local Council for Height Relaxation.

Building heights will be controlled by either your local Town Planning Scheme or the Queensland Development Code MP 1.1, 1.2 or 1.3. If you require Height Relaxation, the approval will need to be obtained from your local Council prior to receiving your building permit. The formal process for this type of application is called a Concurrence Agency Referral. Keep a look out for our up-and-coming article explaining more about this process.

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I am a qualified Town Planning Consultant and began working at Development Certification Pty Ltd whilst completing my studies in 2010. I have a Bachelor degree in Planning from James Cook University. I strongly believe the building and development industry is a collaborative body of professionals who, by working together and facilitating good development practices, can make our country the most liveable in the world. My role is to help consolidate Town Planning and Building Certification within Development Certification to ensure our clients are provided with the industry knowledge required for successful development.