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Planning & Development Information

  • Planning Act 2016

    In Queensland, statewide legislation establishes the framework and overarching policy for land use planning.

    Having commenced 3 July 2017, the Planning Act 2016  (Planning Act) established a new planning system for the state and replaced the Sustainable Planning Act 2009.

    While key elements and the structure are renewed and regenerated, the Planning Act remains similar to the current Sustainable Planning Act in many ways and will be familiar to many users.

    To find out more information about the Planning Act 2016 and the Queensland planning framework visit:


  • Navigating our planning scheme

    A planning scheme can seem like a complicated document to try and navigate, especially if you are not used to it.

    For assistance with the basic navigation of the Central Highlands Regional Council Planning Scheme 2016 please refer to the Navigating the planning scheme – fact sheet.

  • A guide to zone codes under council's planning scheme

    Council’s Planning Scheme 2016 specifies 17 zone codes. Each zone code has a strategic purpose such as low impact industry or recreation and open space. The type of developments that may occur in each zone should align with its purpose.  Overall, zones provide strategic direction for development in the Central Highlands region.

    The 17 zones include:

    Centre zone, Specialised centre zone, Principal centre zone, Neighbourhood centre zone, Township zone, Emerging community zone, Recreation and open space zone, Community facilities zone, Industry investigation zone, Low impact industry zone, Industry zone, Special industry zone, General residential zone, High-density residential zone, Rural residential zone, Rural zone and Environmental management and conservation zone.

    Council has developed a guidebook to help developers understand the purpose of each zone codes and the type of developments that might occur.

    Download a printable PDF version of the guidebook and individual pages here.

  • Standards and specifications – CMDG

    The design and construction of municipal works in the Central Highlands 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:

    1. Approval and construction procedures
    2. Construction specifications
    3. Design specifications
    4. Purchase specifications
    5. Standard drawings

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

  • Development applications explained

    Types of development

    Material change of use

    Using the building, structure or the land for something different than it is currently being used for, or the same use more intensively. Examples: Changing a retail shop into a food and drink outlet, a 30 site caravan park to a 60 site caravan park, vacant lot into an office, shop, industrial use etc. 

    Reconfiguring a lot

    Subdividing the land or making changes to the boundaries. Examples: Subdividing one lot into multiple lots, dividing land into parts by agreement, re-aligning the boundary of a lot, creating or changing and easement giving access to a lot.

    Operational work

    Activities that alter the shape or form of the land. Examples: Earthworks (i,e. filling of excavation), vegetation clearing, erecting a sign.

    Building work

    Constructing a new building or structure or extending an existing building or structure. Examples: Building a new building or structure (e.e house, shed, garage, etc.), Part or complete demolition of a building or structure, repairing, altering or extending a building or structure.

    Types of approval

    A development approval can be a:

    • Development permit, which approves the proposed development and authorises the development to be carried out.
    • Preliminary approval, which approves the proposed development, but does not authorise the development to be carried out.
    • Variation request, which seeks to vary the effect of any local planning instrument in effect of the premises.
    • Combination of a development permit and a preliminary approval.

    Categories of development and assessment

    Accepted development:-

    One of the changes in the Planning Act 2016 is the consolidation of self- assessable and exempt development into one category, accepted development. Accepted development:

    • is to be assessed against all the identified accepted outcomes of the applicable codes identified in the assessment benchmarks column and any applicable overlay codes of the planning scheme; and
    • complies with all the accepted outcomes of all the applicable codes.
    • An application is not required to be lodged to council.

    An example of accepted development is a home based business. For further information on home based businesses see the home based business fact sheet.

    For further information on accepted development see the accepted development fact sheet.

    If the accepted development does not comply with all accepted outcomes the development will require a code assessable application.

    Assessable development

    Code assessable development:-

    • is to be assessed against all the applicable codes identified in the assessment benchmarks column and any applicable overlay codes of the planning scheme; and
    • complies with:-
      • the purpose and overall of the code; and
      • the performance or acceptable outcomes of the code.
    • An application is required to be lodged to council.

    Note: code assessable development can occur as a result of accepted development not being compliant with one or more of the identified accepted outcomes of the applicable codes.

    Impact assessable development:-

    • is to be assessed against the whole planning scheme – including zone codes, use codes and overlay codes and strategic framework (to the extent relevant).
    • An application is required to be lodged to council; and
    • public notification is required to be undertaken by the applicant.
  • Home based business

    Under the Central Highlands Regional Council Planning Scheme 2016 a home based business is defined as a dwelling used for a business activity where subordinate to the residential use.

    For further information on Home Based Businesses please view the home based business fact sheet.

  • Operational works

    Operational works are activities that alter the shape or form of the land such as excavating or filling, vegetation clearing and erecting an advertising sign. Material Change of Use or Reconfiguring a Lot Decision notices will define in the conditions what type of operational work needs to be carried out.

    To find out when operational works (earthworks) will trigger a development application with Council and/or the state government, please refer to this fact sheet.

    When lodging an Operation Work application you must ensure you complete DA Form 1 and submit with the relevant plans.

    Please refer to page 114 of the Register of commercial and cost recovery fees 2020-21 for the operational work application fees.


  • Search requests

    A search inspection request form is to be completed for the following searches:

    • Planning & Development Certificate (including limited, express, standard and full)
    • Engineering searches (including flood search, water/sewerage location and additional adjoining lot information)
  • Track Active and Determined Applications

    To view active and determined development applications, please click HERE or contact us by:



  • Applications currently on public notification

    Application No.ApplicantLocation / AddressType of ApplicationPublic Notification Period
    (for properly made submissions)
    Application Common Material
    DA045-2021Sojitz MDS Mining Pty Ltd C/- Murray & Associates (QLD) Pty LtdLot 1 RP618196 & Lot 1 SP189237

    27 & 31 Charles Street SPRINGSURE
    Material Change of Use: Non-Resident Workforce Accommodation12 November 2021 - 3 December 2021DA045-2021 Application Material (9MB)
    DA052-2021Central Qld Filter and Industrial Supplies

    C/- Des Skinner Plan Design & Drafting
    Lot 4 on RP860119

    8 Industrial Drive EMERALD
    Material change of use: Hardware & Trade Supplies26 November 2021 – 17 December 2021DA052-2021 - Application Material (2MB)

  • Making a submission

    Public notification and submission fact sheet

    In accordance with the Planning Act 2016  certain development applications are required to go through a period of public notification.

    Public notification informs the community of the proposal and provides the community with an opportunity to make submissions that must be taken into account before the development application is decided.

    During the public notification period, the community can make submissions about a development application to the assessment manager, who will consider these when making their decision. The submissions must be ‘properly made’, which means they must be in writing, on topic, signed and submitted by the due date.

    The ‘Applications currently on public notification’ tab below contains a list of development applications currently on public notification.

    Please email all properly made submissions to tplanning@chrc.qld.gov.au

  • EDQ Blackwater and Blackwater East PDA

    Delegation of development assessment powers to Central Highlands Regional Council
    The Minister for Economic Development Queensland (MEDQ) has agreed to a request from Central Highlands Regional Council (CHRC) to delegate development assessment within the PDA to the Council.

    From 4 July 2016, CHRC is responsible for assessing any development applications on behalf of the MEDQ. All development applications will continue to be assessed against the Blackwater and Blackwater East PDA Development Scheme’s under the Economic Development Act 2012 (ED Act).

    What happens to existing development approvals within the Blackwater or Blackwater East PDA?
    All existing development approvals remain in effect.

    How do I lodge a new application once delegation has commenced?
    All new development applications are to be lodged with CHRC. See above ‘Lodging a development application’ for further details.

    Will the development scheme continue to apply?
    Yes, development applications will continue to be assessed against the Blackwater PDA Development Scheme under the Economic Development Act 2012 until the PDA is revoked. EDQ will work closely with CHRC to prepare for the revocation process.

    Who will assess compliance and undertake plan sealing for existing PDA approvals?
    Compliance assessment and plan sealing will be undertaken by CHRC.

    What if I want to lodge a change to an approval granted by the department?
    Changes to approval applications are to be lodged with CHRC.

    Blackwater PDA Development Scheme

    Blackwater East PDA Development Scheme

    Forms, Guidelines and Practice Notes

    Economic Development Queensland (EDQ) provides forms, guidelines and practice notes to help you progress a development proposal through the application process. The Development application template can be found here.

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