Making an Application
When preparing your application you must meet the requirements of Sections 260 and 261 of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 for your application to be considered properly made. If your application does not meet these criteria, assessment cannot start.
The application must be:
- made to the assessment manager on the approved IDAS form or electronically;
- provided with all supporting information (stated on the IDAS form as mandatory information);
- lodged with the appropriate fee (see fees and charges);
- accompanied (where required) by the consent of the owner of the land; and
- accompanied (where required) by evidence of an allocation or entitlement to a State Resource, or evidence that the application may proceed in the absence of an allocation or entitlement to the resource.
Incorrectly lodged Application
The Act states that if the application is considered “not properly made”, the assessment manager must give the applicant a notice stating all of the following:
- the application is “not a properly made” application;
- the reasons why the application is “not a properly made” application; and
- the next step to ensure that the application will comply with the Act.
Guide to lodgement
The following is a guide to lodging a development application:
1. Check the property designation to determine how your proposed development would be assessed against the Douglas Shire Planning Scheme.
2. Review if the proposed use is code or impact assessable and the relevant codes and Planning Scheme Policies.
3. Prepare preliminary designs.
4. Discuss your proposal with a Town Planner at Council’s Planner of the Day counter, or have a pre-lodgement meeting to determine if there any issues with proposal.
5. Finalise plans and supporting documents.
6. Complete IDAS forms and ensure all mandatory requirements of the forms have been met.
7. Review development assessment checklist to ensure all relevant information is included with the application.
8. Lodge your application.
Lodging your application
You can lodge your development application in person at the Douglas Shire Council Chambers in Mossman. Applications are also accepted by mail:
Attention Manager Sustainable Communities
Douglas Shire Council
PO Box 723
Mossman Qld 4873
Fees and Charges
An application fee is required for most Development Applications. Please contact Douglas Shire Customer services on (07) 4099 9444 for more information or see Council’s Fees & Charges.
Have Your Say on a Development Application
Residents can support or oppose proposed development by making a formal submission, even if they do not live in the area.
A submission is a written explanation supporting or opposing a development proposal.
- be in writing and signed by each person who is listed as supporting it; and
- include the name and address of each person who signs it; and
- state what aspects of the plan or proposed development you support or oppose and why; and
- be received by Council during the formal public notification period.
Council needs to understand the reasons behind your submission. For example, if you think the type of development proposed for your area is unsuitable, you need to say why it is unsuitable, not simply that you do not like it.
A person who makes a “properly made submission” is called the “submitter”. Once Council considers all submissions, a copy of the decision is sent to everyone who wrote a submission; or the first person on the list of submitters if the submission was signed by several people.
Submissions can be made on developments that are “impact assessable”. Normally these are complex developments, or those that Council thinks might impact on neighbours, or be potentially unsuitable for an area.
Developments that are straightforward, or considered generally suitable, are listed as “code assessable”. Residents can make a submission on code assessable developments, however, the submitter will not have any formal rights under the Act.
You can make a submission in writing to:
Attention Manager Sustainable Communities
Douglas Shire Council
PO Box 723
Mossman Qld 4873
It is important that in addition to the information required above, the submission clearly details which development application you are making a submission about.
How To Get Planning and Development Advice
Get assistance or more information from a Council Planning Officer. You can also discuss your development proposal before making an Application.
There are a number of ways to gain advice about planning and development in the Douglas Shire.
While Council aims to assist you through the process, preparing a development application can be a complex task. Unless you understand the legal requirements and planning rules, you may find it useful to get expert help.
Online tools and information
This website contains extensive information and tools about planning and development in the Douglas Shire. The following pages may also be of assistance:
- Land searches
- Development Applications online
- Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning
Council’s pre-lodgement service is a free service except if full referral to a Council Committee is requested when a fee is charged.
The purpose of a “pre-lodgement” service is to provide an opportunity for the enquirer and Council officers to informally consider the key issues relevant to the assessment of a prepared proposal prior to lodging an application. Any person utilising this service should accept that:
- A pre-lodgement enables informal discussion and advice only. It does not constitute a detailed assessment and does not guarantee in any way the outcome of any subsequent assessment process.
- Advice will be given on issues detailed by the enquirer. Other issues may be raised by officers during the assessment process. The enquirer cannot rely on Council officers to identify areas of non-compliance during the pre-lodgement process.
As a minimum, a person using this service should:
- Submit an online Pre-Lodgement request; and
- Submit a Concept Plan drawn to scale and detailing the proposal including access, parking, open space, building height and setbacks from boundaries etc.
How long does it take?
Generally 10 working days for simple enquiries.
Visit or Email our Planner of the Day Counter
A planning officer is available daily from 8:30am to 4:30pm at 64-66 Front Street, Mossman to assist with you any general planning enquiries. Alternatively you can email the Planner of the Day at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you can’t find the information you need or need more information, you can call us on 07 4099 9444.
After Your Development is Approved
You may not be able to start work straight away once your development is approved.
Post-development approval checks
Before you begin work you must:
- get all operational works and compliance assessment approvals;
- comply with the relevant conditions of approval, including timing requirements;
- pay your Infrastructure Charges;
- appoint a licensed builder and building certifier;
- make sure that your site is safe and environmental controls are in place; and
- arrange a pre-start meeting with Council engineers.
This list is a general guide only.
The following flow chart shows where you are now in the overall process.
Fees are applicable for some stages in the process. Check current fees and charges.
Council staff may undertake random audits of development sites to ensure conditions of development are complied with and development is in accordance with approvals.
Determine if development approval is required the application will then go through the following process.
1. Application lodged with Council – Council grants development approval subject to conditions.
2. Prior to commencement – Check conditions to see if you are affected by any of the conditions prior to commencement of works, or prior to lodgement of building approval.
3. Operational works applications lodged – Get all operational works and compliance assessment applications required by the conditions of approval.
4. Obtain building approval – Appoint a building certifier to assess the building application. Approval of the building application must be obtained prior to commencement of works on site. Ensure you satisfy all conditions prior to commencement of works/or prior to building approval, or prior to commencement of building work.
5. Appoint builder – Sign a contract with a licensed builder and make sure that the builder has appropriate insurance.
6. Appoint a building certifier – Sign an agreement with an accredited building certifier to do the building inspections.
7. Pre-start meetings – Contact Council engineers from the Development Assessment Team to arrange a pre-start meeting appointment. At this time the engineer will require details of the engineering consultant (RPEQ) and timing for the construction period (if required for engineering works on site).
8. Building or reconfiguration work – Comply with all approval conditions.
9. On maintenance – Consulting engineer to contact Council engineers from the Development Assessment Team to arrange an on maintenance inspection. Payment of on maintenance security deposit may apply.
10. Plan Sealing (for reconfiguration applications) – Lodge survey plan with council for signing and sealing.
11. Off maintenance inspection – Twelve months after the on maintenance inspection, engineering consultant to seek joint off maintenance inspection with Council’s engineers. This will determine if assets are acceptable to be handed over to Council. A final acceptance letter will be given at this time. Where any securities are held for maintenance purposes, these will be released upon final acceptance.
12. Titles Office (for reconfiguration applications) – Lodge the sealed plan with the Titles Office.
13. Occupation and use – Make sure you comply with development approval conditions relating to ongoing use.