Do I need approval?


If you are seeking to develop land or construct a project in the Western Downs region, you may require an approval, such as a Planning Approval, Building Approval, or Plumbing Approval from Council as the assessing authority. 

Types of Development

Council regulates development in accordance with State Government legislation and State Local Government instruments. Development includes: 

List of types of development

Type of Development


Material Change of Use (MCU)

A "Material Change of Use" is a type of development defined under the Planning Act 2016 and is regulated by Council through Council's Planning Scheme. The term means the start of a new "defined use" of the premises, the re-establishment on the premises of a use that has been abandoned, or a material increase in the intensity of scale of the use on the premises. An example of a Material Change of Use is constructing a new Warehouse development on a vacant parcel of industrial land.

Reconfiguring a Lot (ROL)

"Reconfiguring a Lot" is a type of development defined under the Planning Act 2016 and is regulated by Council through Council's Planning Scheme. It includes creating new lots by subdividing, amalgamating lots, rearranging the boundaries of a lot/s, dividing land into parts by a lease agreement or creating an easement giving access to a lot from a constructed road.

Operational Work (OW)

"Operational Work" means work other than building work or plumbing and drainage work, in, over or under the premises that materially affects the premises or the use of the premises. An example of Operational Work is the construction of a new road required by a development.

Plumbing and Drainage Works

Plumbing and Drainage Works are work that needs to be undertaken by a Licensed Plumber, for example, the approval of an on-site treatment plant for a residence in an unsewered area or connection of a new residence on vacant land within a sewered area.

Building Work

Building Work is the construction of a building or structure on the land.


Types of Approvals

The types of Council approvals required for development generally include:

  • Development Approval (ie  Planning Approval) may be required for development including a Material Change of Use, Reconfiguring a Lot or Operational Work if the development is Assessable Development under the Planning Scheme. Approval will not be required if the type of development is Accepted Development under the Planning Scheme.  
  • Change Approval or Extension Approval (ie  Planning Approval) may be required if you have an existing Planning Approval that you need to change or if you need to extend the currency period.
  • Plumbing Approvals are approved by Council's Plumbing Inspector for notifiable plumbing works in accordance with Schedule 2 of the Standard Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2019.
  • Building Approval is required for the construction of a building or structure. The approval can be provided by Council (for residential development only) or an appropriately qualified Private Building Certifier.  
  • Referral Approval for Building Works Approval is required where the building works trigger assessment under the Planning Scheme, for example, where the building works occur in a High or Extreme Flood Hazard Area or where building works do not meet the required boundary setback distance requirements.

Further information to determine if your development will require approval from Council can be accessed within the Planning, Building and Plumbing pages on Council's website.

You can also contact Council's Planning and Environment Department for further information via email or telephone (07) 4679 4000.