Development Planning

Ipswich is situated at the center of the western corridor and a part of one of the fastest growing regions in Australia. The Ipswich CBD is situated 40kms west of the Brisbane CBD. The Ipswich City Council is committed to providing integrated and progressive development and growth management through the application of the Ipswich Planning Scheme and applicable legislation.

Development Planning in Ipswich regulates development in accordance with the Sustainable Planning Act 2009, Planning Act 2016 and the Ipswich Planning Scheme. Development applications may be required for changes to existing development and for new developments. Prior to undertaking a project, it is important to determine if any development approvals are required in order to complete the project.

Information Index

Making Submissions to Development Applications - Sustainable Planning Act 2009

For information about when an application needs to be publicly notified and how submissions can be made about an application please refer to the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning's factsheet by clicking on the following links:

Planning Act Submissions:

PDA (Ripley) Submissions:

Queensland Urban Utilities

From 1 July 2014, Queensland Urban Utilities will be responsible for receiving, assessing, providing advice and approving applications for connections, disconnections and alterations to their water and sewerage networks, instead of Council in most instances. As such, customers will need to apply directly to Queensland Urban Utilities for water and sewerage connections, disconnections and alterations.

This change has resulted from the Water Supply Service Legislation Amendment Act 2014 passed by the Queensland Parliament. The intention of the legislation is to streamline the approval process for water and sewerage connections.

If you've got an existing development approval or application lodged with Ipswich City Council, or intend to make an application, please refer to Queensland Urban Utilities' website for information about connecting to water and sewerage services. For further information visit https://urbanutilities.com.au/development or contact the Queensland Urban Utilities' Development Services Customer Team directly on 3432 2200.

New Initiatives

You may have noticed some changes in the way that the Ipswich City Council contacts you in respect to development applications.

As of 2 January 2013, Ipswich City Council has been notifying applicants by SMS when a decision has been made on a development application.

Furthermore, as of 9 September 2013, Ipswich City Council has been contacting applicants by SMS or email once their application has been lodged. This communication acknowledges receipt and lodgement of a development application and the nominated contact for the applicant (via PDOnline).

To be eligible for this service, applicants are encouraged to include a mobile phone number and an email address in order to take advantage of these services.

Ripley Valley Update

One of the Queensland Government's statutory and land use planning reforms is to return responsibility for planning and development assessment to local government. The ultimate outcome sought for the Ripley Valley Priority Development Area (PDA) is the revocation of the PDA. While the revocation process is being worked through with Ipswich City Council (ICC), development assessment and relevant administration powers have been delegated to ICC as of 30 September 2013.

From 30 September 2013, ICC is responsible for assessing any development applications.  Whilst, all development applications will continue to be assessed against the Ripley Valley Development Scheme under the Economic Development Act 2012, applications should be lodged with Ipswich City Council at plandev@ipswich.qld.gov.au. The development assessment fee schedule for Ripley Valley (PDA) applications has been incorporated into Ipswich City Council's Planning and Development fees and charges. For a copy of the fees and charges, please click here.

For more Information, including planning documents and guidelines please see: http://www.dsdmip.qld.gov.au/economic-development-qld/priority-development-areas/ripley-valley.html

Importantly, application lodgement for Ripley Valley Applications will be generally the same as for development applications under the Planning Act 2016, with the exception that different application forms are required.

Application Lodgement

In order for a development application to be 'properly made' and thereby processed efficiently, it must satisfy the requirements of the Planning Act 2016. Specifically, an application must:

  • Be submitted on the relevant development application form (produced by the State), available at Development Assessment Forms - Planning Act 2016
  • Be accompanied by:
    • supporting documentation as specified by the applicable form/s
    • the required application fee (note that Ipswich City Council does not issue development application fee quotes/payment invoices)
    • the consent of the owner/s of the premises (individual / company) where required under section 51(2) of the Planning Act.

In addition to the above, submission of the following application lodgement forms (as applicable) will assist with ensuring the accurate lodgement of your application.

Development applications may be submitted via email, in person or via mail. To submit an application via email, simply complete the relevant application forms and submit them along with any supporting material to plandev@ipswich.qld.gov.au. Please be advised that there are data limitations for email correspondence. For more information, including access to large file transfer services, please contact Ipswich City Council on telephone 3810 6888.

Council is utilising a full electronic management system of development application files and where possible intends to issue most communications regarding applications electronically via notifications to the applicants nominated email address. It is important that applicants update Council for any changes to their specified email address or if they do not want to receive correspondence electronically.

One of the many benefits of receiving communications electronically from Council includes reduced delivery time of communications resulting in improved overall decision time frames.

As part of the management of all development applications, Council is also able to notify applicants when a decision has been made, via an SMS service. It is important that applicants notify Council of any changes to their specified mobile phone number.

Application Fees

Application fees must be paid in order for an application to be properly made. For a copy of the Planning and Development Department fees and charges, please click here.

Application Fees can be paid in person at our customer contact centres, or via EFT. For more information, please contact us.

Fast Track

On 1 October 2012, Ipswich City Council implemented a fast track development application process providing opportunity for an approval timeframe of up to 5 business days in certain instances.

Qualifying development applications which may fall under the new assessment timeframes include those which:

  • are decision ready;
  • are properly made applications;
  • are code assessable only;
  • do not have any statutory referral requirements;
  • are not subject to significant development constraints; and
  • do not necessitate the request for, or lodgement of, further information.

Minor forms of development include the following:

  • access easements;
  • boundary realignments;
  • dual occupancies;
  • multiple residential uses up to ten units;
  • single residential uses;
  • residential reconfigurations up to ten lots;
  • building work not associated with a material change of use applications;
  • operational work for advertising devices;
  • extensions to relevant periods;
  • permissible change application to a fast track approval; and
  • minor alterations.

Ipswich City Council has partnered with private enterprise to ensure speedy resolution of low risk and less complex matters. This is a great initiative; it increases the speed and efficiency of the approval process, while still ensuring appropriate levels of assessment and consultation.

No special requirements exist for applicants to lodge a potential fast track application. All applications will be accepted using the existing lodgement methods via, electronic lodgement submission, in person lodgements or mailed lodgements. Council will automatically determine whether an application qualifies for fast track assessment upon its receipt.

Applicants are encouraged to demonstrate that no state agency referrals are triggered for their application by including the necessary referrals checklists and ensure all relevant information addressing development constraints has been provided.

Development Enquiries and Pre-lodgement Meetings

Enquiries can be held at the Planning and Development counter or by telephone. They are intended to give you an opportunity to briefly discuss broad development concepts in relation to a particular site with a Council town planner. They are limited in length and should assist in identifying zoning, mapped planning scheme constraints and broad planning intentions for the land as indicated in the planning scheme. The advice you receive over the phone or at the counter from the duty officer should not be substituted for independent professional advice or a comprehensive due diligence process.

To supplement the counter enquiries, pre-lodgement meetings are intended to discuss a particular development proposal for a specific site in more detail. The purpose of pre-lodgement meetings is to reduce development assessment timeframes by identifying likely 'information request' items, which can be addressed prior to application lodgement. Pre-lodgement meetings should be held once you have formulated a development proposal which you feel is compliant with the town plan and other relevant legislation.  Development proponents are encouraged to discuss their intentions with Council prior to lodgement, especially for more complex applications.

It should be noted that a number of Council officers from different branches or departments may be required to provide information for the meeting.  To enable Council officers to provide detailed, accurate advice, and to gain the most benefit from a pre-lodgement meeting, the following details are requested to be submitted to Council at least a week before the meeting:

  • Proposal details, including proposal plans drawn to scale
  • Proposed meeting discussion items/agenda.

Note: Pre-lodgement meetings are offered as a free service by the Development Planning Branch, and as such meeting minutes are not distributed following the pre-lodgement meeting.  However, you are welcome (and encouraged) to take your own meeting minutes.  Again, pre-lodgement meetings should not be substituted for independent professional advice or a comprehensive due diligence process.

To book a pre-lodgement meeting with Ipswich City Council, complete an online request.

Apart from exceptional circumstances, note that pre-lodgement meetings are not suitable for the following developments:

  • General enquiries
  • Dwelling houses (including ancillary structures such as auxiliary units, sheds, extensions, carports and secondary dwellings)
  • Dual occupancies
  • Reconfiguring a lot (1 into 2 lots)
  • Home-based businesses

For enquiries relating to the above, please visit the Planning and Development counter, or telephone 3810 6888.

Please be advised that the Planning and Development Department have electronic facilities available in our meeting rooms such as computers and projectors with up to date aerial photography and information on services and constraints. These facilities can be useful in presenting and analysing information in respect to development sites and development proposals.

PD Online

PD Online is an additional tool that can be used to monitor development application activity including processing of current applications and property information such as zones and overlays, and to view the Ipswich Planning Scheme and Planning Scheme Maps.

Note that a new, detailed interactive mapping tool is also available here.