Steffan Harries

Commercial Development

We have extension experience in obtaining approvals for new and extensions to commercial buildings.

When undertaking a commercial development project, the aim is to achieve a cost and time efficient approval from Council. With our experiences throughout Queensland, we’re confident we can help you achieve your goals!

Approval for new dental clinic in Esk

Frequently Asked Questions

Local Government Areas are divided into various zones that dictate the allowable development on each site. In addition, the Planning Schemes subdivide certain zones into precincts, each assigned a unique number. These precincts offer more detailed specifications regarding the specific types of development intended for particular locations.

The Centre zone permits development in both large and small centers throughout the city, accommodating a range of activities including business, retail, professional services, administrative services, entertainment, cultural activities, and residential purposes. There are four distinct types of centre zones:

  1. Principal centres, exemplified by locations like Chermside.
  2. Major centres, represented by areas such as Toowong.
  3. District centres, including places like Cannon Hill.
  4. Neighbourhood centres, which consist of clusters of shops along Cavendish Road in Coorparoo.

A ‘Centre activity’ is a group definition used by Brisbane City Council to more easily refer to a group of commercial land uses. a ‘Centre activity’ includes the following defined uses:

  • caretaker’s accommodation
  • childcare centre
  • club
  • community care centre
  • community use
  • dwelling unit
  • educational establishment
  • emergency services
  • food and drink outlet
  • function facility
  • health care service
  • indoor sport and recreation
  • office
  • parking station, if bicycle parking
  • place of worship
  • sales office
  • service industry, if less than a gross floor area of 100m2
  • shop
  • shopping centre
  • short-term accommodation
  • substation
  • telecommunications facility, if a broadcasting station or television station
  • theatre
  • veterinary service

MCU means ‘Material Change of Use’ means a change in the way a property is being used. For example, when a building is being used as a Shop and converts to being used as an Office.

GFA means ‘Gross Floor Area’. In Queensland, gross floor area, for a building, means the total floor area of all storeys of the building, measured from the outside of the external walls and the centre of any common walls of the building, other than areas used for—

  1. building services, plant or equipment; or
  2. access between levels; or
  3. a ground floor public lobby; or
  4. a mall; or
  5. parking, loading or manoeuvring vehicles; or
  6. unenclosed private balconies, whether roofed or not.

Yes. You can read more about Infrastructure charges on our website here

Commercial Development

Engaging the services of a town planning consultant, such as Steffan Harries, for obtaining town planning permits for a commercial use can offer numerous benefits and streamline the process. Steffan Harries brings expertise and knowledge in navigating the complex realm of town planning regulations and procedures. With our professional guidance, we can ensure compliance with local zoning laws, regulations, and policies specific to the area. 

Additionally, our town planners can provide valuable insights into maximising land use efficiency, optimising development potential, and identifying potential challenges or opportunities within the planning process. 

New Commercial Uses

Establishing a new building for a commercial use will likely require approval from local council due to intensifying the land uses of an area. New commercial uses include Health Care Services, Shops, Offices, and also Mixed Use development where involving commercial and residential.

Extensions to Commercial

Where an intensification of a commercial land use is proposed, for example, an extension to the Gross Floor Area (GFA), an approval will be required. This is because the additional use of the land will attract increased demand on services such as parking, facilities etc.

Steffan Harries has extensive experience in negotiating extensions to commercial land uses (e.g. Shops, Health Care Services, Offices, Veterinary Clinics etc.). By entrusting the task of obtaining your permits to one of our town planners, you can enhance the likelihood of obtaining the necessary permits smoothly and efficiently, saving time, effort, and potential complications in the long run.

Material Change of Use

Despite having an existing building, sometimes changing the use of a building can attract a need for a development approval. For example: 

  1. Commencing a new use of the premises.
  2. Restoring a previously abandoned use on the premises.
  3. Implementing a significant change in the intensity or scale of the premises’ use.
The most common instance of this is where we see a building being used for a Shop in a residential zone that only ever had approval to operate as a ‘shop’. So if a new ‘office’ use wants to use the building, the change of use will require approval.

Need assistance with your commercial development? Get in touch with one of our town planners today!

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Have an enquiry?

The best and fastest way to make an enquiry is to submit our online form here.

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A member of our admin team will be happy to take down your details and send them to a planner for assessment. Call us on 33170042.

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✅A comprehensive review of critical planning aspects
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✅Overview of the development potential (if any)
✅High-level feedback from a planning Director

Expect your tailored advice within just 2 business days. Click here to view a sample report.