Steffan Harries

Operational Works

After you receive your development approval, the approval conditions may require you to lodge an application for operational works.

Carefully reading the approval conditions is crucial because certain conditions may be classified as ‘minor’ or ‘self-certified’. These conditions do not necessitate the submission of an additional application prior to commencing the associated works but an Operational Works approval is another level of application you might need!

What is Operational Work?

Operational work, as defined in the Planning Act 2016, refers to non-building or non-plumbing/drainage work that significantly impacts premises or their use.

Examples of operational work include filling, excavation, road works, stormwater drainage (excluding house drainage), vegetation management, rehabilitation, footpath works, and infrastructure development. Additionally, water, sewer, electricity, and telecommunication supply permits may be necessary. These activities require approvals from relevant service authorities.

Operational work falls under the category of Development Permit and must be assessed within the time frames outlined in the Development Assessment Rules of the Planning Act 2016.

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Frequently Asked Questions

No. Where only minor operational works are proposed, Council may opt to condition any operational works (e.g. earthworks, or stormwater connections) vs. making you lodge a whole new application.

A suitably qualified person. We found this to generally be a RPEQ Civil engineer, but depending on the scale of the works, a town planner with a lot of experience can also fill it out and sign.

A civil contractor is a professional or a company that specializes in carrying out construction and infrastructure projects related to civil engineering. They are responsible for the planning, management, and execution of various civil works, such as the construction, maintenance, and renovation of roads, bridges, dams, airports, pipelines, and other large-scale infrastructure projects. Civil contractors typically possess expertise in areas such as earthworks, grading, concrete work, utility installation, drainage systems, and landscaping. They may also coordinate with architects, engineers, and other stakeholders to ensure the successful completion of projects within specified timelines and budgets.

Civil contractors are essentially project managers, specialising in operational works.

What is a Council compliance assessment?

Council compliance assessment is a specific application to ensure compliance with the conditions of a development approval for Material Change of Use (MCU) or Building Work (BW). Unlike other applications, such as Operational Work, Council compliance assessment is not governed by the processes or timeframes outlined in the Planning Act 2016.

Due to the unique nature of each site, the required Operational Works can vary significantly. Engaging the expertise of our town planners can assist you in identifying the necessary OPW, effectively planning the application, and ultimately executing the work.

Which application might you need?

Operational work approval is typically necessary for works that are subject to conditions outlined in a Reconfiguring a Lot (RaL) approval. These works are commonly referred to as post-approval operational work.

There is also a separate category of operational work known as “stand-alone” operational work, which includes filling or excavation works unrelated to RaL. The assessment criteria for stand-alone operational work can be found in Part 5 of the Brisbane City Plan 2014.

If you intend to undertake filling or excavation on your property without a development approval, it is advisable to consult with Council’s Planning Information Officers to determine whether a stand-alone operational work application is required.

Council compliance assessment approval may be necessary to fulfill the conditions of a development approval (MCU or BW) when additional assessments and approvals, such as a building management statement, construction management plan, fauna management plan, or flood emergency management plan, are needed.

Erosion and Sediment Control (ESC)

According to the Environmental Protection Act 1994, it is prohibited to cause environmental harm, which includes depositing prescribed water contaminants (such as earth, concrete, building waste, etc.) in roadside gutters, stormwater drains, and waterways. This prohibition also applies to placing prescribed contaminants in a manner that could reasonably lead to erosion from the site and their entry into the aforementioned areas.

In line with a Development Approval and Brisbane City Plan 2014 (City Plan), earth-disturbing works typically require the installation and maintenance of Erosion and Sediment Control (ESC) measures on the site. These measures must align with current industry best practices, and more information can be found in the Erosion Hazard Assessment (EHA).

Instances of non-compliance with the Environmental Protection Act 1994 and the Planning Act 2016 are investigated by Council’s Erosion and Sediment Control Team.

Erosion and Sediment Control standards

The standards pertaining to Erosion and Sediment Control (ESC) on development sites are outlined in Chapter 7 of the Infrastructure Design Planning Scheme Policy of City Plan. City Plan generally acknowledges and adopts the current industry best practice, as defined by the International Erosion Control Association (IECA) 2008. However, it’s important to note that in case of any discrepancies, Council’s City Plan takes precedence over other guidelines or standards.

Erosion Hazard Assessment (EHA)

For all applications involving a material change of use, reconfiguration of a lot, or operational work that will lead to land disturbance or soil exposure, it is mandatory to submit a completed Erosion Hazard Assessment (EHA) form. The EHA form must be certified by a qualified individual who can assess the potential erosion risk associated with the proposed development. Detailed guidelines and instructions for completing the EHA form can be found in the Erosion Hazard Support Technical Notes. 

Steffan Harries are equip with the expertise to assist you with any EHA forms.

Need assistance with your operational works? Get in touch with one of our town planners to help!

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