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Planning and building

The Gold Coast is a vibrant and attractive city. We are working hard to maintain our enviable lifestyle and ensure our city continues to thrive in a sustainable way.

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Whether you are building a dwelling house, a secondary dwelling or a dual occupancy (duplex), the City provides the information that you will need to undertake your project.

Please note: a building setback may also be required, please refer to Building setbacks and plan of development page for further information.

Dwelling house

A dwelling house is considered a single household that is for residential purposes

Secondary dwellings

A secondary dwelling is a separate living area which is smaller and subordinate to the primary house, commonly known as a granny flat or family accommodation.

Dual occupancy (duplex)

A dual occupancy is made up of two dwellings (whether attached or unattached) on a single property, commonly known as a duplex. Also includes two dwellings within one body corporate.

Photograph courtesy: APP Corporation Pty Ltd - Sheron Mougrabi

Other common small-scale residential development projects requiring an approval

Class 1a - detached residential dwelling

Building Classification Description of Work
Dwelling house New, or a removal dwelling, or a relocatable dwelling
Additions/alterations Dwelling house or any other building over 10 square metres;
raise the height of building;
structural alterations;
removal of, or alteration to a load bearing part of a building;
re-blocking or stumping of an existing building over 20 per cent of the building’s structural components.
Aged accommodation Associated unit/dependant persons or similar (whether attached to, or detached from the main dwelling house)
Utility room or similar habitable area Whether within a storage shed or as a detached 'stand-alone building'
Decks attached to a house Plan area over 10 square metres;
or any side is longer than 5 metres.
Sunroom Enclosed room used for normal domestic activities


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