What is a City Plan?

A City Plan (planning scheme) helps to continuously manage growth and change, setting direction and reflecting community aspirations. The draft City Plan 2015 will be the planning scheme for the City of Gold Coast and any new development within the City must consider the planning scheme.


Why is a new City Plan necessary?

The Sustainable Planning Act 2009 requires reviews to the Plan every 10 years to ensure it continues to respond to growth and changes at a local, regional and state level. 

The plan identifies areas for building more homes, acts as a catalyst for new jobs, provides for good transport connections and protects our greenspaces from urban sprawl.



What area does the draft City Plan 2015 apply to?

The draft City Plan applies to all land within the City of Gold Coast area, with some exceptions such as the Southport Priority Development Area, which is subject to the proposed Southport Priority Development Area Development Scheme under the Economic Development Act 2012.


Will the draft City Plan 2015 planning scheme affect me?

The draft City Plan 2015 is an important document that will assist in shaping the future of the entire City of Gold Coast area.

If you own a property or business on the Gold Coast or live, work or holiday here, the new City Plan 2015 may affect you. The City Plan 2015 will impact on what you can do with your property, or what others around you can do.



Does the draft City Plan affect my existing usage rights?

Although proposed zoning and/or relevant provisions may be different in the draft Plan, existing lawful usage rights are protected under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009. Accordingly, a new planning instrument such as the City Plan 2015 cannot affect:

  • an existing lawful use of premises;
  • a lawfully constructed building; or
  • an existing development approval.


What is a zone and how do I check the zone applying to my land?

A zone is a land-use planning tool in the draft plan, which determines what uses you can and cannot do on your property.  The current Gold Coast Planning Scheme 2003 uses the term ‘Domain’ for this purpose.

Our Interactive Mapping tool allows you to search for a property on the map to see the zone, zone precinct and overlays that apply to the site.  It can also generate a printable property report which will help to identify the planning provisions which apply to the property.  Understanding the planning provisions will allow you to determine the assessment criteria we will use to assess a development.



What is a overlay on a map?

An overlay on a map identifies different features that also need to be considered when developing land, for example, flooding or heritage.  

The Interactive Mapping tool will help you identify whether or not your property is in an overlay area, meaning particular characteristics need to be considered during the preparation of your development application.

An overlay may apply to all or part of your property and your property may also be affected by more than one overlay.  Overlays may affect the type and level of assessment and design requirements such as building height, landscaping or vehicle.


How do I get a copy of the draft City Plan 2015?

The draft City Plan 2015 is available online. If you would like to view a printed copy, these are available at Councillor Offices, Administration Centres in Nerang and Bundall; or by attending the community consultation open days.

A printed copy of the draft Plan is available on request by calling Town Planning Advice Centre, City of Gold Coast on 07-5582 8708 or alternatively, you may wish to see the draft plan using our free internet service at any of the City’s Libraries.



How has the draft City Plan 2015 been prepared?

The draft plan has been prepared in accordance with the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (the Act). The draft plan seeks to advance Queensland State and regional strategies, including state planning policies and the South East Queensland Regional Plan 2009 – 2031. Through detailed local responses we have taken into account the local context of the plan. We have also partnered with the Gold Coast Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning to develop the draft plan.

While the draft plan sets out our intention for future development on the Gold Coast over the next 20 years, it will be reviewed periodically to ensure it responds appropriately to community changes at a local, regional and state level.

How has the draft City Plan 2015 been made easier to use?

Written in plain English, the draft City Plan 2015 contains clear development requirements and prioritises; while regulatory efforts ensure that the focus is on outcomes for the future economic productivity, prosperity and livability of the Gold Coast.

A 65 per cent trimming of content from the previous plan reduces levels of assessment and the requirement for further planning approvals on low risk land uses.


How can I have my say?

You can have your say by lodging a formal submission on any issues you may have relating to the draft City Plan 2015.

Comments can include suggested improvements or support for existing aspects.

All interested parties including the community, residents, local business operators and State agencies are invited to view the draft Plan and make a submission.

To make a submission complete the online submission form or use one of the other methods to have your say.





What happens when the draft City Plan 2015 public notification period closes?

The public consultation period will close on Tuesday, 29 July 2014. We will consider all submissions received and they may result in changes to the draft Plan.

Subject to Ministerial consideration, the draft Plan will be adopted and implemented.  This is likely to occur in early 2015.



How can I stay up to date as the draft City Plan 2015 progresses?

Staying up to date on the draft City Plan 2015’s progress is easy. Find the latest news on the draft Plan on our Facebook and Twitter sites. 

Does the draft City Plan 2015 affect applications now?

The draft City Plan 2015 (draft Plan) may be considered in the assessment of development applications, even though it has not yet commenced. If your planning proposal will conflict with the draft plan to any significant degree it is recommended that you contact us on 07-5582 8708 prior to lodging an application, to discuss.


Can I lodge a development application under the current Gold Coast Planning Scheme 2003?

You can continue to lodge an application under the current Gold Coast Planning Scheme 2003 until the draft City Plan 2015 commences.  It is anticipated the draft Plan will commence early next year (2015) and at this time the Gold Coast Planning Scheme 2003 will become ‘the superseded planning scheme’.

Under the provisions of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 a person may request that a proposed development be assessed and decided under the superseded planning scheme (Gold Coast Planning Scheme 2003). This request must be made within one year of the new planning scheme (City Plan 2015) taking effect and may be agreed to or refused.

For further information please refer to: the Queensland Government’s fact sheet on requests to apply a superseded planning scheme.



How will the draft City Plan 2015 impact on other Priority Development Areas (PDA) within the City (currently Southport PDA and Parklands PDA)?

Designated PDAs under the Economic Development Act 2012 will be administered through a PDA development scheme rather than the draft Plan. 

The draft Plan acknowledges the PDA and while the PDA requirements are not included in the draft Plan, they have been prepared so that they work together.