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FAQs and Fact Sheets

Planning and development

Where can I get specific development or town planning advice?

If you have a question about the development potential of land, what a property can be used for or any other planning related enquiry, please visit Development in Logan.

Building and plumbing

What should I do if the search results show that a building is not approved?

Have a look at our fact sheet on when a building approval may be required. After this point, we recommend that you contact a private building certifier to confirm the type of approval(s) that the building requires and the estimated costs and requirements of obtaining an approval. Private building certifiers can be sourced through the Yellow Pages.

How do I finalise a building or plumbing approval?

If your search results show that a building or plumbing approval was given but no final inspection was carried out, have a read of our fact sheet on how to finalise an approval (PDF 34 KB).

What should I do if Council has no record of an approval or plans?

You are encouraged to contact a private building certifier to confirm whether the building requires an approval and the estimated costs and requirements of obtaining an approval.

Does a building require a certificate of classification?

Commercial buildings or multiple attached dwellings constructed after 1 April 1976 generally require a certificate of classification to be issued prior to occupation. Please refer to our certificate of classification fact sheet or contact a private building certifier to discuss the legal requirements.

Should I be concerned about a building not having an approval?

Council would encourage you to seek legal advice. However, please be aware of the following:

  • Obtaining a retrospective approval or performing rectification can be costly
  • Home and contents insurance policy or payout could be affected
  • It may affect the value or resale of the property

What is the difference between a building and plumbing approvals report from Council and a building and pest report?

A building and pest inspector will usually visually examine the structure of the dwelling, identifying defects, pest damage, damage or safety issues. However, Council's building and plumbing approvals report will give you confirmation of the status of building approvals at the property, including whether all the structures were lawfully approved and received a final inspection. All this information is important when considering whether to buy a property.

General questions

What is the difference between doing a formal search and using PD Online?

Council's free online search system is intended for informal use, which you will hopefully find useful when doing initial research on a property. It gives a quick snapshot of the zoning of the land and certain applicable approvals. However, as its disclaimer states, it cannot be relied upon during a property transaction. The only way to receive accurate information is through making a formal search application to Council, as our processing staff have access to the full extent of Council's paper-based historical, archived and electronic records and the reports are subject to internal quality assurance processes prior to being made available.

What does Council's search process involve?

In completing a search request, we do any or all of the following to ensure that we can provide accurate and high quality information for you:

  • Review electronic databases and mapping systems
  • Review archived and historical documentation
  • Research relevant legislation and planning schemes
  • Make enquiries with town planning or building staff
  • Perform internal quality assurance to ensure the integrity of the data given to you.

Which searches can Council deliver by email?

Council is able to email most search results, except those involving large documents (particularly building plans and standard/full planning and development certificates). Please be aware that where you have selected for the search response to be via email, we will not send them by post as well.

Can the search service be expedited to meet my contractual timeframe?

Regrettably we do not have the capacity to expedite a search request, due to the high volumes of searches we process on a daily basis. We appreciate that our customers seek quality search results as quickly as possible within pressing contractual timeframes. To avoid disappointment, we recommend that you take into account Council's standard processing time when negotiating the contract timeframes.

If I cancel the search, can I obtain a refund?

If you cancel the search prior to us commencing preparation, we can refund 75% of the fee to you. To cover our administrative cost of the initial processing, we retain 25% of the amount. However, if we have substantially prepared the search response, we are unable to give a refund.

Why is there a difference in fee between a residential and commercial search?

Often, the commercial searches are more complex for Council to prepare, involving multiple development approvals or a large volume of records. It is rare for a residential property to have a large volume of approval documents or lengthy approval history.

If the search reveals that Council does not have a record of a document or plan, can I get a refund?

No. The fees charged represent the search undertaken and are non-refundable.

Why doesn't Council have a record of the planning, building or plumbing document that I seek?

Logan City Council has grown over the years, most recently taking under its administration parts of the Gold Coast City Council and Beaudesert Shire Council areas. Whilst all building, plumbing and planning documents must generally now be retained, there have been varying legislative regimes in place governing record-keeping and disposal timeframes over the past fifty years. Further, since 1998, Council has relied on private building certifiers sending building approval documentation to Council for archiving. Occasionally, despite our best endeavours, a search result might show that a document is not be available on Council's records.

When does the search timeframe commence?

The search timeframe starts from the time that the correct fee has been paid along with the application and the authorising documentation has been provided.

What other searches can be done through Council?

Other popular searches through Council include searches for rates, plumbing and drainage, flooding, and licences.

Fact sheets

The following fact sheets provide an overview of the various property search and approval finalisation services that Council offers: