How to Apply for Discretionary Exemption?

Key information

  • In limited circumstances, QLDC can decide Building Consent is not required
  • This is called discretionary exemption
  • It is under Schedule 1, Part 1, Exemption 2 of the Building Act 2004
  • QLDC has developed guidance criteria to assist owners with discretionary exemption
  • If a project fits one or more criteria, it strengthens the case for exemption. But it does not represent automatic approval
  • Each request is judged on its own merits
  • It is QLDC's right to accept or refuse an application for discretionary exemption

What are the QLDC guidance criteria for exemption?

1. Building work with a value less than $20,444 (no BRANZ or MBIE levy requirement)

2. The following building work which do not fully meet the m2 area limitations of Schedule 1 Part 1 exemptions, which are references in brackets for each of the following:

      • Marquee and tents >100m2 floor area, that is to be used for a period of not more than 1 month
      • Closing in an existing veranda or patio >5m2
      • New porch, veranda or awning >20m2 
      • Carport >20m2

3. Building work for ‘simple, low-risk structures’, typically of Importance Level 1 from Building Code, clause 'A3 – Building importance levels', e.g.

      • Farm Buildings
      • Proprietary garage
      • Bus Shelter

4. Building work for ‘minor’ projects, but designed by a chartered professional engineer, e.g.

      • Fences and hoardings >2.5m in height, but excludes swimming pool fences
      • Shade sail >50m2

5. Building work for more complex engineered projects designed and supervised by chartered professional engineers. This is either for temporary or permanent structures where QLDC considers the inspection procedures adequately covered by the engineer, e.g.

      • Construction or removal of a retaining wall located in a residential zone
      • Decks, platforms, bridges, boardwalks and similar where fall height >1.5m
      • Lighting towers
      • Music stages
      • Motorway tunnels and bridges
      • Electrical substations
      • Wharf repairs

How to I apply for exemption?

Use the form below and submit on QLDC Sharefile here: