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Project Designs Architects

Pty Ltd

Fact sheet

BUILDING LOCATION ENVELOPE A Building Location Envelope (BLE) is generally imposed by council at the time of creating an acreage sub division. The BLE is created to limit the impact that construction of a new home may have on the natural environment, by pre determining the location and ‘spread’ of the proposed house, garaging, pool, tennis court or indeed any other site works. In older allotments where no BLE currently exists, the Council usually requires a new BLE to be created if the proposal for a new home requires Planning Approval. This most often occurs where the allotment is subject to a level of vegetation protection under the provisions of the Natural Assets Local Law (NALL) section of the City Plan. The Planning Department will then negotiate an area to be designated for the BLE as part of the approval process.

The Effect on Building on Acreage Properties An existing BLE on an acreage property prescribes where a new residence may be built along with any extensions to an existing home. Hence, a new house, building extensions, swimming pool, additional garage or shed may not be able to be constructed where you want to - if at all. Great care must be taken in establishing if an allotment is subject to a pre existing BLE when purchasing an acreage property. The outline of any BLE is not shown on the title deed but is generally depicted on the survey plan as lodged with council for the original sub division. In addition to confining any built structures within the boundaries of the BLE, all earthworks associated with the new works must also be contained within the BLE with the only exception generally being the access driveway.

Planning Approval Within the Brisbane area, Town Planning issues are handled by the City Council Planning Department, whilst all building approvals are the responsibility of private building certifiers. If there is no existing BLE on an older property and the desired location is not affected by Natural Assets Local Law (NALL) or the Waterways Code, then the building works will most likely not require lodgement for a Development Application (D.A.). The drawings can be lodged directly with the private building certifier for a Building Application (B.A.). However if the property as a whole, or the desired house location is affected by the Waterways Code or has a level of protection under the provisions of the NALL legislation, then a Town Planning application must be approved by the Brisbane City Council, before a building application may be granted.

Building Approval If a Planning Application is required, then the approved Development Application (D.A.) must be produced in order to have a Building Application (B.A.) approved before works can start on the site.

If the design of the proposed works can be shown as being wholly confined within an existing BLE, then the drawings can be lodged with a private building certifier for a straight forward Building Application.

Documentation for a Development Application Architectural drawings are required to support an application. These must fully show the proposed site details including contours and the location of all trees and other features. The location of all proposed building works is required along with a larger scale floor plan and all elevations. Areas of cut and fill must be shown along with cross sections through the proposed earthworks. A comprehensive Town Planning report must also be submitted to support the proposal along with any other survey or ecological documents that are pertinent to the property.

Summary The existence of a BLE is probably the single most limiting factor affecting the planning of building works. It should be the first item to be fully investigated, preferably prior to purchase, but otherwise prior to proceeding with a design concept for a new home or extensions on acreage properties.

With over thirty years experience in the industry & a cache of housing awards to his name, architect Colin Lewington specialises in residential property for the prestige market. With a focus on clean lines & fluid forms, his designs are a study in space & light, creating inspired visions that effortlessly blend the practical requirements of a family home with the finesse of a tangible artform.

Fact Sheet - Building Location Envelope  

Fact Sheet - Building Location Envelope

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