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Services from a Town Planner for Queensland PDAs 

Services from a Town Planner for Queensl

Town planners are extremely essential during any development project. Without a town planner, you might encounter all sorts of hurdles regarding permits, development applications, or land surveys – everything you need to be able to green-light the construction phase of your project.  


Town planners are especially important if you plan on building on a priority development area or PDA. The State Government’s website defines PDAs as “parcels of land within Queensland identified for development to deliver significant benefits to the community.” A piece of land is declared a PDA when properties that the government recommends to be built on the area will improve community living, create jobs, or boost the local economy. 


If you want to invest in or begin a priority development project, read on to learn what you might expect as you work with a town planner in Queensland.  

First, what is town planning? 

Town planning involves collecting data to create recommendations regarding a community’s development. Town planners are actively involved in the creation and management of communities. They essentially conduct heavy and thorough research to assess whether a project uses land resources efficiently, passes local government requirements, or generally does not negatively affect public welfare. 


Town planning services involve a range of disciplines: environmental science and sustainability, political and social science, community development, and urban development. You might find town planners at government offices working directly with your community’s urban planning sector, while others work at private consultancy firms.  


Services you can expect from a town planner in Queensland 

The more you know about the services you are offered at Brisbane town planning firms, the better project decisions you will make. For PDA projects, expect them to be of help in the following ways: 

Assistance with processing development applications  

There are a limited number of priority development areas in declared by the State Government. Development applications in Brisbane and Queensland PDAs follow a six-step process:  


  • Pre-lodgement discussions – At this (optional) stage, developers and representatives at the Economic Development Queensland (EDQ) work together to discuss concepts and design proposals. This step is optional and usually availed of during larger-scale projects. 


  • Lodgement – This step involves determining whether a site is located on a Priority Development Area, confirming the delegate of the DA, and completing the necessary forms.  


  • Assessment – The EDQ goes through the application, considering factors such as the PDA development scheme or even feedback from the surrounding community.  


  • Notice of application – A notice of application is prepared only when required and as per advice of the EDQ. It is done only in particular instances, such as when the development would require public notice.  


  • Decision – Development applications in Brisbane/Queensland are likely to be approved within 40 business days; after which, the project finally obtains its Development Approval.  


  • Compliance Assessment – This is done only when relevant documents (plans, strategies, or reports) need to be endorsed as a condition for approval. 


The process of putting together development applications in Brisbane or Queensland PDAs requires thorough gathering of important documents: from design plans to titles and relevant records. More than that, as an applicant, you will also need sound advice throughout the application period, especially as you closely interact with EDQ. Certain strategies can make the process more efficient or increase your likelihood for approval. For that, you need dedicated professional town planners to help you succeed at this stage.  

Working closely with consulting land surveyors 

Town planning firms either maintain close relationships with a consulting surveyor in Queensland or serve as land surveyors themselves. Town planners need to work closely with land surveyors. For a PDA development application to be approved, the applicant must first present a completed survey (or several) of the land.  


There are several types of surveys. The most common is a boundary survey. Residential project applications, for example, may need to include the following pieces of information related to land size and measurement: lot and block, metes-and-bounds, and elevation data, to name a few. This information may only be obtained and verified by a registered consulting surveyor in Queensland.  


The EDQ will require this information because it will substantiate the contents of your other requirements. Your proposed design must fall within the measurements of your land, and the finished work must be situated well behind defined boundary lines.  


With this documentation, your town planner will be able to prove that your development meets the standards set by the State Government.


Tailored services 


Town planners can advise on all things related to land development. For example, if you have a project draft for urban design in Brisbane or elsewhere, you may send your designs or proposal drafts to town planners just for a quick assessment. They will tell you if the project is feasible or if aspects of it will cause you hassle during the development application process. With their advice, you can make changes and prepare accordingly before officially starting your project timeline.  


They can also advise on land-related legislation. If complaints from neighbouring establishments or local enforcement arise during or after construction, you may still call on your town planners to advise you on how to respond.  


It’s not only the property owner or developer who are involved in a project. Owners of adjoining or surrounding properties may also be affected by the new development. When an application is made subject for public notice, these owners may lodge a planning submission that either supports or opposes the project. Town planners offer assistance for the creation and lodgement of planning submissions.  


Generally, town planners may provide mediation services, whether that’s between developers and local councils or contractors and the surrounding community.  

Areas in Queensland with Declared PDAs


There are a total of 32 declared PDAs in Queensland. These PDAs are located at:  


  • Albert Street Cross River Rail 

  • Andergrove 

  • Blackwater 

  • Blackwater East 

  • Bowen Hills 

  • Bowen Street Roma 

  • Caloundra South 

  • Central Queensland University Rockhampton 

  • Clinton 

  • Fitzgibbon 

  • Greater Flagstone 

  • Herston Quarter 

  • Mackay Waterfront 

  • Maroochydore City Centre 

  • Moranbah 

  • Northshore Hamilton 

  • Oonoonba 

  • Oxley 

  • Parklands 

  • Queen's Wharf Brisbane 

  • Ripley Valley 

  • Roma Street Cross River Rail 

  • Southport 

  • Tannum Sands 

  • The Mill at Moreton Bay 

  • Toolooa 

  • Toondah Harbour 

  • Toowoomba Railway Parklands 

  • Townsville City Waterfront 

  • Weinam Creek 

  • Woolloongabba Cross River Rail 

  • Yarrabilba 

  • Yeronga 

If you require town planning and land surveying services, get in touch with JDA Consultants today


At JDA Consultants, we are staffed by professional, experienced town planners and consulting land surveyors. If you are looking for a town planner in Queensland, the team over at JDA Consultants can offer the services you require. We tailor our services to meet your exact requirements. Call us at (07) 3252-3777 or email us at

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