What is a Secondary Dwelling (granny flat) and what is changing?

Current requirements under The Noosa Plan 

Secondary dwellings (granny flats) that comply with The Noosa plan are self-contained with a kitchen and often laundry facilities.

Secondary dwelling (granny flats) must operate as one household with, and be subordinate to, the main detached dwelling house. 

Secondary dwelling must only be occupied by a relative, employee or close friend and not be separately let.

Secondary dwellings cannot be used for short term accommodation. This includes shorts stays by tourists and visitors on Air Bnb, Stayz and the like.

Bed & Breakfast (home hosted short term accommodation)

Home hosted (bed and breakfast accommodation) currently requires approval under The Noosa Plan.

Rooms made available for home hosted accommodation cannot be self-contained, meaning there are no separate kitchen facilities available.

What is proposed under the New Noosa Plan

Secondary dwellings (granny flats )

As above – no change to current requirements.

Home hosted short term accommodation

A detached house can be used for home hosted short term accommodation (home based business) without planning approval where complying with the requirements of the Noosa Plan. The rooms used for short term accommodation cannot be self contained, meaning there are no separate kitchen facilities available.


1. Why is the New Noosa plan out for consultation again?

After considering a significant number of submissions during the earlier consultation period, Council has proposed a number of recommended changes to the draft scheme some of which are  considered significant under the Provisions of the Planning Act.

The State Government requires Council to repeat public consultation if the changes in the proposed scheme are considered to be significantly different to the version released previously.

This consultation process is limited to only those aspects of the proposed scheme that have changed and submissions will only be considered on these aspects of the scheme.

2. What’s a "SIGNIFICANT" change?

The Planning Act defines what is considered “significant” in accordance with Schedule 2 of the Ministers Guidelines and Rules and  these significant changes are being consulted on.

In considering the proposed changes and what effect they have on land use and assessment requirements on certain types of development, it is considered that re-advertising is necessary for any of the following under the Ministers Rules:

  • Removal of maps from the scheme, or addition of new maps
  • A change in zone
  • A change in level of assessment or whether a use is made consistent or inconsistent
  • A policy change or a change where a significant area of the Shire is covered

3. What are the significant changes to the Draft New Noosa Plan?

The “significant” changes for the New Noosa Plan relate to the following topics and are subject to this round of consultation are as follows:
  • Council’s approach to short-term accommodation (refer to Fact Sheet 1 )
  • Zone changes to specific properties (refer to "Significant changes to Zones as a result of submissions) - Individual property owners will be notified where a zone change is occurring)
Major Centres: (refer to Fact  Sheet 4- Centres)
  • Amendments to the Major Centre Zone Code and Tables of Development  for Noosa Junction and Noosa Business Centre
  • Amendments to Zone and Precinct Maps and the Framework and Character Plan  for the Noosa Business Centre 
  • Amendments to the car parking rates for Offices in Noosa Junction; and
  • More flexible provisions for motorcycle spaces.
Industry Zones and Precincts (refer to Fact Sheet 5 - Industry)
  • Caretaker’s accommodation level of assessment changed from Impact to Code. 
  • Introduction of the Gateway West Makers Precinct and amendments to the Venture Drive Enterprise Precinct to enable more flexible approach to new and emerging business models including complementary uses. 
  • Amendments to the Low Impact and Medium Impact Industry Table of Development responding to the above as well other anomalies.
  • Removal of a site from the Venture Drive Enterprise Precinct as requested.
Changes to overlay maps for Riparian Buffers and Coastal Erosion as well as Tables of Assessment. (Refer to Fact Sheet 6 - Coastal Protection )

The following changes will also be part of the re-advertising: 
  • The definition of small dwelling has been amended to be a dwelling that has no more than 100m² of gross floor area. Previously it was a maximum GFA of 90m².
  • The Medium Density Residential Zone code is revised to reflect the same outcomes relating to Noosa Water revetment wall that appear in the Low Density Residential Zone Code, so they apply to Sunseeker Close and Noosa Entrance complex.
  • Creating consistency with the types of development within the Resources Processing Area, Resource Processing Separation Area, Transport Route and Transport Separation Area that require code assessment against the 8.2.5 Extractive Resources Overlay Code.
  • Within Part 9.5.1 Reconfiguring a Lot Code the following wording of AO5.1 is revised as a Performance Outcome “Except where otherwise specified in a local area code, all new lots comply with the minimum lot size and the minimum average lot size specified in Table 9.5.1.4 Minimum lot size and dimensions.”
  • Removing the words “or 800m2 for rear (battle-axe) lots” where they appear in the minimum lot size table for Low Density Residential because it is in conflict with provisions elsewhere in the Reconfiguring a Lot Code that says “The minimum area of the rear lot, exclusive of any access strip, complies with the lot reconfiguration outcomes in Table 9.5.1.4 Minimum lot size and dimensions providing that no rear access lot has a lot size less than 600m2 exclusive of access strip”.

4. What has happened to my submission?

All Submissions have been reviewed, many have resulted in changes to the New Noosa Plan some minor and some considered significant and subject to this second round of consultation. Your submission is still valid and you do not need to lodge another submission. If your submission relates to any of the significant changes see FAQ no.3 of the proposed changes currently on consultation and you can lodge another submission if you choose to do so. 
Submissions received in the first and second round of consultation will inform the final Noosa Plan.

5. Has my submission been considered and when will I know if any changes are made in response to it?

Further changes are proposed in response to submissions received, however those not considered significant (considering the Ministers rules) will still form part of the final changes to the Noosa Plan following this next round of consultation. Any submission in relation to other changes are still being considered by Council and you will not need to lodge another submission. 

6. Do I need to make another submission, if I did one previously?

There is no need to make another submission, unless it relates specifically to the significant changes listed in FAQ no.3 that are proposed in the scheme. All submissions received previously remain active and have been considered in drafting the scheme.

7.How do I make a submission on a significant change or find out more information?

Public Consultation will commence from Monday 16th September through to the 11th November and submissions in relation to any significant change can be made by:
Emailing  : nnpsubmissions@noosa.qld.gov.au 
By post PO Box 141, Tewantin Qld 4565; or 
Drop your submission off at our office at 3 Pelican St, Tewantin
You can drop into the Strategic Planning Office at 3 Pelican St, Tewantin between 9am-2pm or by appointment. Or call 5329 6360. 

Short Term Accommodation Frequently Asked Questions

8. What is the difference between renting out 1 or 2 bedrooms to visitors while I am living in my house and renting my whole house out to visitors while I am on holidays?. Do I need a planning approval?

If you only rent bedroom/s to visitors while you are residing in the house, (what is a traditional bed & breakfast style of accommodation) then this is classed as a Home-Based Business not Short term accommodation. It depends on the zone where you live as to how many bedrooms you can rent out. Generally you will not require a planning approval from Council providing you comply with certain criteria in the Planning Scheme.
If you go on holidays and rent your whole house to visitors it is classed as Short term accommodation. One of the significant changes to the draft Planning Scheme is that it allows residents to rent their whole houses for Short term accommodation without requiring a planning approval providing it is rented for no more than 4 occurrences and for no more than 60 nights per calendar year. If you rent it out for more times than this, then you will need a planning approval. The type of assessment process is dependent on the planning zone of where you live.

9.Do I have existing use rights if I have been using my investment house for Short term accommodation?

If you have consistently been using the dwelling house for Short term accommodation for at least 1 year immediately prior to the start of the new planning scheme, it is likely you have existing use rights. Contact Council for further information on 5329 6360 or visit 3 Pelican St, Tewantin between 9am-2pm.

10. Do I have existing use rights if I have been using my investment unit for Short term accommodation?

This will depend on when the unit complex was built. Generally, if the unit was built prior to February 2006 then it is likely you will have existing use rights, if built after February 2006 then it is unlikely the unit will have existing use rights. If the unit was built after 2006 and available for short term accommodation, then a planning approval is required.

11. I want to buy an investment house in Noosa and the house does not have a consistent history of being used for short term accommodation. Can I rent this property out for short term holiday letting?

It will depend on the zone the house is in. If in Medium density, high density, tourist accommodation , rural or rural residential zone the use is consistent and if proposing to short term let it for the first time it will require a planning approval when the new plan comes in. However if the property is in the Low Density zone, the use is considered inconsistent and inappropriate for the zone and it’s unlikely the use would be approved, however you have the right to make an application.

12. There is a large holiday house in my street which is holiday let for short term accommodation and is consistently noisy and the street is full of cars. The house will have existing use rights for holiday letting ( short stay) even though it’s in a housing area (Low density residential zone) where the new planning rules now indicate that short term holiday letting is not appropriate (inconsistent). What is Council doing to protect our residential amenity and manage these issues ?

Queensland Planning legislation protects those uses which are lawful at the time a new planning scheme is implemented. This is set out by the State Government and is out of Councils control. Therefore, the new rules in the draft planning scheme where short term accommodation is considered not appropriate in the Low density residential areas ( refer to Zone Maps to see locations of the Low Density Residential zones), do not apply to houses with existing use rights for holiday letting (refer to Fact Sheet No.2). 
However, to protect amenity in Noosa’s residential neighbourhoods, separate to the new Planning Scheme, Council is proposing a new Local Law which is underway and will commence public consultation around the middle of October. 

Under the new Local Law, holiday houses, like the one in the question, will require an approval under the Local Law from Council every year. The Local Law will also have provision to cancel approvals if there is consistent breaching of the conditions of the Local Law approval. 

The new local law approval will require that cars are parked on-site, that outdoor areas are not used after 10pm or before 7am, bins are placed at and removed from the kerb at appropriate times and the maximum number of people on-site does not exceed the number of bedrooms multiplied by 2 or 12 people whichever is the lesser. For example if this house has 4 bedrooms, then a maximum of 8 people are allowed onsite and all cars associated with the holiday makers are to be parked on site.