Where can I build a Duplex on the Sunshine Coast?

There are a number of zones on the Sunshine Coast that can permit the construction of a dual occupancy through either accepted development (no planning approval needed), or a code assessable development application, which avoids the hassle of public notification and third party appeal rights. Each zone has its own requirements to ensure it remains accepted development or code assessable, which are listed below:


Low Density Residential Zone

Accepted development if not located in Precinct LDR1.

Code assessable for any aspect that is not compliant with an Acceptable Outcome of the Dual Occupancy Code.

Common non-compliances for dual occupancies in the Low Density Residential Zone are generally because the development:

  • Does not have a minimum area of 800m2, exclusive of access strip;
  • Adjoins another lot developed or approved for a dual occupacy , or
  • Has a slope of greater than 15% gradient.


Medium Density Residential Zone

Accepted development if all Accepted Outcomes of the Dual Occupancy Code are complied with.

Code assessable if an aspect of the development does not comply with any Acceptable Outcomes of the Dual Occupancy Code.

In the Medium Density Residential Zone, common non-compliances are often caused due to the development:

  • Accommodating more than three bedrooms per dwelling unit;
  • Having a mirrored floor plan between both dwelling units;
  • Providing a front boundary setback that is less than the required 4.5 metre setback to main facing wall, and less than 6 metres to associated garages; or
  • Not providing a 1 metre wide landscaping strip along the site’s frontage.


Tourist Accommodation Zone

Code assessable, with the Dual Occupancy Code, Tourist Accommodation Zone Code, applicable local plan code and Nuisance Code all applicable in the development application assessment.
Principal Centre, District Centre, Major Centre and Local Centre Zones
Code assessable if forming part of a mixed use development.



This article was written in 2020 and edited January 2022.