A secondary dwelling means a dwelling used in conjunction with, and subordinate to, a detached house on the same lot. A secondary dwelling may be constructed under a detached house, be attached to a detached house or be free standing. A detached house could not include more than one secondary dwelling.
The Noosa Plan allows you to accommodate a family member, friend or any other person at your home in a secondary dwelling, allowing them to have their independence from the balance of the house. This is intended to be a longer term resident rather than a visitor.
Is an application necessary?
Because a secondary dwelling unit is included within the definition of a detached house, it is allowable anywhere a detached house is allowed, subject to certain criteria. For instance a detached house is generally consistent and self-assessable in the following zones:
– Detached Housing Zone;
– Semi-attached Housing Zone;
– Attached Housing Zone;
– Rural Settlement Zone; and
– Rural Zone
Please note that inclusion of the property in overlay mapping (flood zones, landslide prone areas, bushfire prone areas, noise corridors etc) may trigger planning assessment (DA).
A building approval (BA) will be necessary for any building works and may trigger specific requirements that are related to your block of land. An application for plumbing and drainage works will need to be lodged with Council’s Plumbing Services.
Infrastructure Charges will be payable for the secondary dwelling in line with Council’s Charges Resolution. Contact Council to check the current charge as it is subject to annual review.
Requirements of the Detached House Code
The use will have to comply with the various provisions of the Detached House Code, but specifically you should note:
a) Minimum building setbacks apply to property boundaries, dependent on the zone;
b) A maximum site cover applies to the building(s) and for some localities a minimum requirement for soft landscaping applies;
c) In the Detached Housing, Semi- Attached Housing, Attached Housing or Visitor Mixed Use Zone, the second dwelling unit is to share a common wall and common roof with the house on-site and the two dwellings share an interconnecting door.
d) In other zones, the secondary dwelling is to be located within 25m of the house on-site, and no part of the detached house containing habitable rooms is more than 25m from another part of the detached house.
e) The secondary dwelling will have a maximum gross floor area of 65m2 where it is wheelchair accessible or 45m2 otherwise;
f) The secondary dwelling will contain no more than one bedroom;
g) One car parking space is to be provided on site for the secondary dwelling in addition to the one required for a detached house.
To meet wheelchair standards it is expected the secondary dwelling would have:
– A level entrance way with clear opening width of 820mm;
– Internal doorways with clear opening widths of at least 820mm
– Internal corridors/passageways with clear width of at least 1,000mm.
– Kitchen space designed to support ease of movement and adaptation with at least 1,200mm clearance provided in front of fixed benches and appliances and slip resistant flooring.
– A toilet with a minimum clear width of 900mm between the walls of the bathroom if located in a separate room; and a minimum 1,200mm clear circulation space forward of the toilet pan exclusive of the swing of the door., or if the toilet is located within the bathroom, the toilet pan should be located in the corner of the room to enable the installation of grabrails.
– A bathroom with a slip resistant, hobless (stepfree) shower recess, located in the corner of the room to enable the installation of grabrails.
– Walls around the shower, bath (if provided) and toilet which are reinforced to provide a fixing surface for the safe installation of grabrails
– A bedroom or space that is of at least 10m2 with one wall a minimum length of 3m and provides for a minimum path of travel of at least 1,000mm on at least one side of the bed.
While the secondary dwelling may be rented to somebody outside of the resident household it cannot be subdivided.
The Noosa Plan can be viewed online at
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